Happy New Year!

As we move forward into 2010, everybody’s making new years resolutions. Get ready for the gym to be packed for the next 30 days.

Don’t worry, they’ll give up soon, and things will go back to normal.

What about you and your home studio? What are your plans for 2010?

More importantly, how do you plan to actually achieve those plans?

It’s so easy to have big dreams for your home studio, only to turn around a year later, and you’re still “getting ready” to do those big things you’ve been planning.

I hate new years resolutions.

Why? Because they’re always such huge, ambitious goals. We say things like “I’m going to lose twenty pounds this year.” That’s admirable and all, but why do we almost never get close to making it happen? Because we fail to specify the steps to achieving that goal.

Rather than “losing twenty pounds,” we’d be better off setting a goal of working out once a week. For most of us, that would still be a change, but it’s not some huge, insurmountable goal.

Okay, this isn’t a weight-loss website. If you’re like me, you’re telling yourself, “I’m going to finish my album this year.” That’s great!

But if that’s all you say, then it’s not going to happen. Trust me, I’ve said it on multiple New Years days. 🙂

I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim to finish your album this year, but I’d suggest you put some effort into this goal. Give it legs. Create a game plan for how you’re going to get there.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Set a date. I don’t care if it’s December 31, 2010. Put it on your calendar. This act alone can be enough to trick yourself into making things happen. Remember Pam and Roy from The Office? They were engaged for something like three years. They never set a date…and they never got married…and she ended up kissing Jim. Set a completion/release date for your project, or your project may end up kissing someone else and calling off the whole thing.
  • Set mini-goals. Now that you have a completion date, you need to set up markers along the way. These mini-goals will look like this:
    • Finish Recording Guitars – Feb 1
    • Finish Recording Bass – Feb 15
    • All the way to…
    • Finish Mixing – November 1
  • Do something EVERY WEEK – Your schedule is most likely insane. However, if you want to knock this thing out, commit to doing at least something for the project every week. Just like the weight-loss analogy, don’t commit to 6 hours a week. Commit to just an hour a week. As you make small progress week by week, you’ll find yourself getting more and more excited rather than more and more burned out.

These are geared towards those of us trying to finish an album, but they’re applicable to you regardless of what your 2010 goals are. Like I heard someone say once, a goal isn’t a goal until it has a date.

You should know that I’m nowhere near being a master at this. I’ve been working on an album for a couple years. I haven’t given it the priority it needs. I want to change that in 2010, and I want you to join me.

[Photo by Bob Jagendorf]