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So How DO I Actually Focus?

How do I Focus

I’ve picked my Word for the Year, and it’s

FOCUS

And that’s all well and good, but exactly what steps am I taking to facilitate this? It’s not enough to say, “This year, I’m going to focus,” or even to establish on what you’re focusing, but what am I doing to ensure that this actually happens? What steps am I taking??

So how DO I actually focus?

(And yes, I’m one of those people who starts sentences with “so.” So what? Deal with it.)

Here are the things I’ve done so far to try to create an environment for myself that will allow me to focus on things and achieve the goals that I want in 2022:

  • I closed all my tabs on all my devices except the ones for Gmail, Facebook, and my calendar. (I probably should close FB but that’s not happening.) It’s amazing how many tabs I had open between the iMac, MacBook, iPad, and my phone. I am making an effort to close tabs as I finish using them. Or even if I’m not finished. If I haven’t gotten to it before I close my computer, it’ll be in my history. Or I can email it to myself to look at later.
  • I deleted Bejeweled from my phone. Because it was really easy for me to say, while waiting for something to download or while I was eating, or upon waking up, to say, “I’m just gonna play one game,” and then “Okay, I’ll play till it stops to reload hearts,” only to find that I had wasted an hour on Bejeweled. Honestly, I was wasting more than an hour. According to my Screen Time app on my phone, I would waste up to twenty-four hours in one week on Bejeweled. That is equivalent of one full day. I even tried to set daily time limits, only to ignore them. There is no reason for that unless I am bedridden. 
  • I am enrolled in Sara Campbell’s Savvy Masterminds group, and in our first session, we were encouraged to list all our goals for the first quarter and then ruthlessly pare them down to a maximum of three, based on what was, in fact, the most important in our lives. What if everything I’m doing is in service to specific goals? My three goals for this quarter are:
    • MDDC NATS – both preparing my students for the upcoming auditions and my service to it as secretary/programming chair for the chapter
    • My weight/health – this goes along with the personal goal of “hydration” that I set for myself. I gained weight in the back half of 2021 (and in my back half as well), partially because of some hormonal issues and partially because I got ticked off at the hormonal issues and said the hell with it. (Figures, just as my face healed from last year’s accident, it blows up from weight gain. Merp.) 
    • Setting up studio classes/studio recitals – pre-COVID, I always had venues and dates in place before I sent out the policies at the beginning of the school year. Because things are so in-flux right now, I fell out of that habit and I don’t feel like I’m serving people in the same way that I was. I need to set up studio classes for my MVPs and the final studio showcase of the year. 
  • I’ve purchased a new Rocketbook/Panda Planner for the year that is erasable and has places to indicate my goals and the steps to implement them, as well as evaluate my progress (which is reinforcing the steps above). The jury is still out on this planner – I’m very used to my Weekly Planner with the time slots and nothing else, and I’m not sure I’ll keep up with this and remember to scan the pages to the Cloud before erasing them and starting the next quarter, but I’ll try.
  • I’ve set up lessons with Nick Perna to work on improving my own singing (vocal health). I’ve worked with Nick before but I haven’t had anything to focus on. I’m going to set intentions for my lessons before he asks, “So, what do you want to work on?” instead of saying, “Oh, I don’t know. Can we try belting today?”
  • I’ve set up meetings with various people to discuss event dates and venues, beginning this week.

I’m starting small with some of the steps I’m going to implement.

  1. I’d like to go 2/3 plant-based in my eating. I’m going to start with 50% and see how I feel after this quarter. I’ll have a doctor’s appointment on my birthday in June and we’ll see how this impacts my bloodwork.
  2. I’d like to drink 96 oz. of water per day. I’m starting with 48% (I have an app on my phone that tells me to drink water and I’m not going to ignore it.)
  3. I signed up for a 30 day free yoga class online. So far, I’ve watched Day Zero, Breathe. I’m going to try to get 30 days in consecutively, but that might not happen.
  4. I want to walk 7500 steps 3x/week. That’s about 2 miles. If I only make 1 mile right now because of the weather, so be it. In any event, I’m going to commit to doing a minimum of 15 minutes of movement of some kind every day, with the intention of increasing it to 30 as time goes on.
  5. I have an audition set up for WNO next Saturday and I picked out two brand-new (but short) songs to work on with Nick this week (today) and next. If I don’t have them learned to my satisfaction, I can pick out two different songs. The work I do on these should inform anything else I sing.

I’m a list-maker but I’m going to try to make lists that aren’t random vomiting of things to do onto the page (how’s that for colorful imagery?) but are, rather, cohesive plans with end-goals in mind. I still can randomly vomit ideas onto a page or onto post-its, but I need some structure to accomplish them.

How are YOU going to accomplish your goals in 2022? How are you going to facilitate your ability to

FOCUS?

How do I Focus
(Or whatever you’ve determined your own personal word to be)

*****
If one of your goals for 2022 is to get back into a course of vocal study, perhaps one of your steps would be to start taking
voice lessons – and I know just the person who can help!

 

 

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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