As the New Year approaches, we turn our thoughts to resolutions and goals. I start thinking about my goals around Thanksgiving, because before I can make any goals for next year, I need to take stock of the year I’m finishing. What did I do, or didn’t I do? Did I achieve my goals for this year? Do I want next year to be more of the same, or do I want something different? The answers to these questions can be found in the hard numbers of what I did this year.
Here’s how my year looked in some of the areas that I was focusing my efforts on:
The blog: I wrote 120 posts this year, totaling over 60,000 words, enough for a decent-sized novel. My readership increased by over 300%, and I successfully launched my first “Etude a Day Challenge.”
Sheet music arrangements: I wrote 12 new arrangements this year. This is more than in the past, but I still would like to beef up that number in the future.
Solo and chamber recitals: I performed 26 actual recitals this year. Of course, I had many other performances of different types, plus my studio and university teaching, but these were not areas where I had particular goals for this year. I did have some personal goals as well, some of which I met, others of which I still need to work on.
Looking at these results, I can begin to make plans for the new year. Although I haven’t settled on the hard numbers for my goals yet, I know a few things I am definitely going to work on:
- Three Challenges during the year
- Develop structured online harp coaching programs
- Create (and keep!) a regular schedule for arranging and publishing
- Finish my music theory books
- Start a “Take Action Tips” weekly e-newsletter for blog subscribers
Plus, I have some personal goals and some goals for my harp playing as well.
Here are some things you should keep in mind as you make your 2014 goals:
1. Know where you are starting from. Without a base line measurement, you won’t have a clear idea of how much you need to accomplish.
2. Make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited. This well-known formula will help you create goals you can actually achieve.
3. Make a list of the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Break down that huge goal into small, manageable steps and schedule them on your calendar.
4. Keep a written record of your progress. This is important for keeping you on track, for helping you celebrate milestones on your way, and for year-end results measuring.
5. Set a date every month when you will check on your progress. Note it on your calendar. This will help to keep your goal in front of you, so you don’t forget what you want to achieve.
What did you achieve this year, and what will you do in 2014?