New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone reading this is having a good start to 2018.

Over the last few years, I had given up on New Years Resolutions. It felt like simply deciding something was a resolution meant I would fail to do it. However, in December I attended a webinar run by the Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU). It was called ‘Goal Setting for 2018’ and, as I use FEU training sessions to develop my career, I had assumed I would use what I had learned to set career goals. But I came away with so much more than that.

I thought I’d share how I used the tools from this webinar to set my own New Years Resolutions. Maybe you’re already finding it difficult to stick to your resolutions and this will help. Or maybe you’ll just find it interesting to see how I’m (hopefully) making sure I commit to my goals for the year.

Something that I took on board from the webinar was working towards one main goal. Sure, you could have lots of little goals, but if they don’t match the main goal you’re working towards then they’ll likely fall by the wayside. I took some time to think about what my main goal is at the moment and in the end it was fairly obvious…the thing I am working towards in my life right now is having a sustainable creative career. So, once I knew that I could set resolutions that would help me achieve that main goal.

The other important thing I learned from the webinar was that each goal had to be achievable and measurable. For example, instead of a resolution being “I want to read more books” you could say “I will aim to read at least 20 books in 2018”. That way, you have something concrete to work towards.

So, without further ado, here are my 2018 Resolutions:

  1. Have a clear idea about how much I am earning. I have made a chart to write my earnings and expenses in at the end of each month. This means that I can easily see how sustainable my career is in terms of finances.
  2. Play at least one scale on the violin a day paying attention to intonation. There are twelve keys and twelve months in a year, so I’ve given each month a scale. January is G, so every day this month I’m playing a G major scale. I’m concentrating on intonation because this has always been an issue for me in my violin playing. If I improve my tuning, I will feel more confident in performing on the violin and be able to use it more in creating music.
  3. Spend at least ten minutes practising the piano each day to learn Hindemith’s duodecima in F#. Okay, ten minutes isn’t that much, but the point of this is to get me at the piano. Once I’m there, I often don’t want to stop. Ten minutes turns into twenty, which turns into thirty, which turns into an hour. But I know that if I tell myself I have to do an hour’s practice, I will feel like I don’t have enough time. Ten minutes is much more achievable.
  4. Meditate and practise yoga for an average of five minutes a day. Notice that this doesn’t say every day…there are some days when I’ll have to prioritise music over everything else. So I’ve made a chart to tick off every five minutes I spend doing each of these activities. That way, I can make up for the very busy days when I have more time. I know that meditation and yoga are both good ways of getting me out of composers-block, so they will help me to be more creative this year.

Let’s see if I keep these up! We’ll find out next year…


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