December 30, 2009

Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot...or, "There's goal in them thar hills!"

It’s that time of year – the beginning. 
It is that time in which we have every intention of making and keeping resolutions to improve ourselves. But we often fail. We fail because while we have intentions, we also expect to succeed on improvisation. We hold a vague idea but we have absolutely no concrete idea how we will get to that resolution.

And so we sit at our harps with every intention to spend more time practicing, play more, enjoy more, perform more, arrange more, learn more, master more…but how? We think we will improvise our time – that we’ll figure it out as we go. And we state our approach as simply I’ll find more time.

But this is one instance in which improvisation will not work. To accomplish anything we have resolved, we have to have a plan. We have to perform some Goal Setting.

I do this every year, personally and with my students. And to help make it real, we write it down. And we check on it periodically throughout the year. We monitor our progress toward our goal - mostly to see how we’re doing. And later on in the year, this monitoring is even more to see what we thought was important. What, at the beginning of the year, did we think was important that we have subsequently forgotten. This let’s us focus or resolve our resolutions – to modify our goals. Or to review them to see if they were reasonable.

Goals don't have to be set in stone.  They are just a way for you to remind yourself, periodically, what you resolved to do and how you set about getting there.  There is nothing special about writing them down, although this does give you a reference later on when you're wondering why you're bothering!  Its just an aid to remember where you're trying to go and how you thought you might go about getting there.

Setting goals is just like looking at a map – it helps remind you where you were trying to go, but what looks like it will work on the map is just a representation of the path – it isn’t the path itself. ..remember, it’s the journey. See you there!

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

gardengirl6 said...

A very wise lady I once knew told me that if we don't set goals, how will we know when it's time to have a party to celebrate???

Happy New Year, Jen <3