by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
I learned in my 20s that having resolutions is a recipe for failure — but having goals is totally doable. Of course, there are a few caveats: Goals must be reasonable and realistic, not just aspirational.
That’s why, every year, I set goals but I keep it simple.
For example, instead of setting a goal of being most perfect environmental person who composts everything and quits using plastic, start with bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. I did this a few years ago. At first, I’d occasionally forget to put my bags back in the car, but over time, the habit of bringing reusable shopping bags with me became ingrained in my psyche. Today, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t bring at least one reusable bag with me to the grocery store. In 2022, I’m ready to try composting, starting with coffee grounds and orange peels.
Last year I set several goals inspired by my life of creativity and motherhood — and I’m thrilled to say that I met most of them, or at least made some measurable progress:
2021 Goal: Read 1-2 rock memoirs, cover to cover
What happened: I cracked open exactly one rock memoir, Dave Grohl’s Storyteller. That’s OK, because my older son wanted me to read the Harry Potter series with him, and we made it through four books (and believe me, they’re LONG!).
2021 Goal: Practice guitar for 15 minutes per day (most days, with the exception of vacation)
What Happened: I did it! This was an easy goal to exceed on most days.
2021 Goal: Record a solo EP (3-5 songs) & record an EP with my band
What Happened: I recorded two singles with my band, and one solo single produced by my lead guitarist’s husband. But I wrote a ton of original music.
2021 Goal: Learn to play 12 hair metal songs, solos included
What Happened: I actually learned to play TWO hair metal songs: Alice Cooper’s “Poison” and Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly.” Progress, right?
2021 Goal: Play 6 in-person club gigs
What Happened: I played 6 in-person club gigs with my band and solo, as well as six outdoor events in Connecticut and New York City, thanks to my trusty PA. These included Make Music New York (in Tomkins Square Park), Black Rock Porchfest, Lincoln Parkapalooza, and my drummer Nick’s garage (for a party). I probably had more fun playing most of these (and bigger audiences).
2021 Goal: Record an album with my sons from my home studio
What Happened: I didn’t record an album, but a few days ago, we recorded an awesome version of ’12 Days of Christmas.’ My kids totally rocked it!
One of the secrets of my success is setting my intentions. During my morning meditation (which is only a few minutes a day), I visualize my goals and progress. I also casually follow the principles of Feng Shui (which was trendy in the early ’00s), and situate my home environment to align with my goals (side note: It also helps that I keep my work areas clear and clean).
Another secret is plain old hard work. You won’t make progress in anything, whether it’s getting in shape or learning a new skill, without working towards it. On nights I felt tired, I’d still set a timer and run my scales so I could clock in 15 minutes of guitar-playing time.
But an even bigger determinant of my success was whether the goal is easy to achieve. As a mom of young children, I know I don’t have four hours a day to play guitar and sing, unless I give up exercise. But by setting a more sustainable goal, I’m more likely to succeed. Most busy parents can spare 10 to 20 minutes a day to improve a skill — even if remote learning returns.
So for 2022, I’m leveling up my goals just a little. Here are seven of them:
- play 15 minutes of guitar and/or vocal practice a day
- Interview 2-3 artists per month for this blog;
- Launch a podcast;
- Play 6 shows with my band;
- produce a 6-song EP by spring AND at least one music video;
- Edit 5,000 words per month and finish editing my novel (which I’ve been editing for at least two years);
- Prioritize quality over quantity, and faith over fear.
So there you have it! Those are my goals and intentions, set with loving positivity, for the next 12 months. I’m so eager to get started. What are your goals for 2022?
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.