Tuesday, 28 December 2010

How To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  I gave up making them a few years ago thinking that if I need to change something I can do it at anytime and shouldn't have to wait for January.  But they say a change is as good as a rest so on 1st January 2011 I've decided once again to make those promises that just beg to be broken...  To give myself a fighting chance I did some research into ways to help keep those promises.

According to various sources, there are 5 qualities that a successful resolution needs to have:

Specific: The desire to change is sometimes vague. Do some research and ask some important questions such as, "What risks am I running by going along just as I have been?"

Measurable: Weigh the benefits of change. Set small goals and monitor your behavior. For example, keep a record of how much you eat, drink, spend, etc.

Attainable: Begin making small changes. For example, you might give up some TV time and redirect your energy. Tell family and friends that the leopard is about to change his spots. Make a firm commitment.

Realistic: Banish and sacrifice vices while embracing and committing to new virtues. Give yourself all the help and support you can by creating a sense of accountability to others. Encourage family and friends to prod, provoke and push you.

Maintainable: This is the challenging part. You're finished with your old habit and into your new life. It is a lot easier to maintain your resolution than it is to regain it. Do your self a monumental favor and stay focused on WHY you set this resolution in the first place!

Those who stay the course and fulfill their resolutions share these characteristics:

1. They believe in their ability to change.
2. They did not indulge in self-blame or excuse making.
3. They avoid wishful thinking and concentrate on results.
4. They understand their motivators and reasons why the resolution is important.

And just because I love lists and Top 10s here are the

Top Ten Most Common Resolutions:

1.   Enjoy life more
2.   Get fit/Start exercising
3.   Lose weight
4.   Stop smoking
5.   Find true love
6.   Cut out alcohol
7.   Save money/Get out of debt
8.   Learn something new
9.   Help others/Become a volunteer
10. Get organised

Do any of these make it onto your list? Seven out of the Top Ten apply to me!


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Live Music and the Recession

I've just read an interesting article on Yahoo News that reports that revenue has fallen for touring bands this year.  When I said "interesting", what I meant was depressing!  Just last year, live gigs and selling merchandise was being touted as the saviour of the music business.  Yes, album sales were down with the increase in downloads but if musicians and bands were any good then they could prove their worth and increase their income by touring.  And personally I've found that live gigs are the only way to sell albums now with record shops having all closed down...  So what now?  Answers on a postcard please.  Or in the comments section at the end of this post. :-)

In other news...  I've just ordered my flyers!  Found a really great site called alocalprinter.com that produces eco-friendly flyers cheaply and efficiently.  Hopefully they'll arrive sometime next week.  Just in time really because most of the venues need them 6-8 weeks in advance of the performance date.  I've 13 dates in total now.  I was let down by 3 venues but thankfully found 3 more to replace them.  Just as well that 13 is my lucky number!  I'm really hoping that things turn around by next year for the live music industry or that someone comes up with an ingenious solution that will save my tour in the comment section below...  Here's the final list:

Juliet Kelly presents... Inspired: Celebrating the Divas of Jazz

Featuring George Moore - piano/arrangements, Oli Hayhurst/Dave Mannington - bass & Milo Fell - drums

06 Feb - Stratford Jazz, Stratford upon Avon 8pm

14 Feb - Royal Albert Hall (Elgar Room), London 8.30pm

17 Feb - Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Hexham 8pm

18 Feb - Voicebox, Derby 8pm

19 Feb - The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed 7.30pm

24 Feb - The Hawth, Crawley 8.15pm

25 Feb - Camberwell Crypt, London 9.30pm

05 Mar - Jazz Cafe Posk, London 8.30pm

10 Mar - Joe's Bar & Grill, Oxford 8pm

17 Mar - Restormel Arts, St Austell 8pm

18 Mar - The Bebop Club, Bristol 9pm

19 Mar - Chapel Arts Centre, Bath 8pm

20 Mar - Ipswich Jazz Club, Ipswich 8pm

And December's Vocal Zone goes out tonight at 8pm on UK Jazz Radio.