How To Reach Your Goals

Five lessons about goal setting I learned the hard way

Nicole Stella
The Independent Musician Academy
6 min readJun 16, 2020


calendar, coffee
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

We all set goals. It is almost an unconscious process that pertains to virtually any aspect of our work and personal life. Yet, it can be quite hard to master.

Throughout the last five years, the time span I’ve been dedicating to growing my music and building a career as an independent songwriter, I have attended an endless list of webinars, read tons of articles, listened to a good bunch of podcast episodes about the art of goal-setting.

In the end, I came to accept it is still a work in progress. And that it will always be, probably.

Goal-setting can be quite a complex topic, after all. There are so many variables involved in the process, including a pivotal one: your very own idea of what a fulfilling life is.

To reach your goals, you have to be honest with yourself, understanding what your idea of success is and what priorities require your full attention. This process of self-exploration will almost surely result in an unexpected outcome: the need to let go of a certain number of exciting ideas.

Yes, you’ll have to kill some of your darlings.

This is usually where the struggle gets real. This is where applying all the goal-setting principles you can learn by reading books and blogs becomes a challenge.

But at some point, sooner or later, we must face reality.

By setting unrealistic or unclear goals, the probability of succeeding gets much lower. Even worse, by confusing the social norm with our real purpose we might end up working towards goals we don’t even care about.

I made these mistakes too, not so much time ago. Now that I finally reached more clarity about my path, I decided to share these five goal-setting lessons I learned the hard way.

1. Set your priorities wisely

If I look back at the last five years, I must admit I have met quite a lot of the goals I had set for myself. Yet, I still feel so far from my ultimate goals and “dream life”.

Why has this happened? Because I haven’t prioritized.



Nicole Stella
The Independent Musician Academy

Independent singer and songwriter, movie and TV series addicted, chai tea lover. Listen to my music here: