You are not the only person to create a new year’s resolution and drop it after a short time. This is a universal challenge for humanity. There is a reason we abandon our plans, and there is a solution to succeed this year. We have already seen the advice, which is always the same:
#2 Get an accountability partner
Even after setting a SMART goal and getting an accountability partner, chances are the result is usually the same: We abandon our goal shortly into the new year.
Something key needs to change if you are serious about hitting your goal this year. Yes, you do need to make SMART goals, and yes, you do need an accountability system. But, if your PLAN does not work, then chances are you will be abandoning your goal again.
A plan is the setting up of a framework to help you achieve your goal. It should consist of an accountability system, day-to-day events, and other logistical items and actions that will guide your efforts to attain your goal successfully. The plan is the strategy you create to ensure you accomplish your goal.
First, we need to identify our goal and assess whether it is a SMART goal. Once you have a goal, you need to devise a plan to achieve that goal, and your plan has to produce results.
Let’s go through the process together to see how it works. I have a goal to improve how well I sight-read sheet music at the piano. My first step is to turn my goal into a SMART goal.
I have worked on this goal in the past and have found some success. For example, four years in a row, I wanted to improve my Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) score to 1,000. Unfortunately, I failed 3 years in a row, and then just last year, I finally succeeded.
I realized that my goal was good and did fit the SMART goal criteria, but my plan didn’t stand a chance of success.
Notice how my goal met the Smart goal criteria.
Specific - Instead of saying I wanted to improve my sight-reading, I said I wanted a 1,000 on the SASR.
Measurable - Each time I take the SASR test, it gives me a concrete score so I can see my progress.
Achievable - I knew I could reach 1,000 if I put my mind to it.
Relevant - It was a goal I really wanted, and I was motivated to get it.
Timely - December 31st was my deadline.
Finally, in 2022 I achieved my goal and scored a 1,027 on the SASR exam. I was on cloud nine! Such jubilation filled my soul that I could hardly contain my excitement. I noticed that not only did my score increase, but I really did get better at sight-reading.
Unfortunately, I did not succeed because my plan was good. No, it was dumb luck. The right opportunity came along at the right time. The opportunity was the Classical Challenge that Piano Marvel hosted last May. I went through 580 classical excerpts. It’s all I wanted to do every day for a month. It was like an addiction! I remember waking up at 3:00 AM several mornings and sneaking into the piano to pass off more classical excerpts. When the challenge was over, I took the SASR test multiple times, and for the first time ever, it was easy to pass 1,000.
Although last year it was dumb luck, this year I know how to hit my goal. Creating a PLAN that works is the key.
This year I am going to be innovative and create a plan that will work. So let’s go through the process of strategizing a plan to meet my new goal for 2023.
My SMART GOAL: Reach the Master's Level with an 1146 SASR score by December 31, 2023.
Reaching an 1147 SASR score is a challenging goal, but I know I can do it with effort. I must consider consistency, accountability, and enjoyment when creating the plan. I must also have small goals (benchmarks) along the way that show improvement.
With those things in mind, I will look at the tools at my disposal for improving sight-reading. Because I found such success with the Classical Challenge in Piano Marvel, I will plan around the challenge specifically. The challenge is happening in April this year, which will be the greatest opportunity to hit my goal. Instead of waiting for the Classical Challenge, I will do good, consistent work in advance.
In January and February, I will take the SASR every day. I will do the Films/Shows Challenge in March, and in April, I will do the Classical Challenge. Because I do not want to bite off more than I can chew, I won’t plan beyond April. On May 1st, I will reassess where I am and make any revisions and plans necessary to hit my goal.
Of course, getting an accountability partner who holds me accountable will improve my chances of success. But, even more importantly, my plan needs to account for daily reminders. I need the goal to be visible and on my mind EVERY day. The plan will work if I make it part of my daily routine. An accountability partner can help with that, but in the end, most accountability partners give up too, because we forget to make the daily routine a significant part of our plan.
So here is my plan for making it a daily routine with my accountability partner. I will report via text to my accountability partner Monday - Friday (except for vacation days). In January and February, I will show my SASR score for the day. At the beginning of each week, I will share a chart of the last week's scores.
My plan is solid and has a good chance of success. If you want to follow my journey this year, I would be happy to share my weekly progress with you.
I wish you the best as you strategize and implement your plan to reach your goals this year.
In Celebration of the New Year, we are offering a 2-month premium subscription for only $20.23. This sale is only available for the Month of January. Visit our store to shop now.
See below for more tools to help you achieve your SASR Goals in 2023:
Connect with Fellow Piano Marvel Students or Teachers in our Facebook Groups:
2023 Piano Marvel Challenge Schedule:
January: Take the 30-Day SASR Challenge (Take a SASR test every day in the month of January to see how you improve)
February: (2-week challenge): Love Songs Challenge
March: Film/Shows Challenge
April: Classical Challenge
May: Pop Challenge
June: Jazzy June
July (2-week challenge): Patriotic Challenge
August: Hymns Challenge
September: Lessons Challenge
October: Halloween Challenge
November/December: Christmas Challenge
Cami Davis from Piano Panacea Made this Piano Goals Planner for 2023 and is letting us share it with you!