When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions there are, generally speaking, two types of person:
A) List making optimists
B) Heckling cynics
However, in this instance it doesn’t matter which you are. We’ve got the method. We’ve got the knowledge. We’re going to make sure this year – your musical New Year’s Resolutions will stick and by the end of it you’ll be a rock/pop/classical/contemporary/experimental/baroque/chamber music LEGEND.
Vaguery is definitely a symptom of a New Year’s Eve hangover, and it’s in the spirit of this that some people’s resolutions are created.
‘Do something .. better?’
‘Make things.. nice?’
‘Finish things off?’
This simply won’t cut the mustard anymore my friends. You need to determine specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals.
Define exactly what it is you’re trying to do – so that’s 20 scales a day – or an hour of theory – or three laps around the garden playing ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’.
Once you’ve got down your target and the specifics of that, a great way of making sure you stick to your guns is to track your progress. This means notes, diaries, logs, blogs and updates. Once you’ve got a map of your progress, you can figure out where you get stuck.
So, that means if a second verse of Shania Twain’s ‘Man, I Feel Like A Woman’ has got you all of a dither then you know what you need to be working on.
Progress is often not something which can be achieved speedily – it’s something which requires building slowly and deliberately over time. You will not see your glissandos becoming suddenly virtuoso-esque over night. Progress is not a linear process.
Remember making lasting changes takes considerable time and effort. Resistance is an inevitability – take your timeOkay, it might seem a little ‘Look @ Me!’ but social media is a great tool for genuinely improving yourself, not just looking as though you might be improving yourself.Get on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter (or even better.. get on OURS) and show how you’re progressing.
A little bit of a video never hurt, an image of you with your guitar showing the immense bond that’s being established. You know the drill: #NewYearNewMe #MusicForever #Etc
There’s a great deal that can be said for the power of a consistent routine – even if that routine involves eating a piece of raw kale at exactly 11.30 AM every morning. It will eventually make a difference and positive habit forming is a wonderful thing indeed. You can actually get ADDICTED to doing good things – whether that’s giving to charity or eating raw shredded carrots for dinner.
How to achieve this? Put in the diary. 11.30 AM every day sit yourself down and do 15 minutes of scales. You’re not going to be doing anything else, admit it. You’ll feel a whole world better afterwards.Trust us.
It’s not the measure of a person how well they deal with success, it’s how they deal with failure. Prepare yourself to slip up and have to pick yourself back up. Don’t see it as the end of the line if you miss a day of flute practice – it happens. Just do it tomorrow and keep calm and carry on *cringe*…
If you want some more guidance why not have a look into the crash course book for piano, guitar and bass (if this is your instrument of choice, obviously) which helps you do pretty much all of the above with handy notepads, reminders and all sorts of wonders:
Check out the rest of the series here.