Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have found myself finding excuses, complaining, or just downright avoiding my music industry work I could be doing. While my dream hasn’t changed, and my schedule hasn’t slowed down I realized I haven’t been giving myself the constant reminders that I need to be consistent. In the world of the music industry, we have entered into awards season. This means that social media is full of congratulations posts, and lists upon lists of GRAMMY nominations from the big labels and publishing houses.

I opened Concord Music publishing’s Instagram page this morning and upon seeing the 28 GRAMMY nominations I finally realized why I have been slacking (for lack of a better word). I realized that I have been feeling a bit like this dream is unattainable. I realized that I never once have thought I would see my name under one of those rosters, I never once envisioned that I would be the name beside song or album of the year. So today I sat down and made a plan to fix that.

It is a simple plan but hopefully an effective one. I have a list of things that I am working on to become closer to my goal. I have had this list for months. However, I decided that I need a way to enforce it and hold myself accountable. So I have turned to the business world for my answer. I am certain that I have written about SMART goals before, but here we are again. These are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound goals. I have decided that I will set one SMART goal for myself and not move onto another goal until I achieve it. Being a chronic multitasker this is going to be difficult. Sure I will have other things I do every day to improve other areas of my life, as well as work on my goal.

This big goal I have decided to work towards is actually really simple. My goal is to become a better songwriter/music industry professional. I have decided to do this by completing Full Circle Music’s Song Chasers’ course by January 15th. I will do this by working on it every day and taking notes. I plan to treat this online at your own pace course, as a personal intensive study over my winter break.

Honestly, even though this goal is time-bound I am not particularly worried about how quickly I complete it. Yes, it would be lovely if I was able to complete it before next semester’s insanity starts, but if not that is okay. I am choosing to work on this goal so that I develop the habit of doing something every day to get me closer to where I want to be in the long run. I have also chosen this goal so that I am continuing to develop myself while still staying where I am. So often we as the general public don’t understand the painstaking time and effort that goes into the creation of each person’s story, career, and song.

During a conversation with her producer, Sia was once asked to give up some songwriting credits to give her producer a larger cut of the song’s royalties. He said that her writing the song only took her 30 minutes to an hour, while his producing would take a much longer time. Her response was simply, “while yes it will take you longer to produce it took me 15 years to be able to write a song in 15 minutes”.

I think about that quote every day.

I am working on being okay with putting in my time. It’s not always fun, but the end results are always worth it. Let me just encourage you that if you feel like you are stuck right now, it will go away. However, you may have to work your way out of it.

Set goals, become dedicated, and try not to compare yourself to those people who are already where you want to be. I’m willing to bet that they too had to work their way to where they are. I will even go as far to say that many of them are still working hard to stay there. Don’t be discouraged, simply make a plan, put in the time, and be patient.