A year that seemed so full of promise, those 31 days ago, now seems like a 24HR reminder of those goals you cannot reach because you’re too busy. Too busy answering emails. Too busy commuting in traffic to rehearsals. Too busy getting home late from rehearsal with just enough time to bathe the child and say hello to your partner. A successful diva life can feel elusive when you are so busy bouncing back and forth between responsibilities that actively working towards goals feels like a pipe dream of New Year’s Day gone by.
Stuck. A little more rat race than successful musician pace.
It’s time to reclaim your diva life with today’s challenge: Be Systems Driven.
Last year on Day 1, I asked you to Declare Your Intentions. Today’s challenge is to drill down into those intentions and discover your rituals and systems. Doing this will help you get out of your daily comfort zone and regularly access your power place. The clear way to accomplish more, and feel saner about it, is to set up systems and not just goals. You set goals last year during 28 Days to Diva like Win a Competition, Be an Artist-In-Residence, and Plan a Recital. Did you do them all? (If so, virtual high-five! You rock!) A goal has a specific endpoint like those just mentioned. A filmmaker has a goal to make an important film. A personal stylist has a goal to dress the hottest, young starlet for the Oscars. An opera singer has a goal to sing at the Met. However, the goal alone does not gift you the knowledge to accomplish it. The systems are the strategies we use to realize those goals. The filmmaker needs a production schedule that includes selecting the script, auditioning actors, and even creating a funding plan. The personal stylist has to build in strategies for making connections with designers for the starlet to wear. The goal of 28 Days to Diva is to demystify the systems that make success possible in today’s musical world.
James Clear, in this wonderful article, asks, “If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?” My instant reaction is yes. Then, a second thought, “as long as you set up systems for all of the areas in which you want to be successful.” If you are setting up systems to just practice more but never devising systems in which you audition for roles or apply for programs, then you will only get so far. This is the point which I consider the biggest break-down in music school education: they teach young singers to be truly fine musicians but only pay passing attention to building successful arts businesses. (Although, there are finally more schools that are devoting resources and excellent knowledge to this area.) Committing to the work isn’t as sexy as big, beautiful goals, but a well-designed system always wins.
Time for the exercise – grab a piece of paper:
- Write down three large goals.
- Identify the best system to achieve each goal.
- Does the goal draw on more than one successful system to be completed?
- Think about your daily routines.
- How does your home routine benefit or detract from your diva systems?
- How does your work routine benefit or detract from your diva systems?
- How do your music routines benefit or detract from your diva systems?
- What is your most important ritual?
- How can I reinforce my new systems?
A flash from the past: “Specific goals? Why can’t I just say “I want to be an opera singer”? Two reasons: You already are an opera singer. The difference is how actively you are being an opera singer.” If you are tired of feeling frantic about your singing career, this is your best solution. Be systems driven.