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Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t.

I set goals.

You may ask What’s the difference, dummy; they’re the same thing. Well, maybe. But I think there’s a difference.

In my mind a New Year’s resolution is what makes the YMCA super-packed for the first few weeks in January…then back to normal. It seems to represent good intentions, and that’s it.

New Years Resolution: I’m gonna lose weight this year.

Goal: I’m going to commit to doing X workout routine at least 3 times per week in order to lose 30 pounds this year, or 2.5 pounds per month.

Call it semantics if you will, but I’d rather have goals than resolutions. A goal isn’t a goal unless it contains an action plan. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, that’s not a 1-step process. You don’t do just one thing and then BAM you’ve lost 30 pounds. It requires a lot of work, lots of repetition, and a step-by-step plan.

Also, a goal isn’t a goal unless it has a deadline. Someone much smarter than me wrote that in a book or article I read once. It’s absolutely true.

I wrote about this one year ago, and this article is almost identical. (It’s kinda funny, actually, how similar they are.) Why write about it twice? Because you and I both need a kick in the pants regularly to remind us to set goals.

So…here’s the big question:

What are your studio goals for 2011?

Is it simply to get better at using EQ and compression? That’s great, but it’s not a goal. Maybe you can commit to spending 1 hour every two weeks simply practicing EQ and compression. That’s reasonable right? And it’s an actual goal.

Maybe you want to finish an album? Get paid to record someone for the first time? Gain 20 new clients? Whatever the goal is, tell us about it by leaving a comment below. Tell us what your goal is and how you’re going to achieve it.

Goals are much more effective if someone else knows about it. There’s something about announcing goals publicly that makes them more real.

Alright, let’s hear it. How are you gonna rock out in 2011? Answer below.

[Photo by Bob Jagendorf]

  • Pingback: Setting Goals in the New Year | SilverLake Studio – Custom Drum Tracks, Studio Collaboration()

  • FYOS

    Well, here are my new year goals. As a former sucessful Pro Musician for 24 years (1976 to 2000) I have been in coporate life for the last 12 years but and now getting back up to date with technology. I mastered Sibelius 6 notation in just over 3 months (20/25 Hrs practice a weeks) and am now fluent in this (although of course you always learn something advanced new ongoing, and best proactice etc),

    On Monday, I will start on Pro Tools 101, and the goals for this year is to acheive certainly the pro Tools 101/110 exams and the 200 series exams and excellent practical knowledge up to at least that level by the end of the year.

    Great site this and I am working my way through everything . . .

  • Fmesseder

    Hi joe,
    My name is Filipe and I’m a junior in high school. I picked up recording to produce my own band last summer but soon after i bought my equiptmemt we broke up. It didnt take long however for me to begin learning about this art and to instantly fall in love with it. I have been getting better and better everytime I read a new post from you and implement it into my mixes. It is pretty hard finding clients since more mature bands tend to look down upon a 17 year old with a home studio.

    My goal this year is to begin finding real clients. I have 3 artists that I have been producing and working with for quite some time but I really need to expand, meet new people with new ideas and with more challenges that will push me to become a better engineer.

    I will gain at least 5 new clients by the time summer starts.

  • Fearfeasog

    Me being my father’s son, I tend to try to set my goals too high. For example: saying I’ll have 3 songs written and recorded by march 31st. Well first off, my RESOLUTION is to NOT SET GOALS THAT I CAN’T MEET. but my real goal will be, in addition to the vocals i’m working on for my friend’s project, to finish ONE COMPLETE, FULLY FLESHED OUT WONDERFUL JAW-DROPPING CHART-BUSTING TEAR-JERKING HISTORY-MAKING SONG THAT SOMEBODY BESIDES ME WOULD WANT TO LISTEN TO by March 31st. 🙂 ok, maybe just a complete song, forget all the qualifiers…

  • Good post, Joe. I am a college student, and this is a lesson I learn everyday in my journey into adulthood. As I gain more and more responsibilities and obligations to my schoolwork, job, etc, I have to learn how to prioritize my time spent with my hobbies. Gone are the days where I could spend all day playing around with new gear; I have to go in with a goal about which skills I want to develop and which parts of each project I want to develop.

  • I need to lose a few pounds too… I seem to be having unhealthy buffet food every day this holiday.

    Studio wise I hope to actually record and complete an album by this time next year, I will most likely sharing my progress throughout the year. (oh and get into uni)

    my plans are:
    ideas/composing done by summer
    recording done by autumn
    mixing and little mastering done by end of the year

    its going to be “my little project” so I’m not going to get any “professional help”.