Now that everyone has had a chance to catch up on all of my hopes and dreams of 2018, I thought I would roll out my goals and resolutions for 2019. You’ve probably guessed that I love making resolutions - they teach you so much about yourself and keep me motivated throughout the year. I try not to include things that are shallow and short-term goals (like lose 5lbs) so that even if I am in an unproductive slump, by the end of the year I can look back and see success. I really believe that baby steps over time can add up to something great.
I’ve trimmed the list considerably as, upon review, I realized that last year was a little lofty. Obviously I have some hold overs, but for the most part I’m getting rid of the resolutions that I keep trying for and falling short of (more bike riding, get a real job…blah blah blah) and just allow them to appear (?) when and if it is right rather than feeling like I’m failing at something repeatedly year after year. Sometimes you have to get rid of the old to make room for the new, right?
So without further ado, here are my goals and resolutions for 2019.
The Hold Overs
Write More - I want to be a more consistent journal keeper and blog writer, always have and always will want to improve at this, I think. Here are my writing output goals for anyone who feels like holding me accountable:
Active Violinist Blog Posts: minimum of 2 per month
corpSonore posts: 2 per month
Feel free to (kindly) nag me if you notice me falling short.
Must Write More, more often.
2 Active Violinist Posts/month
2 corpSonore Posts/month
Keep me accountable!
Read 50 Books -This is 10 more than my goal was in 2018, 7 more than 2017, and 13 more than 2016. And yes, in case you are wondering, I count my audiobooks. Truthfully, I read 52 books in 2018 but I did thousands of miles of driving (that whole move across the country thing), and I trained for several half marathons - I love listening to books when I run - so I want to make sure that my reading number was not a fluke. In 2017 I wrote, “I’m slowly trying to work my way towards reading 50 books per year…” and it looks like I might be there? I just want this number to be a habit.
No Phone in Bed - I recommend this for everyone....especially if you have reading goals to accomplish for the year. I'm also going to resist the early morning scroll. You know, that period of time after the alarm goes off, but you're not quite ready to get out of bed where you flip through all of the things you missed while you were sleeping? No more of that. Truthfully that is where the phone in bed seems to be a big problem for me these days. My goal is to get up, make the bed, wash my face etc. and only when I am fully dressed and ready for my day only then can I check my phone. The social media addiction is real, and it is eating away at my life!
Take Notes During Readings - This was the part of writing and research for my dissertation that I loved the most. I love taking notes while I read, but it does tend to be time consuming. My goal is to work some note-taking-worthy non-fiction into my reading goals this year as a way to better ingest the information and then spew it back out into the world. This also plays into my write more goal above, and my Develop Active Violinist Blog and Shop below .
Reading + Notes = Research, right?
zotero or bust!
Make a Schedule - Last year I got better at this, but I didn’t really know what worked for me or how to implement effective time management especially when my performance and teaching schedule is always in flux. By the end of 2018 I kind of had it figured out but it also didn’t hurt that I had much more time on my hands. This year, I’m going to make an outline of blocked time every week to determine when I should and can work on various projects and endeavors.
Here is an example:
Monday - 8:30-10 YOGA class, 10:30-3 Practice, Clean, Laundry, email, Active Violinist, 3:30-8 YOLA
Tuesday - 8-10 corpSonore meeting, 10-3 Practice, run, corpSonore, email, 3:30-7 YOLA
Wednesday - 8-2 misc. projects, practice, run, errands, 2:30-4:30 Harmony Project, 5-8 YOLA
Thursday - 9-10:30 YOGA class, 11-4 Practice, misc projects, email, 4-5:30 YOLA, 6-10 corpSonore
Friday - 8-2 corpSonore + Active Violinist, email, Practice, misc. errands, 2:30-4:30 Harmony Project, 5-? Run +
Saturday - 8-12 YOLA, 1-6 Run, Practice, misc. projects.
Sunday - Run, relax.
Obviously not every week looks like this, but this is definitely what I did last week. Each month has a “Goals” list, and each week has a list of things that need to be accomplished in different categories. This changes depending on what is on my plate at the time. Sometimes corpSonore work is social media focused, sometimes it means writing copious amounts of emails, or reviewing podcast episodes and drafting show notes. Sometimes Active Violinist work is networking in nature, reading, bowings, planning repertoire for myself or students, or blog writing. My goal is to implement this every week and every month (that I’m not on vacation or something) of the year. I have to do this in order to meet my business goals (see below) which need copious amounts of time and energy and organization but also to make sure I am prepared for work when I have a gig, performance, work, etc.
Does anyone else have time management solutions that they recommend?
I will not limit myself - I like this one. I am in the groove of putting myself out there. I feel intimidated all the time by the things I want, the projects I want to work on, the people I want to collaborate with, and the opportunities I wished were being offered to me but feel like I don’t deserve. I can’t let self-doubt cloud the potential that might arise if I make the first step. When I look back on 2018 and all of the things I applied for, and tried to achieve in the name of not limiting myself, I realize I “failed” a lot. But I also became more comfortable advocating for myself, achieving success through seemingly vulnerable positions, and finding new or alternative ways to pursue the things I truly want that others said “no” to. If I hadn’t used this as a goal last year, I most likely still wouldn’t have any work in Los Angeles, the corpSonore podcast would have ground to a halt when I repeatedly got rejected by Apple Podcasts, and my cover letters for college jobs would still be rambling and full of half-hearted goals and beliefs. Now my letters, and I wrote MANY last year, are compelling, my musical interests are more expansive, and my drive to succeed at what really matters to me is stronger and more consistent. This is a habit I cannot afford to say goodbye to yet so I will keep flexing this muscle throughout 2019 to see what exciting possibilities reveal themselves over the next year.
