May 26, 2010

Goal setting

Well, it’s about the middle of the year - that time when most of us are looking at our calendars and wondering how it could possibly be nearly June! But, clearly it is - the honeysuckle is blooming, the birds have more to say than the news media Talking Heads, and its getting a mite warm.

So, back at the winter holidays did you write down your goals for this coming year? They didn't have to be big goals - could have been to learn one new tune every month, or to teach at least one favorite tune to someone else so you could play it together, or to master rolling chords down smoothly, or to practice at least a little each day, or to actually count when playing, or -- as you can see, the list of goals is nearly endless.

I'm sure you headed my suggestion and did write down each of your goals. At this near midpoint in the year, it is the perfect time to review those goals and assess your progress on them. Are you making progress? Did you forget about some of them? Is one of them really giving you a hard time? If you’ve captured your goals and if you review them periodically you have the basis for a self tune-up or the makings of a good lesson with your tutor or the potential to take a private lesson when one of the “names” comes into town to give a workshop.

In addition, as you review your goals and your progress, make needed modifications. Goals are not chiseled in stone – this is a good opportunity to identify which of your goals was too easy, which are going to take more time than you initially thought, which goals were burning bright in the winter but now are not so attractive (yes, you can break up with some of your goals – just be sure you don’t break up with every goal!). Note the modifications you make to your goals and in an interval (maybe at the next solstice?) review and adjust again.
And remember that this grand goal setting is essential to see progress, but just as important is the small goal setting you need to do each and every time you sit down to practice. Be sure that those small daily goals will align to help you meet your big goals so that you are able to see progress.
And don’t forget to set and meet the goals to enjoy playing the harp and to share your gift with others.

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