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Setting Goals for 2012

January 4, 2012

Isn’t New Years great!? Everyone is so optimistic, hopeful of change, brimming with ideas on how they are going to further their dreams.  Bloggers in all fields are giving some great advice on how to set and stick to goals, so I thought I would sum up all my favorite pieces of wisdom and then announce my own goals for 2012!

Goals are essential to change, without them we lack any sort of long term direction.  Picking goals isn’t always easy, so I encourage you to consider the following when setting your own goals.

1)      Use the S.M.A.R.T. system – This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Does your goal fit all of these criteria? If not, chances are you won’t be able to stick to it as the goal is likely too abstract.

2)      Pick triggers – It’s very easy to say “I want to work out more”  or “I want to practice more”, but surely if you want to do it now, then you probably wanted to do it a month ago.  Create goals with triggers, such as “Every day I will warm up at 8 a.m. This will free up the hour I usually warmed up in, allowing me to practice more.”

3)      Learn your motivation – Motivation is a tricky concept, but you don’t stand a chance to stick to your resolution without it.  You picked your goal for a reason, but why?  Spend time considering the motivation behind setting these goals, motivations work best when tied to your core values.  As an example, it will be easier to go to the gym more if healthy living is one of your core values.

4)      What will it take to accomplish my goals?  This sounds so obvious, but when we are trying to make real change in our lives it’s very easy to allow small hurdles to turn into excuses and eventually kill our dreams.  If your goal is to read a book a month, do you have easy access to 12 books?  If not, then the trip will become a burden, the burden will make it easier to procrastinate.

Just a little food for thought as you pick your goals for the year, and please DO pick some goals! Here are just a few of mine;

1)      Record one practice session a day

2)      Blog at least once a week

3)      Recruit 2 more writers for BrassChatter

4)      Maintain a studio of 5 horn students

5)      Take as many professional auditions as I can afford

This is just a small percentage of the goals I have laid out for myself.  A lot of my horn related ones are very detailed and follow both the SMART system and rely on triggers.  What is important here is publicly announcing them.  Doing this is not only good for conversation, for getting tips on how to achieve them, but it also helps to hold me accountable.  Now that I have said it anyone and everyone knows what standard I hope to hold myself to, this will push me to achieve it just so I don’t look silly!

So, your homework is to pick at least three goals for yourself for the year and publicly announce them! You can post it on our Facebook, as a comment to this post, or tweet them to me @BrassChatter.  Best of luck everyone!