Happy New Year! After a lovely break, we’re back at MTMS and ready to bring out new music and new instruments for anyone who wishes to learn. If it’s been on your bucket list to play music, let us know. It’s a great time to start a new habit.
Are you worried about all the comments and statistics about failed resolutions? We understand. One thing about the resolutions that our society has ingrained to try on the first of every year is that when you resolve to do a thing and you do it- your brain thinks you’re done. This is especially true when it is something that is painful like working out.
Tips from the pros vary. However, most of the successful new goals you see accomplished are either SMART goals or intentions. And either of those options have behind it tracking to see how we’re doing throughout the year. Because it is one thing to say I’m going to start a brand-new thing in 2023 and achieve it, and quite another to say I’m starting a brand-new goal and I’m going to track my progress to figure out how well I’m doing.
If you don’t know what SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound. So instead of saying I’m going to learn to play the violin this year, I say I’m going to take lessons on the violin and practice at least three times a week for a year. This specific goal means I will find a place to take lessons (MTMS is here for me, too!), I’m going to track how often I practice, and I have a time frame I’m working with. Whether this is an attainable goal is all about how my schedule works, but it is very relevant if I want to learn violin.
The way to succeed at your goals is to take a hard look at what you do during your free time. If I’m not making my three practice times a week and I’m actually playing MarioKart for four hours and watching tv for a couple other evenings, I could look at that and say I failed to make my goal or I could adjust to say right when I get home on Monday and Thursday I’m going to practice, plus I will do it again on Saturday morning after chores.
One other thing we don’t talk about for goals – we don’t hit them every week or every month. But if I am tracking these things, and I see through the 52 weeks of the year that I made it for 50 I will call that a win. I know I had a goal I didn’t make last month because of the holidays and all the time spent with family instead of toward my goal. I don’t regret time with my family, and I will pick it up again this week. Be kind to yourself when Life Gets In The Way, but don’t let it happen every week or every month. Also be honest to keep yourself to your goals or adjust them to what is attainable. This is your goal, and the person who benefits from it is you. There isn’t a benefit to giving yourself a goal like practicing the flute for fifteen hours a week if you’ve never played before. It only seems like a good way to beat yourself up when you don’t meet it.
Happy New Year. Bring in 2023 with your best intentions and goals, and track them to see how you’re doing. Be your best you and play your music, too.