5 tips for making resolutions work for you!

Written by Chevon Gilzene

It’s that time of year again! We counted down to 2016 with our list of things we plan to change this year. Most people have resolutions like “exercise” or “eat healthy,” but for music students that list may include things like “practice more,” “study harder,” “don’t procrastinate,” or even “go to class.” While New Year’s resolutions are often laughed at by the end of January when most of us have given up, the new year presents the perfect opportunity to rethink your daily schedules if you do it right. With juries this semester, new courses, and end of year concerts in the near future, the best time to think about scheduling is now. Here are some tips for making and sticking to a your new year’s resolutions.

1. Make your goals specific.
“Practicing more” is too vague, which makes it difficult to achieve. Setting your goal as “practicing for 2 hours everyday” or “exercising for half an hour, three times a week” makes it easier for you to see how you are improving throughout the year.

2. Make short term goals to aid in your long term goals.
Having marking points makes it easy to evaluate what you are succeeding at and what still needs work. Celebrate when you meet small goals to keep you motivated, and forgive yourself if you miss a goal.

3. Make realistic goals.
If your new year’s resolutions are unrealistic, they become easy to give up on. A goal like “change the world” is nice in theory, but unrealistic for one person to do in a year. Try a smaller goal that will lead to a change in the world. “Create a charity” or “feed the homeless on Saturdays” is more realistic.

4. Make a schedule.
Setting specific, short term, realistic goals gives you the benefit of being able to then add them into your schedule. When making your schedule, make sure that you start with static events, like classes, rehearsals, and your mother’s birthday dinner before scheduling in practicing or studying time.

5. Stick to your schedule.
Making a schedule is great, but it means nothing if you don’t use it. At first you may find it difficult to remember your schedule, but once it becomes a habit, it will be second nature.