Beyond New Year's Resolutions / by Anne Lanzilotti

New Year's Day is a time for reflection and forward thinking. For artists, this is a chance to evaluate past work and scheme about exciting new projects. Angela Beeching's book, Beyond Talent, gives young musicians wonderful advice for setting and following through with goals.

Using her system of making yearly, monthly, and weekly To Do lists related to longterm goals has been essential for making progress in writing my dissertation and keeping up with course planning, while still following through with creative projects.

Here's a lovely exercise from her blog:

Happy New Year’s! To help celebrate your own “BEST OF 2015” list and to motivate you to make yours a great 2016, complete this mini 5 self-survey:
1. List three projects you engaged in this past year that got you excited about life:
2. Name five things you did this past year that made you feel proud:
3. List the top three risks you took in 2015 — challenges you said “yes” to.
4. Name the most important thing you learned about yourself this past year:
Take a moment to reflect on your responses.
5. Now, fast forward to one year from today. What three accomplishments do you want to be able to look back on and celebrate having completed in 2016? 
Hint: Be specific — list measurable goals. (No general or vague goals such as “to be healthier,” “to exercise more,” or “to do more networking.”)
Examples of measurable and specific goals: to book 10 performances for your ensemble; to shoot, edit, and post a 3 minute video promoting your teaching; to raise 10K for recording your new album; to apply for 15 jobs; to double your performance income; or to complete a 60K word book manuscript.
For this week: What will you achieve by the end of 2016 — list three specific and measurable outcomes.