Set goals to chart your development. It’s very important that you set goals that are both realistic and challenging. You don’t want to look at the blueprint to your house and say, “Okay, I’ll build this house in a week.” That’s unrealistic. You won’t build it in a week. So you make a chart for your goals. “Okay, I’m going to put the foundation down in a month, I want to get the walls put up in two months,” and so on and so forth. And six months later you want to have a house.
With setting goals there is a component of integrity. It’s up to you to challenge yourself. Sometimes you have to adjust your goals. If something comes easier than expected, you have to challenge yourself a little more. If something is harder, you want to relax your schedule and allow more time to work on that problem. A private instructor will help you with setting goals.
Wynton Marsalis, from “Marsalis on Music” p. 125-126