Setting goals is a wonderful thing, but unless we have a clear vision they just become yet another thing on the to-do list. And, that’s when we end the day wondering what on earth we accomplished.
Before setting goals for my business, I ask myself these questions:
- What did I do well in my studio?
- Which goals did I reach & which ones fell by the wayside?
- What is my vision for the next part of the year & what will I do to make that vision a reality?
Having a vision of the end goal makes it much easier to stick with the hard work of actually reaching the end.
80 days of excellence
As you make (or tweak) your goals, I encourage you to check out Vicki Davis over at Cool Cat Teacher for her 80 Days of Excellence posts. I like Vicki’s no nonsense approach to teaching, great tech advice (she is a technology teacher), as well as her openness about sharing the tough times as well. The series helped me look at my goals & planning in a new light while making sure how I spent those 80 days was the right fit for me.
Below are links to the first few articles.
- 4 Tips for Setting Goals: How to be intentional about your goals & setting yourself up for success
- Making Time Count By Understanding the 2 Forms of Time: Balancing chronos time (chronological/quantitative) & kairos time (opportune moment/qualitative).
- 8 Great Ways to Develop Relationships: This is not specifically based on building client relationships. That being said, it’s great advice that can be applied to both personal & business relationships!
- Focus on Where You Are: Do you find studio life tends to flow into your home life & vice versa? I think it is something most of us struggle with from time to time (me included).
- Don’t Chase the Cat – Determining When Interruptions Are Worthwhile: This links back to chronos vs. kairos time while going further into how we can balance both aspects.
Types of goals
Over the year, I’ve set many goals for both myself & my businesses. They do tend to fall into the same categories: pedagogy/professional growth, health, technology & business.
To get you started, here are some examples you can use as you set yourself up for 80 days of excellence! Be sure to write down a set number of minutes, times, or items (i.e. number of books) for each goal so you can track if you have reached your end goal.
We always need to be learning, so having goals that remind us & encourage us are a must.
- Practice piano a set number of times per week
- Practice music theory as a refresher for you
- Attend MusicEdConnect conference (online conference)
- Read pedagogy, business or other books that teach me something
- Participate in local piano association events
- Test out a new repertoire book series
- Make time each week for a membership community (like Inner Circle)
- Create/find/use backing tracks with students
- Add practice strategies help for students
Count Rugen has it right in Princess Bride (at least in this one thing). “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”
- Exercise (i.e. yoga, pilates, exercise bands, gym, etc.) a set number of times per week.
- Drink water throughout the day
- Take a nap or meditate each day
- Make home-cooked meals a set number of times per week
- Commit to standing more as you work
- Do something that brings you joy (for me this includes composing)
- Add active activities during lessons
Little changes really do make a difference!
While technology can be overwhelming, start small! “Innovate like a turtle!” (Vickie Davis)
- Overhaul studio website
- Create an automated email sequence for prospective clients
- Learn how to hook my iPad to my TV
- Figure out how to create a repertoire list database
- Create YouTube playlists for students
- Host Facebook Live sessions for studio piano parents
- Notate compositions digitally
The joys of running our own studio can be overshadowed by the sheer amount of work to make it look effortless. But, choosing to batch tasks makes it a lot easier.
- Create a calendar (i.e. important dates in your studio, social media, units to cover in your studio, etc.)
- Write up & schedule newsletters for your studio
- Create & schedule automatic invoices for clients
- Create a (traveling) music lab
- Get testimonials from current clients to use in future advertising
- Marketing plan to get new students
- Batch your work
Setting goals for success
What will you choose for your 80 days of excellence?
Remember you don’t have to change everything at once. Choose ONE thing from each category … or, if it’s an especially busy time just choose ONE thing in total. That’s it.
In the comments below, share your goals or focus for the next few months. Let’s support each other in having the best year yet!
[NOTE: This is a rewrite of an article from Jan. 5, 2018. It has all the great ideas from before, plus more!]