Goals Archives - Page 3 of 6 - Heidi Bender

Category Archives for "Goals"

January 12, 2014

2013 recap and plans for 2014

Lift App Practice Musical Instrument

2013 is now history and with it comes the obligatory year in review post!

Completed 2013 NeuYear Calendar

Completed 2013 NeuYear Calendar

2013 Highlights:

Plans for 2014:

  • Schedule at least 8 organ lessons with Michael.
  • I’d like to have the Anonymous Repair Man come again as there are a few more issues to be fixed.
  • Continue to track my practice time (more on this below).
  • Determine how I can improve this blog (more on this below).
  • Aim for practice sessions of at least 45 minutes. According to The Bullet Proof Musician 45 minutes may be the ideal length for adults.

Tracking my practice sessions:

In 2013, I started tracking my practice times on a NeuYear 2′ x 3′ calendar. In the photo, you can see every day that I practiced or had an organ lesson. As the year went on I became lazy. Instead of filling in the calendar after every practice session, I’d transfer the times that I had recorded in a spiral notebook that I keep at the organ bench. I didn’t keep up with large calendar habit for two reasons:

  1. The calender is on the back side of the door in my home office. This door is usually open which means I didn’t see it often.
  2. The calender was to far away from the organ to be convenient.
Lift App Practice Musical Instrument

Practice Musical Instrument in Lift App

In 2014, I will be using a traditional calendar with a page for each month. This one is has a cute cat picture for each month (thanks, Mom!). The cat calendar will be kept on my organ bench. I will also keep recording in my spiral notebook since this habit precedes 2013.

In addition, I am also tracking my practice days with the Lift app. Lift is a free app for tracking any habit or goal on a daily basis. I like that it includes charts and gives encouraging reminders. I am currently riding a 20 day streak for Practice Musical Instrument!

Blog Improvement:

First, Thank you for your continued support and for reading this blog. Your support is encouraging and helps me to keep writing and sharing my experiences. If you know someone who may be interested, please share this site with them.

Where would you like to see this blog go in 2014? What suggestions do you have? How can I provide you with more value? I have been attempting to pull a practice lesson out of each organ lesson that can be applied to everyone’s life. Do you like these “inspirational” posts?

Would you like to see some videos with my cats at the organ bench while I practice? Even though I am not a great organist (yet), perhaps the videos will help expose the organ to more people.

Feel free to comment with your suggestions for 2014 or send an email using the contact form. Or if you are reading this post in an email you can reply to the email and I should receive it. If you did not receive this blog post in an email, but would like to receive future posts via email, please subscribe at the top right of this page.

I hope your 2014 is off to a great start!

June 25, 2013

Completing a goal

A year ago I set a goal to practice ten hours in a week. This week, for the first time ever, I am on track to reach this goal. I have failed at the same goal for more than 52 weeks in a row! I admit that most weeks I haven’t really tried after I realized it was more of a challenge than I anticipated.

It’s been over a year, why now? Why this week? 

Close up of Calendar showing practice times.

Close up of Calendar showing practice times.

I was able to practice for 5 hours between Saturday and Sunday giving me hope that I can actually do it. Part of completing a goal is actually believing that you can do it! I had felt discouraged initially when I didn’t reach the goal. For many weeks, I hoped to be at 10 hours by the end of the week, without planning for the time in advance. I said I would plan in advance but never followed through with the planning.

I also have an organ lesson coming up on Saturday. It’s been 9 weeks since my last lesson and I want to finish strong and play the best I can at my lesson. Prior to other lessons, the week leading up to my lesson did not contain much practicing which impacted my performance at the lesson.

What goals do you need to finish? The Time Management Ninja blog has great information and tips on completing goals. I recommend 10 Questions You Must Answer About Your Goals if you need some motivation to get started.

March 2013 Lesson – A lesson in multitasking

A couple of Saturdays ago, I traveled to Toledo for an organ lesson. The theme of the lesson became multitasking as I had trouble learning the new hymns and Bach piece assigned at my previous lesson. What do you think of first when you here “multitasking”? I think of my job where I often have several tasks going at once. 


How does this apply to an organist?  


Organists need to be very good at multitasking to be successful. Each hand and foot usually has it’s own “task” to handle. The notes for the left hand will not be the same as the right. The feet are playing the pedals. The tempo must remain consistent. Registration (stops) may need to be changed throughout a piece. Pages may need to be turned. Some organists also direct a choir while they play! 

I’ve learned that playing the organ is harder than it looks! To improve more quickly, I need to practice each “task” independently. For example, learning the part for each hand separately before playing them together. 

What could you learn more quickly if you broke it down into smaller pieces?