How to Keep Motivated with an Empty Diary: Part 1

“Injury occurs when we load the tissues more than we’ve trained them to bear”

Andrew McGonigle (yoga and anatomy teacher)

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot these past few weeks. It’s quite clear that as everything in the music industry came to a screeching halt, people are losing motivation to practice which in turn makes us more susceptible to injury once things start to get busy again. I myself am no exception to that.

Diary

It’s tough. When you look at an empty diary, even with the best of intentions, it’s difficult to keep your practice up. When there’s no goal in sight, no new pieces to learn, how do you keep motivated? I’ve decided to share some of my personal tips with you.

1. PLAN AHEAD

From my personal experience, you simply can’t rely on your willpower alone. You’d most likely be setting yourself up for failure. Your mind is cunning and in the moment, it will come up with all sorts of reasons why you should postpone your practice. You need to plan ahead.

2. MAKE TIME

I usually take my calendar at the start of the week and block off time for practice each day. Even better, if you can choose a regular time slot, you’re more likely to be successful in making this a habit, thus taking the decision-making process out of the equation and freeing up your headspace for other things. :)

I myself am a morning person, so unless something extraordinary comes up, my practice time starts at 9 am.

3. FIND A HEALTHY BALANCE

Talking to a lot of my musician friends and colleges, two things can usually happen without a clear goal in sight.

  1. You get overly ambitious, decide you’re gonna learn that concerto you always wanted to, start practicing much more than you used to and quickly burn out.
  2. Your practice habits slide and you don’t play at all.

You probably know this already but it’s worth reiterating, consistency is key. 20 minutes every day will take you far further than 4 hours once a week. This happens to be the case with your yoga practice also.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Because I’m not a fan of long blog posts, I’ve decided to break this one up in two. Part 2 is heading your way next week.

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