Sunday, January 09, 2011

Looking forward/ looking back 2

Time to look forward to the coming year.

2011 looking forward

With thanks to my lovely assistant susie mendelsson

Look back first to realise all the big mistakes you made, make a note of all those missed opportunities and unrealised dreams, then forward ho!

you can ask yourself ...

What am I expecting this year? What do I hope to achieve? What goals can I set myself? What resolutions shall I make? How can I be a better person/ singer/ choir leader? How can I lose weight and influence people?

But that all seems a little boring and old hat.

maybe you could ask ...

How can I have fun in 2011? How can I revitalise my singing world? How can I make a difference? How can I help more people laugh/ sing/ dance? What’s the highest note I can reach without my eyes watering?

two ways forward?

You saw last week how I failed quite miserably at quite a few of the goals I’d set myself for 2010. I feel bad about that. I had all good intentions, but somehow real life intervened.

If we don’t want to fail miserably, I reckon we have two choices:

  1. set more realistic, achievable goals; or
  2. make sure we definitely achieve the goals we set

The first option is a bit of a cop out I feel. We’re simply setting the bar deliberately low so we know we’ll reach it. Even though we might realise our goals, it won’t give us much satisfaction or stretch us or help us to grow and develop.

The second option seems a bit harsh. It might mean being hard on ourselves and focusing too much on our goals rather than getting on with life. Most people fail to keep up with their New Year resolutions any way so it’s pretty hard to insist that we stick to them when others can’t.

what are goals for any way?

OK, setting goals at this time of year is a bit of a cliché. However, I do believe that it’s good occasionally to take stock of where we’re heading and how we’re going to get there, whether it’s at the turn of the year or otherwise. So maybe you might want to come back to this post when the time is right for you.

  • Goals give us something to aim for and work towards. Which is why lots of choirs end up performing. Sometimes it’s not enough to just do something, we need to show what we’ve done or have some kind of result or outcome.
  • Goals (whether we achieve them or not) give us a yardstick to measure our own development and improvement over the years (otherwise we might not notice how good we’ve become).
  • Goals are an indication to other people that we’re taking what we do seriously. And letting other people know that we have an objective in mind helps us to achieve it (we don’t like letting people down now that we’ve made our goal public).
  • Goals are a bit like shining a bright light off into the future. We might not end up exactly where we’d intended, but the light illuminates the path for us and helps us on our way.
  • Goals focus the mind and help to remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing, and where we were headed in the first place.

maybe there’s a third way (apologies to Tony Blair)

Instead of watering down our aspirations (option 1) or giving ourselves a hard time (option 2), there might be an alternative approach.

Dream away. Fantasise about your perfect (singing) life (it is a singing blog after all). Imagine being famous/ successful/ top of your game/ number one/ internationally respected/ whatever. Picture yourself exactly where you want to be (which may or may not involve pool sides and lithe, scantily clad gorgeous people).

Now set some goals to achieve those dreams. Don’t worry how unrealistic/ crazy/ daft/ pointless/ arrogant/ scary they are.

Your job is then to go into 2011 open-minded and full of optimism with these goals at the back of your mind. They will inform your journey over the next 12 months.

You may not achieve all of them, but they will help you on your way.

Don’t give yourself a hard time if it looks like you’ll fall short; don’t ignore them entirely, but equally don’t focus on them too much or they’ll get in the way.

share your goals

Goals are there to help you. And if you feel like sharing them with us, we’ll certainly cheer you on and encourage you on your way.

Drop by and leave a comment with your aspirations for 2011 and you’ll hear our approval from way over here where we live.

Good luck!

(By the way, if you receive these posts by email, you’ll find a little ‘comment’ link right at the bottom. Just click on that and it will take you to the blog where you can leave a comment. That’s much better than just emailing me because everyone will be interested in what you have to say, not just me!)


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