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A New Year, New Goals

Happy 2019 everyone! I truly hope this is the year you all see more success and growth, both professionally and personally, than you ever have.

As you know (if you’ve been reading my blog) I think setting goals are a crucial part of anyone’s long term planning. Check out my more specific post on goals if you haven’t yet. Since this was the first week of lessons of 2019, I talked to most of my students about setting a long-term goal. Something that I quickly realized was that many were setting pretty underwhelming goals for themselves. They didn’t fully grasp what a long-term goal really means. For me, a long-term goal is one that involves the risk of failure. Anybody can learn 3 pieces of music in 12 months, but only the dedicated can learn 3 pieces of music to the level at which they can record them. Anybody can learn 20 minutes of music, but only the dedicated will learn 20 minutes of music and then play a gig at a coffee shop. I 100% believe you have to risk failure to have a worthy long-term goal.

With that being said, I thought I’d share some of my long-term goals for 2019.

1st– My top priority is improving how I balance my personal and work life. For me, work doesn’t stop when I get home from teaching or when I finish my assistantship duties for the day. It includes the 3-5 hour daily practice sessions, the research and writing for my dissertation, the social media posts, the emails to students and concert presenters, the organization and planning of an international music festival, and the various side projects I have at any given time. Balancing that with being father and husband is a tricky thing. I drastically improved in 2018 but I have a lot more growing to do in 2019, especially now that we are expecting our third daughter any day. Other people do it and I have the same 24 hours a day that they do, it’s time to finally get this balancing act figured out.

2nd – My number one professional priority is to finish my doctorate. Now that I’m ABD (All But Dissertation) I’m in a place where I just have to play guitar and write about guitar in order to graduate. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be done with everything by December 11thof this year. On my way to Dr. Taylor…

3rd– This blog. My goal is to get two or more posts published every month. That’s a minimum of 24 posts a year. I’ve loved writing these so I’m committing to making it more consistent. Ideally, I’d write one a week but with everything else I have going on I need to be a bit conservative with this goal. I’ve got plenty of topics in mind but if you as the reader have anything you’d like me to address just let me know! Send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll take it from there! I love having your feedback.

4th– Recordings. With a minor in audio technology you’d think I would do more in this area, right? Well, I haven’t done anything here in a while, so I have some exciting news I’ll be updating you all with in the near future!

5th– Social media. I’m fortunate to have a very supportive social media following but I acknowledge that I don’t do enough for you all. My goal here is to have more variety of posts including practice videos, short lesson videos, recording reviews etc… If you don’t already, I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. I’ll be keeping each of those accounts updated with slightly different content so stay tuned!

Those are my goals. Here’s the important part: I am at risk of failing every single one of them.If I slack off at all I won’t be able to balance everything. If I don’t prepare my pieces well enough, I can’t record. If I don’t make myself create content, I won’t post. If I don’t take the hour or two to write my blog post, it won’t be published. If I don’t spend time contacting concert presenters, I definitely won’t book any performances. However, the common risk factor for all these things is time. I have to plan ahead, organize my strategies, and execute over and over and over again on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

I’m excited to start this journey and I can’t wait to share my successes and failures with you!

As always, if you found this post helpful or inspiring hit that like button, leave a comment, and share the link with your friends, family, and colleagues.

- JB

PS – It’s a bit late but here’s a short video I posted of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” One of my favorite Christmas tunes.


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