Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.
Several years ago I took a deep dive into various self-help literature thanks to a gift card to an actual bookstore (remember those?!). I came across a book that had a bit of fluffy wishful thinking techniques, but interestingly also contained a few really good practical ideas that translated easily to my flute playing life. One of these methods, known by it’s acronym, the BAG technique, really helped me navigate through difficult times filled with confusion and crushing self-doubt. It reminded me that I am an awesome, accomplished flutist with clear, achievable goals for the future. In today’s blog, I will go over this BAG goal setting technique and how it may be useful in your own flute career.
What does BAG stand for? BAG is an acronym for Blessings, Assets, and Goals. Blessings are exactly what they sound like: A list of things you are thankful for and achievements you are most proud of (awards, degrees, chair placements, etc.). Assets are things that you have, people that guide and support you, or other resources that help you achieve your goals. Goals are the things you’d like to achieve. Of course there is a proverbial missing elephant in the room with this acronym: Liabilities. The idea is to focus more on the positive things in your world and transform your liabilities into clear, achievable goals.
What is a BAG inventory? A BAG inventory is a simple listing of your top ten items in each category. What are your top 10 blessings? Top 10 assets? Top 10 goals? Divide a piece of paper into 3 columns. On the left list your blessings. In the middle list your assets. And on the right list your goals. Examples of blessing might include any music degrees you have or competitions you have won. Assets can include your flute, any nifty software programs you use, and your flute teacher or a mentor whose advice your really value. Goals may identify jobs you would like to land, auditions you’d like to take, or recitals you’d like to perform. This is your BAG inventory.
Why is designing a BAG inventory important? First of all, it puts all of your warm fuzzies in one place. We spend a lot of time as musicians analyzing the problems and challenges in our playing. Many of us are perfectionists and sometimes that means we forget about all of the positive experiences and resources we have at our fingertips to help us achieve our goals. Blessings show us that we are capable of achieving great things. Assets remind us of the great tools we have at our disposal to make those things happen. Goals put our intentions into writing and out into the World.
What does my BAG inventory look like? This is just a sample of my current top 3:
- B (Blessings) – DMA, Super Awesome Flute Blog, Book Contract with Oxford
- A (Assets) – New Burkhart Flute, Super Supportive Colleagues in the Flute 360 Program, SmartMusic AI App (that has been essential in my practice routine and studio for many years)
- G (Goals) – Host a Fall Flute Recital, Finish my Oxford Book, Expand my Flute Studio
Conclusion – Creating a BAG inventory is very good for your soul! And it also helps clarify your goals and see all of your best resources on one page. We some time forget about all of the things we have in flute lives that literally nobody can take away. These things are what make our flute goals possible and achievable.
What is on your BAG inventory? Has creating a BAG inventory helped you in your flute career? What categories do you find most helpful and most challenging? Please comment below!