Do you want to be a better musician? set the habit of practicing regularly your instrument!
You know how it feels when you were supposed to practice your instrument and the whole week has passed without even touching it?
You may feel also guilty and you blame yourself for your lack of motivation, your laziness or your lack of willpower.
I do it myself and I do like that.
I bet that you neither.
You need to change something.
If you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results.
The good news is that you can change.
By making your practice an habit.
Starting from today.
Not in 2 weeks.
Let’s see how we can do that.
Watch the video:
How to set the habit of practicing regularly your instrument?
Indeed, an essential key to success is to set good habits.
Because you can set all the goals you want, even wisely chosen, if you don’t take action on them, they are not worth anything.
And you will watch time passing without being any closer to what you want to achieve.
The quote below says it quite well:
“If I miss one day… I know it.
If I miss two days, the critics know it.
If I miss three days, the whole world knows it!”Arthur Rubinstein
But what is a habit?
The Oxford dictionary defines a habit as: “A settled or regular tendency or practice especially one that is hard to give up.”
I particular like the end of it: “hard to give up”.
That’s the power of habits.
The idea is not to see practice as an homework for grown-ups.
But as a routine as important for you (almost!) as brushing your teeth.
Something you don’t even think about not doing, instead of something you must remember.
Not a duty, a essential part of your day.
You are a musician (even if you started yesterday). You get to live a life that goes with it. This includes practicing your instruments regularly.
So, how are you gonna set these new habits in your life and keep them?
Let’s see that now.
Secret#1 to set new habits: start small
Setting new habits sounds daunting, right?
I guess that you already tried, but maybe not very successfully.
Like if something was trying to prevent you from keep going. And it is quite frustrating.
I know. I felt this so many times myself.
But not anymore. Because I know how to do now.
And it is really simple.
You can start any habit you want at any time.
I discovered that with the book “Tiny Habit” by BJ Fogg (#AffiliateLink).
It shows that to set new durable habits in your life, it works better by starting small.
If you try to start big (like when you take your New Year resolutions which last… 1 month? Less?), you will likely fail.
Because willpower is not enough to set regular and durable practice habits.
Willpower is limited and you can’t count on it. That’s the mistake a lot of people make (including myself).
Indeed, this is like a big barrier to your brain. You will need a lot of energy to take action.
And you will tend to find excuses: “today I don’t have one spare hour, thus I won’t do anything, I will do it tomorrow”.
And, guess what, tomorrow you will have another excuse.
In the end, you will find yourself in one month without much progress.
And the same in one year.
And in 10.
Not really what you want, right?
The solution is thus to start so small that your brain will barely notice it and won’t have the time to be grumpy about the effort you ask him to do.
Instead of start super pumped with big unrealistic goals such as: “This week, I will kill it, I will practice 2 hours every single day!”
You’d better set yourself to spend at least 5 minutes on your instrument.
Yes, I know that in 5 minutes you can’t do much.
It doesn’t matter for now.
Focus on doing it every single day.
No excuses. No “I don’t have time” or ” I feel too tired today”.
Too long? do 2 minutes. Even 30 seconds (like playing a scale).
Because if you can do that, and you can!, it will become natural for you.
Thus, start small, but start now.
And keep going.
Secret#2 to set a new habit: anchor it
It will be even easier if it is “anchored” to another routine.
For example, after brushing your teeth, you will practice playing scales for 5 minutes.
It will then naturally integrate your already existing routine.
You can start today.
In fact, it is better if you start right away. Or tomorrow at the latest.
Last tip: I find that it works better if it is first thing in the morning.
When you have been doing this for some time (2 weeks for instance), add another one.
And another one.
They will be linked to each other and become a natural thing you do every day or every week.
Try it and you will see the results.
What if you can’t access your instrument?
Sometimes you can’t play your instrument. If you play the piano, you may not be able to have it with you every time!
If you can’t access your instrument or can’t play for some reason (hand injury for example), 5 min of mental practice at the same time of the day you would practice.
It is mode dedicated to practicing the piano, but the principle works for any instrument.
Now I think that you have all you need to set the habit of practicing regularly your instrument.
But you can learn about other tips to help you to practice regularly here.
This is the most essential habit you must cultivate to get better at your instrument. Or more generally to cultivate your musical skills.
To go even further, I should say: practice with intention.