Reminders to stay with your new year goals

Reminders to stay with your new year goals

We've all been there — making a new year resolution of practicing more or better or differently at the beginning of January, only to bail on it when February comes knocking. Indeed, research shows that 43% of us give up on our new year resolution at the end of January. 

If you feel your motivation is waning, we've got some reminders to help you get back on track. 

Make practice easy to start.

Maybe it's setting up your practice in an area of your house that you frequent. Maybe it's lining up all the material you want to go through on the music stand and keep them that way. Or, maybe it's telling yourself that you only need to practice for 5 minutes, or just play a piece you enjoy (but once you sit down to practice, you will want to do more than that).

Add practice to an existing routine.

Literature on habit building suggests that you can build new habits when you add it to an existing habit. Someone who has a full-time job finds that they started practicing more consistently when they sat down to practice right after they got home from work.

Have a plan to overcome obstacles.

Unexpected things happen and obstacles arise. That's all part of life. Instead of giving up completely and feeling bad about it, try to come up with a few things you can do to overcome these. A new mom told us that she always find 5-minute time slots here and there throughout the day to practice.

Make your goals more specific.

"To play better" is a life-long goal but it doesn't address what you need to focus on to improve. Knowing specific areas you want to improve is a good first step. Instead of setting a goal to play more beautifully, consider the aspects of your playing you want to improve to achieve the desired sound quality.

Find ways to rekindle your motivation

Don't get us wrong, we're all for grit and perseverance. But sometimes, what you need is a different plan of attack. Instead of trying hard and pushing yourself, go to the root problem — that you simply don't feel motivated to practice. No amount of willpower will make you more motivated. Instead, think about what will make you feel motivated again. This is different for everyone. It might be that you need a new challenge, or you need to feel the joy of playing with others, or you can review some old repertoire and have the rewarding feeling of how far you’ve come.

Hope you find these reminders helpful, and we will be cheering you on as you continue to be seriously enthusiastic about music and your practice!


Need more help to stay on track in your practice?

The Muse and Mate practice journal has lots of gentle prompts that guide you set goals, make plans and reflect on your practice. Journaling your practice not only helps you keep track of your practice, but is also a way to learn about yourself. The more you know about yourself when it comes to practice, the better you can set specific and flexible goals, plan for challenging situations, and keep yourself motivated.

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