I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, especially the kind where you try to do less of something, or you try to stop doing something altogether. (A brief aside... I’m not the first person to point this out, but that’s not really how people work. We’re much better at building a new habit, or replacing something with something else, than we are at simply quitting cold turkey.) That said, the new year is as good a time as any to look back, see what you (or, in this case, I) did, and set some new goals. So, without further ado, here are some of my goals for 2020.
Read more. I love reading, but I don’t do it often enough. This is, in part, because I’m a slow reader, but honestly, that’s just an excuse. The fact of the matter is that I don’t make reading a priority, and I want to change that in 2020. My goal is to read at least one book every month. That may not seem like a lofty goal, but considering how many books I read in 2019, it would be a huge improvement.
Blog more. One of my “big picture” goals in 2020 is to have more of an online presence. That may sound silly, but as a self-publishing, self-marketing musician, an active online presence is kind of mandatory. So my goal is to post on here more often: maybe once a week, maybe more, maybe less. Much of this will be about music, but some may be about film, some may be about faith, some may (unwisely) be about politics, and some may be about... well, about whatever is on my mind. Consider yourself warned.
Get to know Bach’s cantatas. Johann Sebastian Bach (a.k.a., the Greatest Musician of All Time) wrote over 200 cantatas, and most people, myself included, don’t know them well at all. I will not solve this problem in 2020, but I hope to at least make progress. By goal is to get to know one of Bach’s cantatas every week, and when I say “get to know,” I mean that I want to have at least a general understanding of the music, the text, and how they interact. This will take effort, but if I know anything about Bach, I know it is effort that will be richly rewarded.
Now. This isn’t a goal or resolution per se, but a friend of mine likes choosing a word for every year. My word for 2020 is “now.” Generally speaking, I’m much better at “then” or “later” than I am at “now,” and I’m even better at putting things off until I forget about them entirely. In 2020, I want to do more things the moment I think of them, or the moment they’re asked of me, but this is about more than being efficient or goal-oriented. I want to be more intentional about what I’m doing, about how I’m spending my time, and I want to be willing to say “no,” even when it’s difficult. But for those things that I do say “yes” to, I want that “yes” to be followed by action, by “now.”
Happy New Year, my friends. Talk to you soon.
Chris Massa is a musician based in Pittsburgh, PA. You are on his site right now.
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