Get Instant Motivation Using the 5x5 Method

Caleb J. Murphy
3 min readMay 3, 2021


Anytime I want to feel encouraged, I use the 5×5 Method.

When it seems like my music career isn’t going anywhere, I take five minutes and use this mental strategy.

It’s one of the main things keeping me going as a part-time musician.

Let me show you how it works…

What Is the 5×5 Method?

The 5×5 Method is simple and takes five minutes to implement.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Look at where you were in music 5 years ago
  2. Based on how far you’ve come over the past 5 years, envision where your music career will be 5 years from today

Now, if you have more than 5 minutes, you can dive deeper.

Let me break down these steps…

First, look back 5 years.

Then ask yourself, 5 years ago:

  • How much music had I written/recorded/released?
  • What was the quality of that music?
  • How much money was I making from music?
  • How many fans were on my email list?

Once you’ve got the answers, ask yourself these same questions again — but for today.

Like this:

  • How much music have I written/recorded/released over the past 5 years?
  • What is the quality of my music now compared to then?
  • How much more money am I making from music now?
  • How many more fans are on my email list? (Again, you should have an email list)

Measure the difference between 5 years ago and today.

Look at how much you’ve accomplished in the past 5 years.

(To make this process easier, you can use The One-Thing-A-Day Worksheet, which you’ll get when you sign up for my twice-monthly email called 5 Things To Help You Keep Going).

Then look forward to the next 5 years.

If you’ve released 20 original songs in the past five years, project that you’ll make 20 songs over the next 5 years.

If you had 200 fans on your email list and you got 50 new subscribers each year…

Project that your list will increase by 25% each year over the next 5 years.

If you were making $100 a year from music 5 years ago and that number increased by 50% each year over the previous 5 years…

Project that your music income will increase by 50% each year over the next 5 years.

Do this with every measure of growth you choose.

And your progress over the next 5 years may even snowball.

This means you could have a greater rate of growth over the next 5 years than you did over the past 5 years.

How the 5×5 Method Helps You as a Musician

If you take the time to answer these questions and write down your answers, you’ll instantly get motivated…

Motivated to be more disciplined.

This method helps you discover what you’ve accomplished. And it reminds you you’re on the right track.

It’s like a friend who says to you, “Hey, look at how far you’ve come. You’re gradually making progress. You just gotta keep going.”

Be that friend to yourself.

The 5×5 Method also helps you see what’s working and what’s not working.

For me, I realized I don’t love performing. I don’t mind it, and in some contexts, it is really fun. But I love the studio the most.

And by creating and tracking my goals, I was able to see what has worked for me and what hasn’t.

So now, I have a literal list of the things I’ve accomplished over the past several years.

Any time I’m feeling discouraged or burnt out on music, I pull up that list.

It reminds me that, yeah, I am taking my music career somewhere. Look at all this stuff I’ve done!

This method shows you how much can happen in just 5 years.

And you’ll realize the next 5 years are looking pretty bright for you.

My twice-monthly email called 5 Things To Help You Keep Going helps part-time musicians stay encouraged and motivated by sharing 5 resources from all over the internet. Join the 1,800+ other musicians benefiting from it.