Setting Your Songwriting Goals

The new year is coming and hopefully, you have high prospects for your songwriting. Like any art form, it can be difficult to understand where to go and what to do next. Providing some structure to learning in the form of courses, songwriting lessons or books can help a lot. But what about goals? How do you feel a sense of progress?

Step one would be to list your overall goals. Do you want to write better songs? Do you want to be able to play them for other people, or even just friends and family? Do you want to transition to recording your own music? Do you want to find your unique sound? Even if it’s all of these, write those down.

Next, pick a time frame. Some people use the 30/60/90 plan, which is great. I personally have to first look at my goals and then decide a time, and for that, I use the S.M.A.R.T. method, followed by obstacles.

Specific

What are the specific goals you want to do within a shorter timeframe? Be as specific as you can, especially as your overall goals might be quite broad and vague. If you want to write more songs, maybe narrow that down into writing more happy songs, or writing more with a co-writer. Maybe list a songwriting course you want to take.

Measurable

If you can’t measure your goal, it’s not specific enough. Write a number that goes along with it, for example, “Writing 4 songs a month” or “Complete this songwriting course in two months.”

Attainable

Your goals for a shorter time frame need to be achievable, which can be tricky to figure out. Look at the past few months – have you written only one song a month? Four might be stretching it, so maybe try two or three first. Look at that course carefully to understand what is the realistic completion time.

Relevant

Are your smaller goals relating back to your overall goals? Check in on your “why power” – why are these goals relevant? Why are they truly important to you and your songwriting journey?

Timely

Again, revisit your time frame. It’s okay if some goals take longer than others. Try to match your measurements to how much you can achieve over your set period of time. If all your goals are for two months, match those numbers accordingly for each goal.

Another: try not to plan for the entire year, like many new year’s resolutions suggest. Break down your goals into sizeable pieces so that you feel a sense of progress. It’s okay if you have repeated goals as the months go by.

Obstacles

Realistically, you’re going to face obstacles while attempting your goals. Spend some time thinking about what those could be, and how you could face them. Are they simpler, like having the extra cash? Or are they a little more complicated, like getting discouraged or frustrated? What kind of system could you set up to keep yourself going?

Make Your Songwriting Resolutions

Now that you have a process for planning out everything, what kind of songwriting goals can you set? Remember to keep a balance not take on too many things at once. Here are some suggestions below!

– Write X number of songs a month
– Enter X number of songwriting competitions
– Try a songwriting prompt a week
– Find X co-writers to write with regularly
– Complete X songwriting course
– Learn/practice X number of songs in my genre
– Listen and study X number of songs per week
– Record X number of songs this time period
– Read a songwriting book in this time period
– Write X number of happy songs this month

Good luck! 🙂