The new year is upon us. A time to reset and make resolutions to become better versions of ourselves. As a music therapist, I write S.M.A.R.T. goals for clients and patients. This creates an environment for accountability and conducive for success within our sessions. Each letter stands for a component of the goal. Let’s walk through one of my new year’s resolutions – improving my piano playing –  and see what makes it S.M.A.R.T.

Ellen will practice scales, songs, and sightreading 3 times a week for 30 minutes for 3 months. 

What makes this goal specific? Instead of saying, Ellen will practice piano, I listed definitive aspects of piano skills I want to improve on to ensure my practice is focused.

What makes this goal measurable? I made plans for how long and how frequently I want to practice. I could even make a practice sheet and set a timer to hold myself accountable.

What makes this goal attainable? This goal is realistic. Ellen will practice…2 hours a day 6 days a week is not a practical goal for my life. Making a goal too lofty can be discouraging, starting small and working your way up can sometimes be motivating!

What makes this goal relevant? I am a music therapist and improving my piano skills will help me achieve more musicality with my clients in their sessions.

What makes this goal time-specific? There is an end-date in sight! After 3 months, I will re-evaluate my progress and set a new goal more appropriate to my current skill level.

Happy New Year from the Groovy Garfoose! And all the best setting your S.M.A.R.T resolutions.

Miss Ellen