A new year, a new opportunity to re-evaluate our goals and set new ones for the year…what resolutions did you make this year?
We all know the drill: set specific, measurable goals and then define the steps to meet them. But what happens when the unexpected occurs, interfering with our goals?
Or what if we *do* meet our goals, but we end up missing the bigger picture or an even better opportunity?
Don’t get me wrong – goals have their place in motivating us to achieve new challenges. But, we need to distinguish between process and outcome-oriented goals. Both have their place for the fearless musician.
Outcome goals are, as their name suggests, focused on measurable results: to run a mile in X number of minutes, or to win Y championship. Process goals, on the other hand, involve an aspect of the journey: to take longer strides during a race, or to position one’s feet properly before a golf swing. Or it can even be, to keep one’s mind focused on the present during a performance.
During the training/preparation process, outcome goals can be most useful. They motivate the player to complete a training task, staying focused and interested in the practice session. This same outcome-oriented approach, however, can add unnecessary pressure in a competitive or performance situation, however.
In performance, by contrast, the player should choose a process-oriented mindset, such as listening carefully or staying focused on phrasing beautifully. In this way, the player’s mind will stay in the moment and avoid self-judging thoughts or other negative, potentially harmful mindframes.
This week, when considering your musical goals, can you find examples of both process and outcome goals, and make some of each?