Many years ago, my New Years Resolution was to not make any more New Years Resolutions. I never really got into them, seemingly arbitrary and easily forgotten. But I completely agree with setting goals and working towards them. It is pretty rare that I set goals for myself, but now I have one and I want to be SMART about it:
S – Specific (or Significant).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
What does that mean? It means there is no point setting an elusive or ambigious goal. "I want to have a better life" is a poorly written goal because it does not help or focus you. "I want to increase my income by 15% by the end of next year" is a much better goal. It is definite, it has a target and it has a time (and it is written down).
A few weeks ago, I inherited a guitar, an acoustic one. It is currently in transit, I should have it in my hands sometime next month. I had a drum kit and an electric bass guitar in the 90's but never got lessons or practiced. This time around, I want to learn how to play it, properly. With the caveat that I'm married with kids now so my budget is like... zero dollars. So no lessons. :(
On the plus side, this time around there is the internet and YouTube and a million and one tutorials available - for free!
So here is my first goal:
"I will learn to play three songs well, without notes, by 1st of December 2016."
With that, comes my secondary goal:
"I will practice for at least 15 minutes, at least 3 times a week."
But with that goal, I have two caveats - my preference will be to practice every day, but I have no idea what my schedule (or my families schedules) will be in the new year. Also, I have times when I have to travel for work and won't be able to take a guitar with me - so I wouldn't be able to practice then. Those trips will add up to months out of the year, which is why I set my first goal for twelve months away.