Ah, 2019. After another year filled with trials and tribulations, learning experiences, and the moments that made us, we’re graced with the opportunity to truly take stock of what the year meant and how we can improve on all that was (and was not) in 2018, and apply it to making 2019 our best year yet.
As exciting as a New Year is, it’s only as good as the promises you keep. Meaning, now that we’re a couple weeks in, it can be easy to slip into old habits, leaving your New Year’s resolutions in the dust.
Want to make sure that doesn’t happen? We’ve created a checklist to make sure you’re continuing to make the most of those resolutions now and throughout the year.
Use a planner
If you’re an organizing nerd like me, odds are you already have your planner primed and ready. But if you’re someone who is a little more relaxed in your approach, and that’s no longer working for you, my top recommendation is to invest in a quality planner. There are a TON out there, but it’s important to choose one that’s a fit for your personality, as well as your workflow. It’s not going to do you any good if you don’t actually enjoy using it, so take some time to be sure you’re selecting the right one.
There are certain planners which are geared specifically towards musicians and music industry professionals. They have a place to track your monthly and weekly goals, write out daily tasks, and reflect on the progress you’ve made each week. They even include a place to map out your social media content, keep track of your newsletter themes and track opens, and space to reflect on some of the bigger questions that guide progress like “where do I want to be a year from now?” and “what do I need to budget for?”
Schedule regular check-ins
Once you know what it is you’re going after, make sure you’re scheduling regular check-ins with yourself. My suggestion is monthly, but do what works for you. By making the time to assess where it is you’re at and measure that against where you want to be, you can be sure that you’re always moving forward.
For instance, if you knew that in January you wanted to have the routing for your next tour all set, but when you do your check-in at the end of January you realize you haven’t quite completed all the cities, it allows you to A) make finishing that a priority before the end of the month or B) adjust future goals/expected outcomes to accommodate the extra time you need.
Don’t be afraid to change it up
This leads me perfectly into our next point—don’t be afraid to change it up and play around with your schedule. While you don’t want to be constantly changing your goals, especially if it’s because you find you’re just not making time for them, there’s no shame in deciding that you want to pursue a different path or go in a new direction.
Remember, you want to have a plan and an outline of what you’re going for in the long-term, but how you get there is up to you. If something is working then great! Stick with it. But if it’s not, there’s no harm in trying something new. Have a plan, but be flexible.
Re-evaluate at the 6-month mark
If you’ve been doing the above check-ins, then you’re probably already on track for a successful year of achieving your goals—so this 6-month check-in won’t be too different. However, what makes the half-year mark a little more significant, is that it shows an undeniable history of how you’ve spent the first half of your year. By taking in the full 6-months (rather than just the last month or so as you’ve been doing), you get a sense of the larger picture.
Have you been in hustle mode and as a result you’ve met most or all of your monthly goals? Or have you had some trouble sticking to a plan and you’ve only met one or two of your goals? The idea here isn’t to shame yourself or feel guilty—it’s simply to assess where you’re at and what’s been working well or not working at all so that you can adjust and make sure you’re giving it all you’ve got for those remaining 6 months.
Find a support system
Everyone needs a support system, and most of us would do well to have some kind of accountability buddy or regular group check-in like a mastermind. Depending on your schedule and the type of person you are, you can find your support system through a Facebook community, an in-person industry meetup, or a weekly or monthly mastermind with 2-3 other musicians or industry professionals who are in the same situation as you, and who you can find encouragement and inspiration in (that last part is especially important).
The goal is to have some accountability while also having a support system you can turn to in times of frustration and confusion, as well as joy and celebration. Find the people that make you want to be better, and make them an integral part of your life.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.