C’mon.  You know you love it.  It’s January and time for those yearly goals of exercising, eating better, and practicing your flute more. Many have heard of SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Using SMART tools has proven to be successful in achieving goals.

Let’s look at an example. GOAL: I want to get better at playing the flute. What’s the problem with this? Too broad, not specific, doesn’t state how to measure progress or why it’s important, nor does it specify a time goal with it.

Instead, try something like this…

GOAL: I want to get better at playing the flute by learning and memorizing the 12 major scales in at least one octave (specific) by the end of the semester which is 18 weeks from now (timely). To reach this goal, I will need to learn one scale each week (measurable). I can do this by practicing the first 5 notes repeatedly ascending and descending, then gradually add one more note to the scale pattern until I’ve reached all 8 notes (achievable). Each week I will continue to review, or practice repeatedly, the scales I’ve previously learned and spend the consecutive weeks to start memorizing. By learning and memorizing the 12 major scales, it will strengthen my overall technique as well as improve my sight reading ability which will give me a more solid foundation as a musician (realistic).

Choose your goal. Then ask yourself, “Is this Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely?” Write it down. A goal not written down is only a dream. I find that writing down a goal and putting it somewhere so I can refer to it often, ensures greater success.

Have confidence that you can achieve it. Don’t give up if it gets hard. Adjust or modify your goal part way through if needed. Keep trying. You can do it!!

Before long, you will be living proof of GOALS.

G – Great. O – Outstanding. A – Amazing. L – Laudable. S – Satisfaction of striving for new heights. Now set another goal, keep it SMART and continue along the welcoming path of self improvement.

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