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Tidings Of Comfort, Joy, Forgiveness & Success, A Four-Part Exercise For Musicians

After traveling to eight countries this year, teaching master classes and speaking on panels the thing that stands out for me is:

How hard we can be on ourselves.

It’s almost the end of the year, and it was a crazy year for most of us. Musicians and colleagues alike tell me that they were busier than ever before.

We have all had to come up with more creative ways to stay relevant and vital in the current music business either as musicians or entrepreneurs, so, this busy-ness makes a lot of sense.  

You constantly have to stay on top of not only your creative journey and output, writing, rehearsing, booking, touring, marketing, and managing all of your social media, recording and releasing music, not to mention keeping balance in your personal life as well.

I saw one too many artists at conferences and seminars with their eyes glazing over from overwhelm.  

I want you to take a step back and take stock in your success and remember the good pieces.

The pieces that you are proud of, and acknowledge yourself for them.

In the past 12 months that just whizzed by all of us and with a new year looming ahead with new goals to go go go get it’s easy to stop an see where you have been.


  • What in the last year are you most proud of music career wise?
  • Did you set out to achieve something with your career but perhaps you missed your mark?
  • Did something wonderful or unexpected happen to you?
  • Perhaps you thought your year would go very differently but illness, death, birth or loss of a job took precedent?
  • How did you and are you managing those things?

Here’s something that you can quickly do to help yourself reflect on the year that’s almost behind us and set yourself up for the new year ahead

Grab a pen or paper or open a new fresh doc and write:

 STEP 1: 10 Things I’m happy/ proud of that I achieved within the last 12 months that are music related are:


STEP  2: The things that threw me for a loop (yes it happens to us all), slowed me down or stopped me were:

(Write what you want to clear it away out of your head bonus: Write what you learned from these things). This is also the part where you can also write what you are making yourself wrong for.

It’s time to forgive yourself so that you can start out with a whole new clean slate for the new year. 

STEP 3: Now write down 10 things (or more) that you are grateful for (it can be as small as coffee in the mornings or as big as your child, spouse or mom) I believe that when we come from a place of gratitude our creativity flows in a much more productive way. 


STEP 4: Print Out, decorate and post PARTS 1 & 3 where you can see them.

Maybe on the wall proudly displayed in your home office or studio. If you are not into posting stuff or this makes you feel too woo–woo place them in the back of a diary or in an envelope and mail them to yourself, open the envelope when you begin to forget these achievements & grats.

Print Out PART 2 and mail it to:

Santa Claus
North Pole

I wish you a joyous holiday season filled with Love, Success and Gratitude.

Love, Ariel

Reader Comments (2)

And I wish you the same, Ariel.

Now, 'success', what was that again?

As in being door stepped by a particularly happy Mormon evangelist I can't help enjoying what you write despite myself - you are so completely and insistently positive in your resolve. And, as in a conversation with a Mormon, I always end up wondering what the heck you're going on about.

More lists...

December 7 | Registered CommenterTim London

Thanks for this. I just started to get serious about my music this year: Started a band in April; it dwindled down to a conga player and me; started open micing in October; gigging last month; and started some social media pages/blog about 3 weeks ago.

I'm going to use parts of this exercise for my end-of-the year-blog. Thank you. I needed this.

December 7 | Unregistered CommenterLeah Pauls

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