how will I grow in 2010?

Ariel Hyatt, author of (among other things) “Music Success in Nine Weeks” has a CyberPR blogging contest running and I thought participating would be a good way to start the new year off right.

Step one of the contest is to buy the book. I already had it – I’d purchased it at a music conference in late 2008. I’d gone through it then and done some of the things she recommends. But that was months ago and I think it’s a grand idea have another look. Get motivated, think clearly, be the architect of my own success.

Step two of the contest is to blog your experience as you work through the book. So here I go.

Well, even though I’d read the book before and I know I had worked on various things in it… I really liked reading the first chapter again. “Getting Mentally Prepared” talks about creating visions and goals for the next year and for your lifetime. I like Ariel’s idea of getting away from the computer and creating a vision board for yourself with colours and shapes. The act of physically writing something down seems to keep it in my mind longer. I work better if I have my tasks and goals outlined and in front of me. I spent some time thinking about the chapter and thinking about my goals for 2010.

Over the course of the year I will:

-work through Ariel Hyatt’s “Music Success in Nine Weeks” book
-complete the tutorials for Cubase Studio 5
-take lessons/learn a new instrument (perhaps violin)
-learn the fingering for flute, oboe, trumpet & sax on my wind controller
-work through Robin Fredericks “Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting” book
-participate in Bob Baker’s “Advanced Music Marketing” course

-work through David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” again
-get a safety deposit box for back-up discs & paperwork
-establish good routines
-be the best teacher/mentor I can be
-keep timesheets for each track I work on
-keep track of time spent on various tasks so can streamline
-at the end of each day, write down 5 successes for that day; and write down 6 tasks to do the following day to assist in moving towards my goals (this is from Ariel’s book)

-write and sign 100 tracks
-write/record/produce my first LOTR-inspired album
-catch-up or bow out of outstanding co-writes due to pressures of work

-swim 3 or more times per week
-eat healthy
-stay in touch with family & friends
-keep up with the house
-get that dental work done

~MONEY 2010
-pay off 2 more debts
-save for travel & business needs
-make $2,000 from music placements

-work on artwork for late summer show
-attend life drawing regularly for inspiration & practice

-keep up with my blog
-keep a file of ideas and musings for my book

Ariel also suggests coming up with lifetime goals, and I wrote several down, things like: be debt free by 2012; write one or more books based on what I teach; write & produce several albums; have 200 tracks signed by middle of 2012; be on TV; have music in films I adore; overcome past programming and SHINE; work to be a well-respected composer; be a good friend. I suppose I could add it's my dream to spend a month in Paris, just renting a place & taking in the ambience; and spend a month in Florence doing the same; and be able to winter in California & spring/summer/fall at home ;)

dance in the elevator

“When did you start studying voice,” one of my students asked me this week. She’s feeling anxious about an upcoming birthday (we seem to be especially aware of any number ending in “0”).

I took my first lesson in 1990. But I wonder about saying, “I started ____.” Because that implies at some point you’ll say, “I ended ____.” Some things do end, of course, like university, or college, a job, or relationship. But creative things don’t end unless we stop doing them.

Still, I know how much I’ve grieved the passage of time and the little I’ve had to show for some of it. That’s one reason why I try to work hard on my dreams now.

Yesterday is yesterday, and, therefore, as far as we know, gone. For all our wishes and grief, there is no way we can relive it, except in our memories and dreams. Our regrets may be many but, like Scrooge in Dicken’s ‘Christmas Carol’, we can resolve to go forward with a different attitude. The past can motivate us to use our time better in the future.

I only have to spend a day in the company of my lively and active 87-year-old mother to know that lamenting my age now is a waste of energy. It is what it is. I can lie about it, but I can’t change the number of years I’ve lived. What I can change is my attitude about it. And I’ll tell you one thing for certain: the spirit inside you doesn’t age.

So I resolve to start every day. I strive to grow beyond my programming. I compare my unhappiness with those who are homeless, or sick, or those who live in war torn countries. I am grateful for the gifts that I have been given. No matter how ‘old’ or ‘young’ I am, I can walk my path, live my dreams as best I can, picking myself up and dusting myself off whenever I fall.

We can’t change the past, our mistakes, the good and the bad. Our lives are a series of startings, and IMHO the important thing is to start and keep starting, no matter how old we are, or what happened in the past. Courage is not an absence of fear, it is walking bravely into the unknown or struggling to overcome our issues and reprogram ourselves. It is possible for human beings to grow and change. The challenge is to do the work.

Let’s all resolve to make 2010 the year that we begin, and keep beginning. So that we feel we have not given our time to external things without supporting the creative spirit within. Find time to play, and to create, and to laugh, and to reach out to those around us with a smile or a helping hand. To vision our lives effectively and to keep working on our dreams, even if it is only in moments stolen from our other responsibilities. Sing in the shower, doodle on our to-do lists, dance in the elevator, drum on our desks, read poetry on the bus. It’s never too late.