The new year means new goals and resolutions for people in all walks of life. For musicians, those resolutions can focus on practicing or professional development.
Are you looking for tips and ideas for how to set goals for the year? Or do you need some inspiration for the goals to set? Keep reading for all of that and more!
How to Set Resolutions and Goals
Each year, many people make resolutions, and many of those people won’t keep up with their new habits. If you want to stick to something, you should make sure that the goal is something you can achieve.
To do that, you can use the SMART method. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Here’s how you can use each of those elements.
Instead of setting a goal to practice more, you should be specific. How much do you want to practice? How often? Is there a specific skill or piece you want to work on?
Be as specific as you can with your goals. Perhaps your goal is to practice for one hour a day, six days a week. That is very specific, so it’s easy to track your progress.
The previous goal is pretty specific and easy to measure. If you don’t practice an hour a day, six days a week, you aren’t meeting your goal. But maybe your goal isn’t as clear.
Perhaps your goal is to practice your scales more. Instead, put numbers to that goal, such as practicing scales six days per week.
If you’re busy with work or school (especially if you aren’t in music stuff all day), it can be hard to practice. Perhaps you don’t have an hour to practice per day.
You can set the goal to practice for half an hour or even 20 minutes. Figure out what you can realistically do when setting your goals. That way, you have a better chance of meeting them.
I’ll use myself as an example for this one. My goal is to grow my career as a flutist/piccoloist, arranger, and online teacher. If I set the goal to practice the alto flute for an hour, that’s not very relevant to my goals.
I’d be better off spending that time on flute or piccolo. Or even on arranging music or marketing my online studio.
When possible, give yourself a deadline. If you’re setting your new year’s resolutions, you can set your timeline for the entire year. But you may not want to wait that long for some goals.
Give yourself some sort of deadline for when you want to reach your goal. Having an end date can give you the motivation you need to work towards it. Then, you can reach it!
Musical Resolutions and Goals
If you aren’t sure what kind of resolutions or goals to set, start with your current state as a musician. Think about what you want to accomplish in the next year.
And if you still can’t think of anything, here are a few ideas.
If you want to become a better player, practicing can help you get there. You can set a goal to practice more in a day or week. Or you can make your goal to practice a certain exercise or piece to improve your skills.
If you don’t know where to start, consider taking some private lessons or an online course. That way, you can get an idea of where to begin with your practice goals.
The year 2020 took a toll on live performances, but that doesn’t mean you can’t perform at all. You can take part in online collaborations with other musicians, record yourself, or perform in-person with the right equipment.
If you want to get more performing experience, your resolutions should include finding performance opportunities. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in the new year.
Academic and Career Goals
If you’re a professional musician or music major, you can set resolutions related to your academic and career pursuits. Perhaps you didn’t get the best grades this year, so you want to get better grades.
Or maybe you haven’t been working as much as you’d like because of the pandemic. So you could set the goal to find some work in or out of music that can help further your career.
Of course, you can’t forget about yourself as a person. While you are a musician, you should be a person first. That means taking care of yourself and giving yourself some time to rest and relax.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t be afraid to slow down. Give yourself time to relax at the end of a stressful day. Maybe you set the goal to have one me-day per week. Do what works for you.
Have you thought about some musical resolutions for the new year? Do you need a place to plan and track those goals?
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