The 2 missing ingredients in most New Year’s resolutions

Hey Improvisers,

The New Year is a good time for reflection, and as we near the transition into 2023, let’s look at the missing ingredients in the way most people make New Year’s resolutions. This will help you achieve your goals for the upcoming year.

New Year’s resolutions are usually about what we’d like to do differently, such as “I’d like to practice piano more,” or “I’d like to learn jazz.”

These types of resolutions are good, of course, but the fact is that most people don’t stick with them for very long. They start out enthusiastically, but by February or March they find that “life gets in the way” and they feel vaguely guilty because they’ve lost their enthusiasm. In fact, the resolution has become a burden.

From what I’ve seen in my decades as a professional musician and piano teacher, there are two things missing. If you do these two things, you’ll be far more likely to stick with your resolutions and achieve your goals.

1. Before you make your resolution, visualize how you’d like to be playing piano in a year from now, in December 2023. Close your eyes and take a few moments to imagine yourself playing piano at a whole new level, with your fingers fluently moving over the keys producing the sounds you dream about. Creative visualization is a powerful way to gain energy and motivation over the long term.

2. The second ingredient is a connection with another musician, or group of musicians. We can’t do it alone, and interpersonal support is what we need in order to continue pursuing our musical dreams over time. There are many ways to do this: you can take piano lessons from a local teacher, learn from my video course at, join a local performance class, or simply invite another musician over to jam each Tuesday evening.

Just about every accomplished musician has included these two ingredients at some point in their musical lives, and, taken together, they will enable you to stay with your New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year so you can achieve your musical goals.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!’’


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