The beginning of the year is always an exciting time: we still feel festive, energized by the well-deserved holidays and ready to make plans for the year ahead. We promise ourselves to get in the best shape of our life, eat clean, read more, save more money and the list goes on. Chances are, most of this year’s resolutions were already on last year’s list and some of them on the list we made the year before.
So, what can we do differently to ensure we stick to most of (if not all) our resolutions this time around?
Let’s Be SMART this year
We already know that lack of time and focus, procrastination and a bit of laziness can get in the way. So, one thing we can do to create a framework for success is to be smart and set for ourselves goals that are:
Let’s make a singing-related example. Wishing to become a more confident singer is definitely a goal, but formulated this way can be quite ambiguous. What if the goal was to be able to perform 3 songs in front of a live audience, 3 months from now? Now we’ve got a SMART goal: the goal is definitely specific and measurable. It feels realistic and achievable (planning to headline Wembley Stadium wouldn’t be!). And you set a timeframe for yourself for achieving your goal.
So far, so good. Now the question is: how do I make sure I successfully transition from setting a goal to actually achieving it? It’s a matter of reverse engineering, where you:
- Break down your goal into manageable chunks
- Set a timeline for the necessary intermediate steps
- Plan for setbacks
- Ditch (or progressively reduce) the distractions that can sabotage your plans
Work out your timeframe
Going back to our example, let’s consider your timeframe first. 3 months equal to roughly 13 weeks. Let’s allow 2 weeks for possible contingencies, which leaves you with 11 weeks in your hands to prepare for a flawless and confident performance.
Week 1 can be used to narrow down the list of potential songs for your performance to 10 songs and week 2 to try out the songs from your shortlist and pick the final 3. The first 2 weeks could also be used to do some research with regards to suitable venues, make contact or book a slot for your performance.
Use Week 3 to identify and start ironing out potential vocal challenges, on your own or with the help of a vocal coach. Allowing 2 weeks to master each of the songs seems perfectly reasonable. Weeks 10 and 11 could focus on stage technique to hone the visual part of your performance. Before you know it you’ve done all the necessary work and are now ready rock the stage!
This approach definitely sounds more like a plan and has a much higher likelihood of seeing you succeed in achieving your goals, music-related or not. It will also help you avoid the frustration of giving up on your resolutions as soon as the excitement for the new year starts to fade.
I hope this “method” will help you get more creativity into your life this year. And if you are planning to take your singing to the next level we can guide and assist you along the path to achieving your goals. Check out our 1-2-1 singing lessons, group singing lessons and get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
Happy New Year!