January 4, 2017

Auld Lang Syne - Seven Ways to Reflect on 2016

It’s that time of year when we wrap up our celebrations and prepare for the year ahead.  2017 is already started and we have the opportunity to make it a great harp year.  We know it’s the time for goals and resolutions -- we might even have already made some.  If you haven’t, you’re probably feeling the pressure to get a move on and make at least one resolution for the coming year!

There’s a small problem with this though.  As the saying goes, how can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?  Where have you been? Reflection, even if brief, will allow you to glean from your past year how to best prepare (and conduct) the coming year.  Here are seven ways to reflect on the previous year and your harp playing.

          1. Interview yourself.  Ask specific questions about how 2016 went for achieving your goals and how you wanted the year to go.  Questions could include: 
               -- what did you do really well? of what are you most proud?
               -- what “do over” do you wish you were going to get?
               -- what’s the best thing you learned?
   -- what did you play that you wish you could have skipped?
   -- what did you just not get around to doing? 
2. Review your notes to see how your year went?
3. Review your calendar to see if your goals happened or if were they unrealistic, unmet, and driven by life or other events?
4. Review your lesson book or journal – there might be some real nuggets in there!  It’s blank? Really?!?  Consider actually writing to yourself this year. 
           5. Review your “what went well” answer, and refine it – what went well in a sustainable way that you'll be able to keep doing into the new year? 
           6. Map out what worked and what didn’t work for you.
           7. Note what you’re grateful for.  Gratitude is all the rage just now and it likely should be.  What lagniappe or serendipity happened in your harp playing this year? This will give you something to smile about.

This review does not need to be a long drawn out exercise.  Pour a cup of tea, pull up your journal (or a post it note!), think and reflect, and jot it down. It’s a great way to prepare for what’s coming!

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