Achievement-Based Guitar Goals

What are achievement-based guitar goals?

When most of us think about setting goals, we think about setting achievement-based goals. They are simple to understand: You set a goal to learn something, and you set out to achieve it. Once achieved, you move on to the next goal. 

Achievement-based goals can be useful or un-useful depending upon how they are worded. If any sense of urgency, comparison, judgement, or a deadline creeps into this style of goal, we're in trouble.

Achievement-based goals are excellent tools to help us measure our success, but it also depends upon how emotionally attached we are to achieving the goal. If we are too emotionally attached, we are going to struggle. Remember, guitar takes time to learn and a sense of urgency is bad for business. 

Here's some examples of achievement-based goals that are plain and simple, without any emotion:

  • "My goal is to learn how to play guitar."
  • "I want to learn basic chords."
  • "I'd like to learn how to strum."
  • "I'd enjoy learning how to do chord progressions."

Notice how these goals are fairly cut and dry. What happens when we take the same goals and add judgements, comparisons, deadlines, and/or urgency to them?

  • "My goal is to be amazingly good at guitar." [Judgement]
  • "I have to learn how to play basic chords, like soon." [Urgency]
  • "I don't want to suck as bad as Bob does at strumming and rhythm." [Comparison]
  • "I have to be better at chord progressions in three months, or guitar is not worth it." [Deadline]

The way the second group of goals are worded makes learning hard. More harried, more intense. Can you see that? Guitar takes time to learn. The more urgentjudgmental, deadline oriented, or comparison-based your goal is, the more difficult guitar will be for you to learn. 

I want to be clear about something: There is nothing wrong with setting an ambitious goal. There's nothing wrong with setting the goal of learning the guitar inside and out, 100%. But if you set an ambitious goal, try to approach it like a Vulcan would: Take all the emotion out of it. As you move forward, you need to be dispassionate but heavily involved with the process of learning.