Hey! First of all, Happy New Years! Also, thanks for making 2015 an awesome year here at Pariah Reign. We have lots of exciting things and a huge goal coming this year in 2016. Watch out!
Since it’s a new year, most of us success-driven people are making yearly goals. Stetting goals is amazing, but it can be cloudy at times. If you have had trouble setting goals or keeping resolutions in the past, this post is for you. Here is a framework to create better goals. This framework will keep you accountable, motivated, and aware of your goals. It all breaks down to the acronym “SMART”. While many variations of SMART goals exist, this is the one that I have fit for my own needs.
SMART Goal Setting
Specific – Goals should always be specific. Many producers put down “blowing up” as a career or yearly goal. “Blowing up” is awesome, but it is not specific at all. When we create vague goals, our minds usually play tricks on us to make us think we have attained the goal when we might have not. Picture exactly what “blowing up” would look like so you know what to strive for. Maybe it’s getting support from a big producer. Maybe it’s winning a remix contest or Discovery Project slot. Maybe it’s reaching a big follower count on SoundCloud. By creating specific goals, you can supercharge your brain to get what it actually wants, instead of what it thinks it wants.
Measurable – Goals should always be measurable by either numbers or checklists. If you have a goal cannot be measured by a checklist or number, then you will never know when you have accomplished it (remember, Specific!). Here’s some example numbers & checklists to further define “blowing up”.
- 50,000 fans on Facebook
- 25,000 SoundCloud Followers
- Article interview with popular EDM Blog
- Track played by headliner at EDC
- Play at a festival
The nice thing about numbers is that they are trackable. Take the example goal of 50,000 Facebook fans. If a page is currently at 15,000 Facebook fans, and we want to get to 50,000, we can do the math to calculate your progress month to month (spoiler: about 3,000 new fans/month). We can look month by month to see we you are doing. Maybe we need to pick things up one month. Maybe another month we are going way above our goal. By having little checkpoints along the way, like month to month measuring, our long-term goals become a series of short term goals. This also is a huge psychological help, it puts things into an easier perspective. It’s less intimidating. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” (I’ve included a helpful Google Sheet to track your goal progress through the year. Download link is at the bottom of the post)
Attainable – Goals should always be realistic to accomplish. Realistic doesn’t mean pessimistic, or what we can’t accomplish. Realistic means what we are willing to sacrifice to accomplish our goals. It’s helpful that we think big, but don’t delude ourselves. Just because we have to factor in reality to our dreams doesn’t mean that we have to dream any smaller. It means we have to give up certain things, adjust certain timelines, and figure our way out into what we want to accomplish.
Responsible – Goals should always have stakes attached. We should be responsible to another third party to complete our goals in order to motivate us. Let’s be honest, self-control is overrated. Very few people have the discipline to stay on it 100% of the time. The easiest way to attach external stakes is to a goal is to build social pressure. Simply tell some friends, roommates, family members, what the goal is and that it will be accomplished. Ask them to check in along the way. If we fail to meet our goals, the people around us will know. This creates huge pressure to perform. It’s now time to live up to our word, and make these goals happen so we aren’t embarrassed. Betting pools, rewards, and monetary incentives also work.
Timely – Goals should always have a set time to accomplish. When writing our goals, we should always think of how much time we want to spend on the goal. Most things take less time than we think. As Peter Thiel asks, “How can you attain your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” By attaching timing to our goals, we also make them easier to track. Just like tracking Facebook fans in the Measurable example, we can divide up our time to complete the goal and create checkpoints along the way.
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