It’s that time of year that all of us are thinking about resolutions, goals and intentions. Have you thought about making singing resolutions? Here are some tips that will help you actually achieve those vocal goals and dreams!
#1: Take a look back.
Before sitting down and making that list of goals you want for your voice, be sure to take some time and think about how far your voice has come in 2019 and celebrate that. Has your range increased? Are you more confident? Can you sing for longer periods of time without strain? Perhaps you’ve learned to glide through that dreaded break between registers. Has your pitch improved? Whatever the accomplishment, give yourself the props you deserve. Your hard work is paying off.
#2: Envision what you want for your singing experience in 2020.
Now you can think about the areas you want to improve. They can perhaps include some of the same achievements you already noted when looking back at 2019. You can take the areas in which you have already improved and kick it up a notch. For instance, if your pitch is spot on now, you can make a goal to learn to sing in harmony or learn songs with more complex melodies. What new goals might you have? Do you want to learn to sing in a new genre? Do you want to learn to belt? Maybe you have a dream of singing in public at a coffee house. Maybe writing your own compositions and recording them is on your dream list. Write it all down. Your chances of achieving your goals increase greatly just by taking that step of writing them down and not just dreaming about it in your head. I encourage all my students to keep a singing journal. They journal their practice sessions, what they learn in lessons, and their observations along the way. It is an extremely helpful tool.
#3: Think about what steps and actions you can commit to in order to achieve your goals.
So now you have your list of goals. You notice I haven’t really been using the word resolutions? I like saying goals and intentions better. If you prefer resolutions, that’s fine. Just remember this is a process and may need adjusting along the way.
Everything we do in our life is run by habits. That includes singing. So for each resolution or goal you have, make a list of any habits you will commit to so that real change can take place.
Goal: “I resolve to take care of my vocal health.”
Action habits: “I will start my day with two glasses of water and then drink throughout the day and stay hydrated. I will refrain from talking over noisy crowds and straining my voice in those situations. I will eat healthy food as much as possible, avoiding junk food, in order to maintain a strong immune system.” Etc…
Goal: “I resolve to practice more”
Action Habits: I will warm up my voice gently every morning in the shower. I will plan and put on my calendar a minimum of three to four practice sessions per week for at least 20 minutes of intentional singing. I will practice the exercises my teacher gives me and apply them to the songs I am singing.” Etc…
Goal: “In 2020, I resolve to get over my nerves and sing in public.”
Action Habits: “I will practice my songs thoroughly so I can be confident in them. I will sing in front of people I trust and get used to having people in the room. I will sing in different environments, (different rooms in the house, outside, at someone else’s house) so I can feel comfortable no matter where I am. I will go to open mic nights and watch others and get used to that atmosphere.” Etc…
Do you see how by focusing on new habits will be the ticket to getting to your goals? Successful people in all walks of life know the power of habit and habits are formed by taking action steps over and over until they are just a part of who you are.
You don’t have to wait until the beginning of a new year to have a fresh start. Every day is a new beginning. Every song, every experience, and every moment is an opportunity to hit the refresh button. Never focus just on “mistakes.” They are nothing more than information. Here’s a habit to break: Break the habit of beating yourself up and replace with the habit of kindness and love for your voice. Never hate your voice. It is privilege to sing. It is your gift to the world.
One last thought: If you are not taking voice lessons, maybe now is the time to start in order to get the help you need to reach your vocal goals. There are so many wonderful voice teachers out there. Just be sure to find one that understands the type of singing you like to do. If you would be interested in working with me, go ahead and fill out the contact form and I will get back to you right away.
Wishing you joyful and brilliant singing in 2020!