Setting goals... and creating an action plan

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One of the things I have ever heard is the advantage of setting goals. This is something what I believe in, however I have realized I have not done it properly.

During my practice I usually work in some areas I want to develop. I design or take exercises to practice and to improve. Usually I keep track of my improvements. This has created in my mind the illusion that I have clear, defined goals. But it is not true. The thing is: I have wide, vague goals that guide my practice, but very few times I have set focused targets in my routine.

As a result of my reflective process in my own practicing, I have realized this fact. So I have decided to change it. Now, in my notes I usually set goals when I am working on a new exercise. These goals are clear, and specific: play a passage at a certain tempo, develop endurance keeping an exercise for X minutes, transcribe a solo in X days (being able to play it by hart)...

It seems I have taken the first step into the right direction... However, I have noticed that it is not enough. While I was revising my writings (my thoughts), and my practice journal, I have realized that there are some goals that remain written down, but I am not working towards them.

I am thinking about bring productivity strategies to my practice, but meanwhile I have to take action in these kind of issues. 

So, what can be the reason why I am not properly working on my goals?

The answer is simple. I have realized that, while I have set clear goals, I haven't set a so clear action plan, nor implemented it in my practice routine. So I know I have to work in a specific direction, but I don't have a clear route map. This means I am approaching my goal, but not as fast as I could.

This makes me think about the difficulty to stablish a routine... and the difficulty to change it! When I go to practice I stick to my usual exercises, and leave a few time to work in these new goals. I need to have a clear plan, and I have thought that the best tool for it is to write it down, so I can check it when preparing my next practice session, or just before start practicing. I need to know clearly what I am going to work on, and why.

There is also important not to try to do more things than I can. If I am working in one exercise for a long period of time, that means I am not able to work in too many exercises. So, there are some goals I have to pospone. I am thinking also in working alternating goals, something similar to alternating muscular groups when you go to a gym.

I think I can group my goals according to their characteristics, so I can play with these groups as I achieve some of the goals. This will be related with the productivity strategies I talked about...

I hope my own experience can help you if you are having the same kind of difficulties.

Thanks for visiting!

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