My Anti-Resolution to Ditch the One Big Goal

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ResolutionsNew Year’s Resolutions — they’re created with the best intentions. To do better, live better, be better. They hang over our heads, guilt us into temporary action, and for 92% of Americans, they’re a distant memory by Valentine’s Day. These resolutions tend to be vague goals with no real measurable result, like “lose weight,” “fall in love,” or “be a better friend,” and they can get in the way of the one thing that can bring us what we want: a commitment to a purpose.

I led a music business workshop once where I asked everyone what their biggest music career goal was. The answers sounded like this: “to make a lot of money touring,” “to have a million fans,” “to have a #1 hit,” and my personal old favorite, “to win a Grammy.”

When I asked them why, as in, “what’s the goal behind the music goal,” we ended up hitting on the purpose behind the goals — what each person was committed to in their life — and those were much more inspiring than the initial answers. These sounded like: “I want a career in music so I can support my future children,” “I’d like to connect with many different cultures of the world by touring,” and “I’d like to be a well-known artist so I can put on huge concerts to benefit finding a cure for cancer.” Um, sign me up!

When you have a commitment to a purpose, it gives you the big “why” behind your actions, and it doesn’t matter about the “how.” It’s the difference between “I want to have 50,000 new fans this year” and “I’m committed to creating amazing new music and sharing it with my fans this year.” It opens the doors to many achievements rather than one brass ring goal.

Now, don’t think you need to have a Mother Teresa agenda to be committed to something. In Bryce Longton’s awesome blog, she admits that her goal is to “do the daily grind,” because when you relish every moment, every detail, and just do the work, everything that you want to shift in your life will change as a result.

I am committed to my career, which I define as “creating music and sharing my process.” There is a lot of room in that commitment for anything to happen: a CMA, a Grammy, a million fans, a book deal, a record deal, ANYTHING.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still focused on getting results. I constantly take steps to broaden my composing clientele list, widen my fan base, and increase my income. Yet there isn’t the desperation, guilt, and a conversation called “What if I don’t accomplish that ONE BIG GOAL?” lurking around a corner. Just me, my commitment, and all the actions I know to take in being awesome now.

So, this year, my wish for you is to let yourself off the hook, ditch the resolutions, and get committed to your life and what you want it to look like right now.

For those of you who love lists, here are four reasons to stop being a one-goal wonder and get committed to your life.
1) Focusing on the one big goal distracts you from realizing you already have the life you’re imagining.
2) Success is not defined by a single event.
3) There is a ton of space for other awesome accomplishments to show up.
4) You will be more inspired, for much longer. It looks like this:

Commitment –› Inspiration –› Motivation –› Action –› Results

(If you want more help with this, check out my eCourse.)

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Cheryl B. Engelhardt is a singer/songwriter and composer. Her website is and you can follow her on Twitter @CBE. She authored the killer eCourse, “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump Start Strategy,” which will get your career moving in the direction you want (go get it now). Check out her new epic music video, complete with rock climbing and helicopter shots!

3 thoughts on “My Anti-Resolution to Ditch the One Big Goal

  1. Sounds like the old saying, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    The big goal is nice, can give a general sense of direction but yeah, it’s all the steps along the way that are the most important. So when you do get there, in reality it’s just one more step, similar to the thousands you already made.

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