I practiced 252 hours. That's less than 25% of my goal. BUT..... that one goal took me on the ride of my life. My 2016 looks drastically different than 2015....
Top of 2015
-My skill level was WAY further behind what it should have been
-Had minimal experience music directing a large group of musicians
-Was not very confident in my skill level, particularly in a live setting
-Lived in Oak Park, IL (where I was for 5 years)
-The musical portion of my career was pretty much on pause
Top of 2016
-Drastic improvement in my skill level; very comfortable playing in most keys
-Got almost a year's worth experience music directing a band for a major international ministry
-Much more confident playing live and using new software (Ableton Live)
-Moved to Homewood, IL (new church home)
-Exploring exciting new musical opportunities
-*Bonus... I'm expecting my first child in May! :)
All of that came out of accomplishing 25% (not even half) of one goal of practicing for 1,000 hours! How? What made that particular goal so significant?
1. GOD placed the goal on my heart.
No, I didn't have a group of angels visit me at night, nor did I hear some mystic voice while reading my Bible. But I had an unshakable sense of knowing that this was something I was supposed to do. My motive was to be in a better position for God to use me and to steward the gift he gave me much better than I had previously. I believe since the goal that was placed on my heart by God, there was supernatural assistance available to help me progress. As well, I believe the goal is connected to God's ultimate plan for your life, as this one obviously was. The subsequent opportunities that opened for me were a part of God's plan; he just used the goal to "lure me into" the direction he had for my life.
2. The goal required full engagement.
Showing up in the practice room day in and day out required more from me than I realized! Even being a musician for nearly 20 years, it was very challenging for me to show up. I fell off track many weeks. Sometimes I got frustrated with myself when I couldn't master a technique. Sometimes I felt like the practicing was going nowhere. Many times I just didn't feel like practicing! The process of showing up and practicing worked many "character muscles" like patience, discipline and perseverance.
3. The goal lead me into new areas and opportunities for growth.
If nothing happened, I would still be a much better musician, and more capable of serving people with my gift. However, the opportunities that opened up for me have caused me to meet and connect with new people and awaken other areas of my talents. Serving as a music director caused me to wake up my talents in leadership, audio editing and strategy. So, I grew in more areas than playing scales correctly!
So, in your creative journey in 2016, select goals that will rock your world also! What am I aiming at this year? Something similar to 2015:
Practice Piano for 500 hours.
I still believe I am supposed to eventually hit that 1,000 hour marker! So much was uncovered as I started down this path, so I'm going to keep going unless otherwise directed. I'm just really excited to see what will unfold as I keep walking down this path... and of course I'll share it with you!
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