There are so many approaches to goal setting. I’ve always been fond of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) but over the years I’ve honed this to create my own system, the “5W”
How to choose a goal
A goal needs to have importance to your life. I subscribe to the “Goldilocks” system of goal setting- not too hard, not too easy, but enough to challenge you and keep you engaged in the long-term.
What *exactly* are you trying to achieve with this goal?
Write out your goal in one sentence, and BE SPECIFIC i.e. “I want to expand my vocal range by five full tones” not “I want to improve my singing”
Why is this goal important to you?
Once you’ve hit this goal, how will your life be different? i.e. “I will be able to sing more challenging materials. I will be able to perform more complex roles, giving me more hiring capabilities.”
To help clarify your “why”, picture what a normal day looks like after you have achieved your goal. How is it different from your current day-to-day life? Reaching a goal won’t revolutionize everything in our lives, but aspects of it should absolutely make you feel better!
Who, besides myself, does my goal affect?
Who may I need to look for support from aka “my support team”? i.e. voice teacher.
Who may be upset by the changes I’m making?
For example, maybe you live with a fellow singer who may be jealous of your new accomplishment. Or perhaps you have a partner who will feel left out if you are choosing a voice lesson or rehearsal over a date night. We’ll be talking about saboteurs later this month, but it’s good to identify all parties now who are invested in your success.
What is a realistic timeline for me to reach my goal?
Obviously, you’re not going to magically increase your singing range overnight, but 6 months may be achievable. Pick a date- put it on every calendar you own; on your phone, the family calendar on the fridge, EVERYWHERE. Now, pick one day each WEEK that you are going to “check in” on your goal. Life can get crazy, we all know that, so a simple reminder each week may give you the motivation to keep working towards what you want to achieve. We’ll talk about goal check-ins and mini goals later in the series.
What’s standing in my way?
Lastly, and it’s a thinker- why have you not achieved your goal previously? List at least three “reasons”; this may help you identify future barriers to achieving your goal. If it does, what can you do to push past those when they occur?
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