We had a poll in our public Facebook group last week. The poll was:-
So how do we all feel about where we are right now as a musician, and an adult learner?
And these were the results:-
So, the most popular response to the survey was that there never seems to be enough time. I want to do more but it never seems to be enough time. I did a live video here in response to this, if you’d prefer to watch.
This is something that we see a lot with our adult learners. Everyone has their own experience, but often, people have been either nibbling away for a long time at something like guitar, or they’ve hit a bit of a plateau or they’ve had a massive break. Perhaps they used to do music when they were young and then life and houses and babies and all the rest of it got in the way and they’re just returning to it now. Often that’s when people come to see us.
Now whether or not people actually choose to have lessons is beside the point. I’m just going to talk about the time management issues.
SMART Goal Setting..
There is always something else to do nowadays.
So, one of the things that can make you feel like there’s never enough time is not being organized with specific goals and not practicing/rehearsing on a regular basis. Now when I say ‘regular basis’ that could be once a month; it doesn’t have to be necessarily a lot of time, but the consistency goes a really long way. There are people who we’ve worked with who see us once a month and that once a month is just enough to keep them ticking over. But that doesn’t have to be a lesson. That could be you just making an evening or a date with yourself that on this day at this time you’re going to lock myself away in my room. You could go to an open mic night, you could make a date to have a jam with some friends. If you’re looking for people, and you don’t have anybody who plays, use the group to get to know other people.
There’s a whole group of people here who love music all roughly from the same area. The vast majority of people in this group are from Hampshire (I believe) and just start conversations and getting to know people. There are plenty of people around and it’s never been easier to make contacts and meet people.
Being overwhelmed and not knowing what to do can be a massive passion killer. One of the things that I do with my students that it’s really powerful and leads to a great sense of fulfilment very quickly, is setting very specific goals.
If you feel overwhelmed..
First of all if you do relate to this and you are feeling completely overwhelmed, sit down and brainstorm all of the things that you would like to do.
This is something that I periodically do when there are 50 zillion things I want to do and I haven’t got enough hours in the day. Brainstorm all of the things that you would like to do and pick one. Pick one thing and set yourself a goal so when you set yourself a target think about making it SMART.
You may have heard this term “SMART goal setting” in a work environment. That means Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound.
A goal is a dream with a deadline…
You’ve possibly heard the phrase “a goal is a dream with a deadline”. If you make it small, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound it’s much more likely to get done. So, for example, perhaps the situation is that you don’t have any time, maybe all of these things are way too much, and there’s just too much to do and you haven’t picked up your guitar in a zillion years.. A SMART goal would be perhaps to Maybe find an open mic night you might like to go to within the next six weeks and see when you can make it along. The goal is to find somewhere within six weeks, not necessarily go, but see when you might be able to go, and get it in the diary. That’s an example of something that you can tell whether or not it’s been done. You set yourself a target, that is specific, measurable and time bound.
S – Specific – one specific thing you’d like to improve.
M – Measurable (can you tell whether it’s been achieved or not?)
A – Achievable (I want to learn all the notes on my fretboard by next weekend – not reasonable)
R – Realistic (I want to be the next taylor swift in my 60s – nope)
T – Time Bound – what is the deadline ? ‘When I get round to it’. Pick a date and a time.
Not having any specific goals it’s the quickest way to achieve little to nothing.
We set our members a challenge to set themselves a SMART goal and post it on our public Facebook page here. You can join the party if you’d like. Just click on the link and post your SMART goal.
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