The next step is to verbalise my goals. Obviously I'm not going to go outside and shout on the street "I'M GOING TO PRACTICE!" I'm going to do it here. Clear and hopefully realistic goals. And I'm going to prioritise them but also try and strike the right balance. Often I put all my energies into one thing and take prioritisation to the extreme (where it doesn't work!). For example: if I have an audition coming up I'll practice like a mad-woman two weeks before and nothing else, and afterwards I'll stop practising completely and start getting stuck into exercise. It's not a very efficient system to work by! I'm always fluctuating between this and that and every time I return to something it's like a catch-up job.
So. Let's get stuck into it.
- Viola -
Clearly this has to be at the top of the list. It's my "profession" (yes, I use "" and will do so until I have a full-time job). I want a job in an orchestra. I shouldn't be too fussy but I definitely want it to be in a pretty well-connected city. Ideally having a job in Australia would be fantastic, but I'm not sure it's a realistic goal for the very near future (maybe in a decade?). Right now I think I rely a lot on luck and I'm really thankful for having the good fortune to be accepted into a praktikum with an orchestra here in Stuttgart and also having a casual position with another. So in that way I guess I'm on track.. but I need to work through this next year until the end of my masters with the goal of taking serious professional auditions and actually giving them a proper shot. Many many times before I've made practice goals: "per day I'll practice x hours" and it just never works. So this time round I'm going to try something different. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I think it's a reasonable goal seeing as some weeks I'll have to practice lots of orchestra music, or solo stuff for uni, but it most importantly means that when I don't have things on I'll still have to keep my fingers in action. I've got some travel coming up where it would just be stupid if I brought my viola so obviously not in those weeks.
*Every week learn 2 excerpts and record them, play as if in an audition.
- Exercise -
hate do not like exercising. It's something I really have to force myself to do. I'm not sure I can remember a time where I really liked it.. it's such a solitary activity and there's so little reward in the moment (at least in practice I'm making nice sounds.. hopefully). This is what makes it really difficult to maintain regularly in my life. The reason why I want to make exercise take a bit more prominent a role in my life is because I'm only getting older and it's important for health reasons to try and get fit. I don't want to wait until it's a real uphill battle in my middle-age. Now is the time I should make it part of my routine so that it's easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle later. Also, superficially, I want to wear some of my clothes a little more comfortably and confidently. Some of them are really meaningful pieces to me and I'd hate to sell them. Being realistic I can't commit to doing the yoga every day especially when I do a high-energy workout (right now it's running up and down stairs near where I live). But when I don't do that I should take a nice walk and do some yoga.
*Engage in some kind of physical activity every day. If it's not a high-energy workout it at least has to be a brisk walk and yoga. Right at this moment my goals are to finally properly commit and finish the 30 days of Yoga and Arm-mazing workout I've mentioned before.
- German study -
Well this is embarrassing.. I've been living in Germany for almost a year now and I am still not great conversationally. I really want to be better at talking in groups and more comfortable and fluent with what I want to say. Learning a language is not something that can be done by sitting on your ass. I have to pull my socks up and stop coasting through and "getting by".
*Have at least three conversations per week where I force myself to speak only German. Do a couple of exercises on Duolingo every day. Study with my German textbook twice a week.
- Blog -
Yes yes.. I've been totally AWOL for probably the whole year. We're in an on-off relationship it seems. I guess it's been really hard because really it's all for my own pleasure. When I'm in the throes of concerts and competitions and auditions and blah blah blah it's really too easy to let this slip. Having said that though, I'd really like for it to be a little more. I want to return to my self-teaching computer-coding lessons so that I can make the website the way I want it to be (not just because I'm on the spectrum of OCD but also because it'll be better for you! You readers that maybe don't really read this but stumble on though). So why do I blog? I think it's because it's a great way to keep track of things. If I could organise the coding stuff then it would be really easy to go through my archives and see music, travel posts, recipes, etc.
*Every Sunday sit down and write as many blog posts for the week as possible. Plan what posts for which days and when I'm really busy at least stick with Tunesday and Weekly Wish-list. Once a week study coding.
- Italian study -
Why Italian study when clearly I should be learning German? BECAUSE I'M GOING TO ITALY FOR A HOLIDAY!!!! Sorry.. I'm getting really excited already. I think the only reason for going to another country for a holiday is to experience the culture and there's no way one can really try without trying to learn some of the language. I'm not going to try and be fluent or anything but I'd like to get by, buy transport tickets, order food and charm some locals ;)
*Do a couple of exercises on Duolingo every day. Study with my Italian textbook once a week.