We start the year determined to become a better version of ourselves, often slipping back in a few months.
Most resolutions are set in the wrong direction.
For example, people shouldn’t “go on diets”. They should “change their diets”– eating healthy is a lifetime affair.
The following questions will get you thinking about whether resolution is too wimpy.
1. Is it an old problem?
Many music teachers worry about managing a studio and gaining students.
But, the thing you’re always worried about, that keeps you awake at night, is likely one of your easier challenges, because you are used to dealing with it.
If you can’t draw up a plan for this problem that you’ve already spent too much time pondering, then your goal is too wimpy and it won’t work.
If you can’t find time to practice piano, set aside 5 minutes of each day to sit down in front of the piano.
Each time I walk into a room to pitch an idea, I worry about how to deliver and how people will react. I’ve pitched hundreds of ideas and anticipating social reaction is a problem that I am used to dealing with.
So, for me, “learn how to pitch better” would be a wimpy goal. There is no way to measure the outcome and I’ve had a pen thrown in my face already.
Pick a goal where you will deal with something new, because your time is too valuable to dwell on the old.
2. Are you accountable?
If we chat about your resolution, would you be able to properly summarize your progress in one sentence?
You’re allowed to say that you’ve gained one music student this week by adding a yellow “Book an Interview” button to your website. But you can’t say that you are waiting for the right timing to talk to the school counsellor who will refer tons of students your way.
When you can talk to a friend about your goal, you’re good to go– it keeps you accountable and proves that you’re brave enough to cut to the core of the issue.
3. Is there a wider purpose?
If you find it hard to uphold a narrow goal for 365 days, perhaps follow an intention that helps you decide what area of music or business to work on. Think of it as a compass.
For example, if you own a music studio, your intention might be administration. In the first month, you might create standardized time sheets and require all the music teachers to submit them on time. The second month, you might start a weekly newsletter to stay in touch with parents. And so on– at the end of the year, your studio’s administration will be in much better shape.
I will be setting an intention for the next 12 months: community.
Each month, I will be working on a smaller goal that contributes to creating or growing community. I am still trying to decide on a goal for this month, but in March, I hope to launch a live design event to support and connect people who are interested in design.
4. Can you imagine it?
If you can imagine it, you can probably measure it.
Perhaps you will be able to play a prelude by Rachmaninoff, from memory, in front of one person.
On the other hand, “growing a business” is a goal for someone who can’t stand failing because it is too vague. How will you grow your business– gain x number of music students? Compose and sell y number of music books?
At the end of the day, your goal needs to be measurable.
5. Are you doing it because you want to?
The answer should be yes.
I am adding this last-minute because I realized that I’m only writing about resolutions because everyone else is doing so. But I’m not even bothering with a resolution this year. Mine is an intention.
So who cares if your resolution sucks? Make this year better than the last. Don’t strive for affirmation from another human being because you are better than that.
Each time you achieve something you’ve never done before, you are increasing human potential. Which, in the end, is what we all want.
What is your goal/intention this year? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!