There are 2 components to your success in music:
What you are willing to do. (Usually what makes you uncomfortable – finishing tracks / sending them out / etc.)
What you are willing to give up. (What keeps you comfortable and safe – watching tutorials / checking Facebook / mindless TV )
And in the next couple of weeks I’m going to give you some tried & tested strategies for doing both.
You see – I really want you to make more music.
This is because…
1/ I’m committed to helping you achieve your dreams and ambitions.
2/ When you do this you’re more likely to join my program so I can help you even more! 🙂
It’s a win win.
(And of course you don’t have to buy my stuff if you don’t want.)
So I’ve already talked about knowing what you want. Having a big (even “unattainable”) dream or goal to shoot for.
But unless you have a coach or mentor to guide you and cheer you on, you need a simple strategy to build your momentum towards that goal. So here’s one of the simplest, most powerful strategies there is…
Do It Every Day
There is no more powerful strategy I know for building momentum than doing it every day. In fact it’s so powerful that the whole first month of my online program is devoted to given you a system for creating daily habits.
But for now, here’s what I want you to do…
1/ Decide on a short term musical goal for the next 7 days.
It doesn’t need to be big. But it could be.
2/ Work out how much time you can set aside every single day for the next 7 days to work towards that goal.
Make it as short as you want. Even just 10 minutes is better than nothing. What’s essential is that you can commit to doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY. So if you want to do an hour – but because of other commitments you can only do 30 minutes for 3 of the next 7 – make what you are committing to 30 minutes! This is important.
3/ For the next 7 days – spend the time you have committed to completely focussing on working towards your 7 day goal.
Turn off the internet, your phone, tell your family and friends that this time is sacred. And do it come rain or shine. Remember – because you are only committing to a minimum this will not be hard to do!
4/ When your allotted time is over you’ll have either:
- a/ not got much done
- b/ made steady progress
- c/ amazed yourself, be on fire and mega excited
5/ If it’s either a/ or b/:
Stop! Give yourself a pat on the back. Today you can be happy that you’ve done what you set out to do. You’ve won. How well it went is not important in the slightest.
6/ If it’s c/:
The by all means continue. Just make sure to STOP WHEN YOU ARE STILL EXCITED.
7/ When you do finish your daily session, record or bounce down what you have done.
Even if it’s virtually nothing and is the worst thing you have ever heard! Do a quick bounce of what you have been working on and put it on a device you can listen to somewhere else. Your phone or iPod or laptop or whatever.
8/ Before you go back to it and in a different context (i.e. not sitting in the place you make music) listen to what you have done from beginning to end.
Without listening to it again note down 3 things you are going to do when you go back to it next time.
9/ At the start of the next session try each of the 3 things you have noted down.
Don’t get too hung up on them if they don’t work! Remember these notes, your ideas are simply starting points.
10/ Repeat steps 3 – 10!
This simple process works on a few levels:
- You are focusing on the process of a daily practice rather than the music itself. This takes much of the emotional “sting” out of the music making – freeing up your brain to be more creative. When you don’t try so hard you do better – right?
- Because you are making the “win” a very minimal commitment you are much more likely to do it.
- Stopping when you are excited make it easier to come back to. Most make the mistake of stopping work when you get bored or tired. That’s absolutely the worst time to stop. Because when you stop while you’re excited you’ll be desperate to get back to it next time.
- Listening back to what you have done in a different context gives you ideas you would not have got otherwise. This is a failsafe method to beat that “blank screen / blank brain” phenomenon.
- Having recordings of each day’s progress means you start to focus on your progress = pure unadulterated motivation.
- A list of 3 things you are going to try when you go back to it means you are removing much of the fear of the “blank brain”
- 3 things to try when you go back to it means you have a springboard to getting into the groove – a shortcut which you’ll need if your time is limited.
When you do this for 7 days straight you will have made progress to your short term musical goal.
Or maybe you won’t!
Maybe you’ll hate what you have done.
But that’s ok too.
Because you’ll be finding it easier to sit down for your allotted time, and will be getting ever closer to making something you like.