This is NOT a 2024 Goal Setting Post: Reflecting on Your Growth as a Musician

Instead of simply looking ahead, it's also important to reflect on your wins and the improvements made during the past year!

woman writing in journal; Article: Reflecting on Your Growth as a Musician

This article comes from Jessica Homewood at Not Your Mother's Piano Studio!

Don't worry--this is NOT your typical goal-setting blog article! After listening to an episode of The Expert Edge Podcast, I have changed the entire way I see my progress and trajectory as a musician. Instead of only looking forward to the coming year, this article will have you spending time looking BACKWARD at your wins this year.

The Gap vs. The Gains

It is so easy to look at where you WANT to be as a musician, and feel a tinge of discouragement at how much FURTHER you feel you have to go to get there.

I have one word to say about this: STOP.

Stop beating yourself up for "the gap" between where you are today and where you wish to be.

I was listening to an amazing episode on Colin Boyd's The Expert Edge Podcast, and he referenced a book by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan called The Gap and the Gain. In Colin’s episode, he discusses how the premise of the book emphasizes the importance of measuring progress by looking backward (aka REFLECTING) at your past experience and the wins we so often forget or minimize along the way.

He says that by physically writing down your wins, you will be able to visually see the measurable progress you have made in a specific time frame–giving yourself encouragement that you are doing better than you think and confidence that you can and will meet the personal or professional goals that you have set.

Celebrating the Wins, No Matter the Size

Maybe your dream is to play your favorite piece on your instrument, and you have started to, but you are still leaps and bounds away from completing it. Focus on the idea that you have started and already learned sections of your favorite piece, and celebrate it.

Maybe your dream is to become an avid performer without letting your performance anxiety get the best of you, but so far, you have only played for a few friends and family, and you still found that your performance anxiety crept in. Focus on the idea that you have taken the step to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and celebrate it.

Maybe your dream is to be able to write your own music, but you keep getting writer’s block before your composition is finished. Focus on the idea that starting the creative process is often the hardest part and you’ve done it, and celebrate it.

When you spend time visualizing and reflecting on your own accomplishments so far, you will be filled with pride, gratitude, and an overwhelming change in your perspective and attitude toward your goals.

Now it’s time to open up your notes section in your phone…

Off the top of your head, what kind of success as a musician have you experienced in 2023?

It doesn't have to be more than a couple of minutes, but it's important that you see that you have experienced significant wins this year.

How Reflection Influences Your 2024 Plan

Doing this exercise will give you permission to enter 2024 not from a place of scarcity and harsh critique but of true abundance and appreciation of self. It is only when you approach goal setting with this mindset that you can look forward with clarity to know:

  • What areas in my musicianship should I set specific goals for?
  • And what should these goals realistically look like?

Your 2023 wins should be celebrated and given meaning. It's these smaller wins that shape your monumental success as a musician!


About The Author

Jess Homewood is a Private Piano Studio Owner and Resource Curator for Not Your Mother’s Piano Studio. Her mantra to keep piano teaching simple has led her to create Volumes 1, 2, & 3 for THE NO PRINTOUT PLAYBOOK, a resource with easy at-home piano games that require little to no prep work or materials.

She inspires piano teachers across the world to simplify their lessons and businesses to give them back their time, family life, and enthusiasm for their music teaching career. As a busy mom of two toddlers, she relates to many as she personally balances piano boss and mom boss life–without sacrificing studio growth or fun!

Jess has been a guest on The Dynamic Piano Teaching Podcast and The Integrated Music Teaching Podcast. She has professional partnerships with Successful Group Lessons and The Cascade Method to bring the best tried-and-tested resources to her online piano resource library. You can find her resource library at and @notyourmotherspianostudio on Facebook and Instagram.