Last updated on March 13th, 2022
Folks, we did it. We’ve made it to the end of another year, which means that it’s time for your New Year’s resolutions!
2021 was undoubtedly filled with challenges, as the music industry began its climb back from pandemic-induced shutdowns and uncertainty. This state of flux surely made it hard for many people within the industry to set goals at the start of the year. After all, it isn’t easy to hit a moving target.
Nonetheless, we emerge victorious from this year, and head into 2022 with a clearer sense of what’s to come within our industry. That makes this the perfect time to plan for the future – which, by our watches here at Muze, is set to arrive tomorrow!
Here are some New Year’s resolutions we’ve cooked up for musicians. Feel free to adopt these and make them specific to your circumstances. And, if there are any we should add, let us know in the comments!
Collaborate With New People
We had to start with this one, right? After all, Muze has an amazing platform where you can meet like-minded artists more quickly than ever, which will allow you to narrow down the search and get right to creating!
Once you do, you will surely find that new collaborations bring varied influences into the creative mix, which will often spur fresh and exciting ideas. New collaborators help us to see and hear things that we may not have noticed otherwise, and their unique perspectives can help us grow, both as creatives and as people. Use Muze as your guide toward welcoming new creative energy into your circle in 2022.
Hey, you know what else will usher in a wave of fresh, creative energy in the New Year? Taking the time to…
Listen To Something New
You can only get so far from staying in the same place. If you find yourself in a position where your inspiration has run dry, try stepping outside of your musical comfort zone in 2022. Try on a different genre that’s outside of your usual wheelhouse. Resolve to listen to new artists – and, if you’re feeling daring, artists that you don’t think you will enjoy – with an open mind. A new discovery may ignite the spark that inspires your own creative resurgence, and you may find a new appreciation for something you never thought possible.
Don’t let your ears be the only part of you that gets to try something new in 2022. Take some of those new discoveries you’ve made above and incorporate them into your style. Challenge yourself to write in different styles. Develop your own interpretation of a song that you would have never thought to cover in prior years. Expanding our horizons means more than just listening – it means digging in and immersing ourselves in the process, from start to finish.
And, as mentioned in my previous article, there are skills outside of music making that you will need, as you continue your quest as a creative entrepreneur. Read more about those here, and develop new skills that will help your music business move forward in 2022.
And, speaking of moving your skills forward, let’s make 2022 the year that you…
Develop Better Practice Habits
Look at where your skills were a year ago. Have you made progress throughout 2021? If the answer is “yes,” there is an outstanding chance that your improvement didn’t just “happen.” The fact is, it takes years of work and repetition to advance from novice, to intermediate, to expert. Malcolm Gladwell popularized this notion in his book, Outliers, where he offered the idea that true mastery of any craft takes 10,000 hours of intentional, rigorous practice.
There is a “next level” waiting out there for you. However, it won’t just come to you. You must move toward it in dedicated fashion. That means carving out time to get just a little bit better, every single day. Your practice routine is a good indicator of your trajectory toward mastery; therefore, it is imperative to commit to one.
And, while we’re on the topic of routines…
Improve Your Daily Routine
This one is about more than becoming a better musician; it’s about becoming a more balanced, well-rounded individual, so that you can be present when it comes time to work on your creative endeavors.
How is your diet? Is it filled with healthy, nourishing foods that give you energy, or does it primarily consist of junk that leaves you feeling sluggish?
How is your exercise routine? Do you move your body daily, or are you living a sedentary lifestyle?
How is your sleep schedule? Do you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, or is it all over the place? Do you even get enough sleep in the first place?
Have you checked in with yourself lately? How are you faring physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially? If you aren’t feeling too hot in any of those categories, what adjustments can you make to improve things?
On the surface, these may not seem like things that would have an impact on your musical endeavors. However, a life lived out of balance will rarely, if ever, produce the results you desire. Now is the perfect time to assess your habits, and look for ways to improve your routine. Your dreams may depend on it.
And, in doing so, you just might find the inspiration to…
Manage Your Time More Effectively
How can you get the most out of every single day, so that you continue to propel toward your true creative vision? How are you accounting for the time it takes to get things done, while also being present for yourself, your loved ones, and all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult?
Take a look at your daily activities, and the time each one takes. Could you cut back on binging TV shows and movies? Are you spending a lot of time scrolling on social media? Are you partying too much? Overall, these things all take time that, if re-prioritized, could be exactly what you need to push your creative vision over the hump. Make sure you budget your time accordingly. In fact, doing so will become second nature when you…
Make – And Stick To – A Calendar
To have a true understanding of your goals means to account for the actions you must take to achieve them. Work backwards from the apex of your vision, and you will slowly begin to uncover those actions and their associated results. Identify what success looks like at a granular level, and plan your days, weeks, and months around those objectives. You will only get to where you want to go if you actively move toward the destination. With that, we think it might be time to…
Is there something – or, are there multiple “somethings” – that you’ve been meaning to do? Was 2021 supposed to be the year you finally figured out streaming, only for you to discover in mid-November that you “never got around to it?” Maybe you want to book more live shows, but you keep telling yourself that you don’t know where to begin. Or, maybe you want to join a band, but just don’t think that you’re “ready” yet.
Speaking these self-defeating ideas into existence will only chip away at your confidence, and delay the growth that awaits you. Go forth and uncover the lessons within the unknowns. Even if you find that there is a lot to learn, you’ll be glad to know that it is all part of the creative process. Not to mention, that process will help to make 2022 the year that you…
I included this point after the one about procrastination for a reason. We often put off our dreams – or at least, pivotal components of them – because of the fears we have been conditioned to believe are our own.
In the end, one thing is certain. If you let your fears stop you from taking creative leaps or learning new skills, you will only grow more stagnant and frustrated. Do your homework on the task at hand, take the time to understand where any internal resistance is coming from, and then take the plunge.
And, if that sounds intense, know that you don’t have to do it alone – especially if you use 2022 to strengthen your inner circle…
The beautiful thing about being in the music industry is that we are all, in some form or fashion, going through the same challenges. Our individual circumstances may differ, but the fact remains that we all started our journeys with nothing more than an idea. We’ve all met resistance – from the industry, from the world, and sometimes, even from those closest to us. The upside to that is that your peers understand the struggle. There is a camaraderie within the music industry that cannot be denied, because we’ve all been there. Establishing a supportive network can help ensure that your eyes remain on the prize.
(By the way, Muze can help with that! In fact, you could sign up right now and find your tribe.)