Goal Setting This New Year!
I want to talk about goal setting this new year, especially if you’re a Hip Hop artist! I thought quite a way in advance as to what my goals are for this current year. So I thought I’d share some ideas with you as to how you can come up with some good solid goals that you can stick to and actually help you achieve what you want as a rapper, producer, DJ or otherwise.
Firstly I just want to say Happy New Year to you! If history has taught us anything, it is that the Mayans were a bunch of liars haha…. We’re still here, we made it, we can all breath a sigh of relief. We’ve partied hard, or I hope you have, because I certainly bloody did! Now let’s press on!!
……Hang on a sec… just before that, perhaps we should be asking why we should be goal setting as artists in the first place. Is it really relevant? Is there really any point?
I would say yes! I don’t care what you do, nothing creates long lasting happiness better than knowing that you are progressing consistently even if it is by small amounts each day. I would also say that if you’re not progressing, then you’re sliding backwards. Things rarely stay stagnant. Even when they do, you have to keep in mind that there are those that are progressing as you stand still. I think this is true for all areas of life but for this post I want to explore how we can do this as a Hip Hop musician. So here are my 6 points to goal setting. I recommend you follow these this the exact order 1-6.
1.What’s your ultimate goal?
Firstly decide what it is you actually want but be as specific as possible. Do you want to be an amazing rapper, or a producer? Don’t worry about being realistic at this point. Choose whatever excites you most! It doesn’t matter how realistic it is. If you don’t find yourself getting excited thinking about it, pick another goal!
2.How will you know when you’ve achieved your ultimate goal?
Secondly think of something concrete that would prove to you that you have become this very thing you aspire to be or aspire to have. If you want to be an amazing rapper, how do you know when you will become one? Will it be once you’ve recorded an excellent album for example? It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you decide on something that will make YOU personally feel that you have achieved that which you set out to become or get.
3.See it, do it, be it!
Thirdly picture where you want to be and what you want to have and visualise it! Do you dream of being an awesome beatsmith on the boards, with amazing rappers gagging to jump on your beats? Do you dream of being an amazing DJ or turntablist with the crowd in awe of your routines? Or do you dream of the crowd going crazy over that ill line you dropped off the top of your head? Whatever it is, picture it, imagine it, make it compelling. Be excited about it! This will be the driving force you need to help you stick to your goals.
4.Now let’s be real about this!
Fourthly scale the goal back to what you believe you can realistically achieve in a year. This is aptly titled your 1 year goal! This is where the realism comes in.
In many cases this might already mean achieving number 2 within the next 12 months. If so great! On the other hand, if you want to win a turntablist competition and you’ve never touched a pair of turntables before, that might be a bit unrealistic at this point and be setting yourself up for failure. That’s the last thing you want. You want this to be an encouraging exercise that builds your self confidence by taking small baby steps within your control. So rather than setting out to win a turntablist battle when you’ve never touched a set of decks, it is wiser and probably more rewarding in the long term to instead pick something closer to now and within your immediate control. So buying some turntables and committing to being able to perform 3 scratch techniques within a year would be a better goal. The more you do that and the more you do that consistently, the closer you will get to your ultimate goal and the more encouraging this will all be because you will be achieving your goal bit by bit and it will noticeable! Eventually you’ll look back, this time next year and you’ll realise how far you’ve come! You can then build on that when setting your goals for the following year, all the time getting to your ultimate goal.
5.Make a public commitment!
As much as I’m all about positive encouragement, fear is also a great motivator. I think it’s important to commit to something that you can’t turn back on and for it to have a deadline. This will force you to stick to your goals and make sure you see them through. So for example, if you aspire to be a battle emcee, then it’s quite simple. Enter a local battle competition, or commit to setting up a battle with a local emcee on a specific date. This will force you to prepare yourself because you will want to make sure you’re ready and don’t want to get embarrassed.
It doesn’t matter what you commit to as long as it’s relevant to your goal, it has an official deadline and it’s noted publicly.
……and last but not least
6.Write down your steps!
Write down 3 individual steps to get to your goal every 3 days. These don’t have to be overly time consuming but they do have to be small steps to get you to your goal and get you ready for you deadline as stated in point 5. The reason I suggest writing down 1 step for each of 3 days, every 3 days, is because we often don’t know every single step to our goals and they often become more clear to us as we start walking forward as it were, rather than to trying to write every single step we need to take way in advance. Often you’ll find that many steps might be the same in succession especially if you’re goal is to master a skill like being able to freestyle rap, largely because it requires a similar type of consistent practice. I still recommend trying my method out regardless. That will stop you from being complacent with your goals as well as allowing you to really think, ‘Are these really the next few steps I need to take?’
So that’s it! I hope you found my 6 points to goal setting helpful. If you have any more questions on how to do this more specifically to you goals as a Hip Hop musician feel free to ask me at the bottom of this post!