You know how they tell you to set goals in highschool? In university? At work? You know how you always rolled your eyes and thought 'I don't need to set goals, I work hard, I know what I want and I'm self motivated'?

Yeah. We were wrong. Lazy brain loves fooling us into not getting things done, that's for sure. I mean, yes, I work hard, and yes, to a certain extent I've always got some internal idea of what I want but...

Well, to be honest, lately I've struggled with having a reason to get into the practice room and do anything productive. I have the constant need to be making reeds, of course, and that works as a fear-motivator par excellence, but it's not enough. I find I'll only really do any driven, focused practice when I'm preparing for a show. That's no good. I know I have technical issues I want to overcome, and they aren't going to get better by working on one exersize every 5 months or so!

So recently I started getting slightly serious about learning to skateboard. I looked up tricks online, decided which one I wanted to learn, went out and learned it, got a bunch of scrapes...looked up a bunch of communities....started setting goals for myself with rewards if I achieved them (new board)....and I realized I was spending 2-4 hours a day skating.

Two to four hours is that lovely round figure that, if I'm practicing the oboe, tells me I'm interested and having fun AND improving (even though I often feel like I'm going backwards during these times, too). And I was only playing the oboe about an hour or so a day....out of guilt and fear of sounding like crap.

So I've started myself a little notebook of goals; weekly and monthly, and I'm already feeling better about going into the room. I have things I have to finish, things I need to start, and the oboe is fun again. I guess those silly educators had something important to say after all.