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Check-in With Your Bagpipe Goals
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Check-in With Your Bagpipe Goals

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Setting bagpiping goals can be a great way to focus your efforts. Trouble is, they take time, and we are not always the same people (or pipers) we were when we set them. Life changes, changes in priorities, personal growth, new inspiration, all of these things can have a way of interfering with our initial goals in way that is not compatible. Your earlier goals might not now align (or align better) with who you are now and, as a result, attaining them might not have the same impact. It is always a good idea to check in on your goals and assess them in a way that measures their importance, and their current effectiveness. Below are steps to organize your thinking and do just that.

1. Determine which areas of your piping are important to you at present. Are these areas the same as they were when you initially set your goals? These areas are not just those that are important in an abstract sense, but important to you. Figure out two or three areas of your music-making that matter most and check them against your current goals. Dispense some and add others as necessary.

2. Make a list of actions you can take that will move you toward your goals. Stay focussed here. Think short term. Think of where you are now and the very next step that will move you forward. Do these actions conflict with your current desires and motivations? You might need to adjust the ultimate goal.

3. Be clear about what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it. Think hard about why those things above are important to you. Check them against your current efforts. Some goals or tasks will simply fade and be replaced easily as you dwell on them this way. You may discover some that have dogged you for a while aren't really that important.

5. Make a little progress at a time. This is not a race and changing goals midstream will slow you down. But there is nothing wrong with that. As you move through your days, pick off the action steps you can accomplish right away, with the resources you have available, and then move to the larger, more complex ones. Sometimes knocking off goals that have lost their significance to you—the low-hanging fruit, as it were—can feed the fire to move on to bigger, more robust activity.

Take Action

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Vin Janoski Vin is a long-time piper based on the east coast of the USA. He has been on the Executive Committee of the EUSPBA and been the editor of the acclaimed Voice magazine. Recently, he has played in the Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band, and the Grade 1 Stuart Highlanders pipe band. He currently produces the websites Pipehacker.com and WhiskyTunes.com.... And, needless to say, he spends way too much time than is allowed for any one person playing, writing about, and thinking about bagpiping.

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