Happy New Year! What are your guitar goals for 2013?

English: A classic guitar headstock, showing t...
The start of a new year. Always a good time to take “stock”. Just like this.  Geddit?! Hah hah! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope you enjoyed a fantastic Christmas and New Years break. Now back to work!

Before I delve into today’s post, thank you very much to those of you who took the time to respond to the survey at the end of last year – brill! Your responses, thoughts and ideas have been taken on board by yours truly and will be used to shape the blog moving into 2013. And as a result of this I’ll still be posting twice a week (the vast majority of you liked twice-weekly postings), but I’ll be changing the days up to Mondays and Thursdays (rather than Wednesdays and Saturdays as we did in 2012). So here we go!

Time to take stock

At the start of a brand new year, it’s a good time to take stock and think about what we’d like to achieve in the coming twelve months. So, a key question to ask right about now is what are your goals with the guitar for this year?

Perhaps you want to take lessons for the first time? Or take lessons again after a bit of a hiatus?

Perhaps there’s a piece or pieces that you really want to learn? Or you want to perform a favourite piece for others for the first time?

Do you want to increase your technical proficiency? Really wrap your fingers around some scale runs or slurs?

Is there an exam that you’ve been thinking about – is 2013 time to take the plunge and enter yourself for it?!

More recitals? Start a duo? Do some recording? Save the pennies (or raid the piggy bank!) and treat yourself to a top-notch new guitar? Join a guitar ensemble? Start paying your knowledge and experience forward and start teaching?

I’m sure there are many more that you could add to this list. Spend a bit of time and have a good ol’ think about it – what would you like to achieve with the guitar in 2013?

I know what I’d like to do – what now?

First things first, I’d say get it out of your head and written down. This acts to make it a bit more solid and “real, rather than something that you might do.

Write at the top of a sheet of paper, or the top of a fresh new page in your favourite notebook the following heading:

It is December 31st 2013 and I have had the most awesome year with the guitar ever! This is what I got up to…..

What I want you to do now is to imagine it’s 11:50pm on December 31st 2013 and you’re reflecting back on everything you’ve done, pieces you’ve been working on, exams, recitals, playing scales, technical wizardry and so on. Write this all down and be super specific – how did it feel, what did it look like?

Break it down

Well, twelve months can seem like an awful long way away when sat right here in January. Not really real, in a way. And if you’re not careful time can slip by and before you know it it’s already November 2013 and how close are you to the goals you set in January? Hmmm…. My advice to make sure you stay on track is to break your goal or goals down into more manageable, more tangible chunks.

And four lots of 90 days is a reasonable size chunk to break a twelve month or similar long-range goal down into. You might want to work backwards from your goal end date and work out what you want or need to have achieved 90 days before the end date, and then what you need to have achieved in the 90 days before that, and the 90 days before that and then in the first 90 days leading to your twelve month end goal.

Say it loud, and say it proud!

And then give voice to your goals. An excellent way of doing this is to talk it through with your teacher. They’ll be able to help you with the best strategy for achieving your desired goals. And if you’re having trouble defining something to aim for this year your teacher, I’m sure, will have numerous ideas to help you out. I know I’ll be chatting through with my own students, as they return to lessons in the next couple of weeks, what they have in mind for the next twelve months and what exciting things we can do and explore together in 2013!

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