The New Ones
Make More Sustainable Choices - I’m trying to be more conscious about some of the smaller lifestyle choices I make. Last year I started looking around my house at all of the mindless things I do, and use, and wondering what I can do to be less wasteful. My goal is to start by swapping out the smaller and easier habit changes for more thoughtful and sustainable choices.
Here are a few examples of the choices I want to change:
If I go for a coffee, I either need to drink it at the coffeeshop in a real cup, or bring my own thermos if I’m taking it to go. No more single use cups and tops.
No more single use plastic water bottles. I have my own thermos, and there are drinking fountains (even in the airport), so no more plastic bottles.
Always bring my own shopping bags to the grocery store.
Say “No” to cheap fashion. I am prepared to spend a little more on items of clothing that are timeless, well made and ethically produced. I do not need a closet full of cheap clothes, shoes, and accessories!
Can I recycle that? …said before throwing anything away.
Who else has some solutions about simple (at least at the beginning) sustainable choices? I’d like to reduce the amount of plastic containers that my household - and particularly bathroom - products come in. Why is this so hard to do?
coffee to go!
Day 1 of 2019 I used my swanky thermos to take my latte on the road.
Be 75% Vegetarian - Last year I started looking around the meat department at the grocery store and wondering how much gets thrown away every day, week, or month? Then I started looking at all of the plastic containers used to preserve and sell meat products, and THEN I started realizing that I casually consume at least one dead animal at every meal (a turkey sandwich for lunch maybe, then pepperoni pizza for dinner, or a chicken curry and Pad Kee Mow with beef). It just feels like a little much. I don’t even consider myself a “meat lover,” and yet somehow I seem to be eating animals as if I can’t handle a meal without them. I don’t want to cut meat out of my diet completely, but I don’t think I need to eat so much of it, so I’m aiming to be 75-80% vegetarian. If you do the math - if I eat 21 meals per week (7x3), then this means I can still eat meat at 4 or 5 meals every week. That sounds like a decent amount and because I’m writing this in mid-January, I’ve been a quasi-vegetarian now for a good 2 weeks (that practically makes me an expert) and I will say that I feel good, I eat more vegetables in order to fill my plate, and I don’t find myself craving anything yet.
Grow Active Violinist Blog and Shop - I wrote out a “business plan” of sorts that details some of the things I want to complete and work on this year as a performer, a business owner, and purveyor of items that are both beautiful and useful for teachers and students. Last year I added gorgeous notecards to the shop (designed by Meghan Irwin, and I have so many more plans and ideas for the future. I’m not going to share the specifics just yet, but for anyone keeping track, I want to expand my shop and write more critical blog posts (see Take Notes During Readings, and Write More resolutions above). I don’t mean critical in the negative sense, more in the critical thinking sense. Book reviews, academic in nature investigations, and thorough reflections on elements of the profession and related materials. If you subscribe to my newsletter you will be the first to hear about these things. The Newsletter, a monthly collection of items I’m reading, reviewing, using, and thinking about, is another of my objectives in this category and will launch February 1st. Sign up in the pop-up or subscribe to my blog, or drop me a note and I’ll add you to the VIP list.
Develop corpSonore - big plans for this one. Lots of writing, lots of reaching out for collaborations with brands, performers, movers, and educators. I wrote out a whole “manifestation” statement about this. Yes, that is a thing…maybe only in Los Angeles, but this is an important venture for me and I’d like to develop it as something I can focus on more than just in my spare time or as a “hobby.” Just know that the big things I would like to grow are threefold: a monthly newsletter, a patreon account (so y’all can contribute should you feel inspired…and you should), and collaborations/sponsorships with others that share our values and interests. No, we do not plan on spamming you with cheap products and things we don’t use ourselves but if hydroflask wanted to endorse us because, for instance, I only use their flasks in my sustainability efforts, I would be sure to let you know how cool and legitimate they are as a partner in sustainability.
Beat 1:50 half marathon time - I ran 3 half marathons this year. I can comfortably waddle through 13.1 miles in just under 2 hours but I’m at the point now where I’m tired of running these races just to do them. I’ve set myself the goal of breaking the 1:50 mark. Just in case you’re curious, that is roughly an 8:22 mile. Considering my runs typically clock in around 8:45 per mile this isn’t an outrageous goal (I’m not shaving minutes off my miles, just seconds), but I do know that it will be difficult and will take MONTHS of training.
I came close at route 66, but not close enough.
Engage my Core - What!? Does this even make sense? This sounds kind of like a trendy workout resolution but I promise it is not. Your core is the secret to success in life - good posture, handstands, reduction of physical pain due to violin playing, hip stability, financial reward (just kidding), and so much more. I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to “dump” my weight into yoga poses to achieve greater “flexibility” but this is not benefiting me in the long run. I also notice that my belly pooches out when I play the violin, particularly standing, which indicates that my shoulders are rounding forward, and my front body is concave. Big No No! I should know better - I researched this! So in all arenas of my life, from violin playing to yoga, running, standing, sitting, stretching, and living I will engage my core…and you should too.
And that’s it!
What are your resolutions for 2019? I want to know! Let’s support each other.