The last week has been a bit of a roller-coaster. I was feeling full of positive energy, inspired by the Music Success In 9 Weeks blog challenge. My followers on Twitter and Facebook were slowly growing, a couple of podcasts had featured my songs and I could feel the momentum.

Then I was hit by a horrible head cold that suddenly put the brakes on! I tried my best to get through it, but it was one of those colds that makes you feel down and unable to think clearly. So I've been sitting it out and through a combination of hydration, vitamins and sleep I think I'm finally shifting it.

Ariel's book talks about mental preparation in the first week. As you can imagine that's been a real struggle for me these last few days. It's basically about getting into a habit of goal-setting and rewarding yourself for your successes. I'm not too bad at organising my goals – I've read Getting Things Done and use OmniFocus to keep my tasks in check. But I still find it hard to look at the big picture and head toward long term objectives.

Ariel suggests that you write a list of 5 successes for each day. I found this to be a great idea. After writing your list there's a new motivation for looking at your list of goals and thinking about what you could achieve in the next 24 hours. The books says that one or two of your successes should be music career related. Some days this has been easy, but on other days it's been almost impossible especially if I've had family commitments, taking the kids out at the weekend (it would be easier if we had normal kids who went to sleep at a sensible time!).

My success list for the first day looked like this:

  1. Began reading Music Success In 9 Weeks
  2. Ran for 30 minutes
  3. Made contact with local music industry people
  4. Made a new list of goals
  5. Worked on completing an old song that had been left half-finished

This chapter of the book also talks about setting goals. Just like other things I've read it mentions that should write the goals as if they've already happened and be specific with time frames eg. “In 6 months time I have become the most powerful man in the entire universe according to Time magazine!”.

I got very specific with my list of 6 goals and maybe a little too personal, so here's an edited version of my list safe for public viewing!!

  1. By August 15th 2010 I've completed the recording of all songs for my first album.
  2. By October 1st 2010 I am performing live at least once a month.
  3. By July 1st 2011 I have licensed a song for use in TV, film or advertising earning a specific fee or more
  4. By the end of 2010 I have built a relationship with a terrestrial radio station where I'm confident they'll play any new material I provide to them
  5. By the end of 2010 I have at least 200 more fan email addresses on my mailing list than today
  6. By the 1st December 2010 I have a Christmas E.P. released featuring at least two original songs

I actually wrote quite a few more goals after my first 6 but thought I'd share those with you as they were the first that came into my head. As Ariel states: “This is a game – you can change the rules as you go” and that's a good thing because I've already started to shift things around the more I think about them!

Coming next: Week 2 – Your Perfect Pitch…

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