You Need to Have an Itinerary


Mike and I spent 6 months on the road with our little travel trailer in 2009. We had no particular destination in mind … we just went wherever the wind took us. We liked to tell people that our itinerary was to have NO itinerary. The main thing we did was travel to follow bluegrass festivals, and we toggled between Tennessee and Kentucky for at least 3 months.

Now that philosophy was fine for a “time out” from our real life. (We were between jobs as opening managers for newly constructed self-storage facilities.) But in our pursuit of dulcimering excellence, I think it is better to have a planned itinerary, a written goal list, so we can track where we’ve been and where we’re planning to go next musically. Here are the advantages.

  1. Clarity: An “itinerary” helps to clarify what you want to achieve and provides a clear direction for your efforts.

  2. Motivation: The itinerary motivates you to take action. With a list of goals, you are more likely to stay focused and committed to achieving them.

  3. Focus: A goal list helps you prioritize your tasks and focus on what is most important. It prevents you from getting distracted by less important activities and keeps you on track towards your objectives.

  4. Progress tracking: By having a goal list, you can track your progress over time and see how far you have come. It gets exciting when you can see yourself drawing closer to achieving your goals.

  5. Accountability: When you write down your goals, you are more likely to take responsibility for your actions and make a concerted effort to reach your targets.

  6. Musical growth: Setting and achieving goals will definitely lead to musical growth and development. It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone to acquire new skills.

  7. Celebrate achievements: The planned “itinerary” provides a sense of accomplishment when you reach your musical destination. It allows you to celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small. But don’t stop there … set new goals.

Without setting goals and planning your musical itinerary, I think it’s just too easy to fall into the trap of doing the bare minimum to keep up with the others at jam sessions.

Happy dulcimering,



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