By the beginning of February, I’m done with winter. The holiday playing is long over; spring is still weeks away, no matter what the groundhog said. I’m feeling the winter blahs, and not just in the day-to-day things. This is the time of year when my practice can suffer from the blahs too.
Have you ever noticed how when you have important things to practice for, you enjoy your practice more? You have more energy for it, because there’s a good reason to practice. It’s never a struggle to practice when you have a lesson or a performance coming up. But it can be hard to drag yourself to the harp bench if there’s nothing on the calendar. If you have nothing to practice for, it’s quite possible you have no energy for practice.
Practice is certainly easier to do when you know you simply have to practice. But what if you don’t have to practice? How do you stay motivated and energized?
The simple answer is that you might not be able to stay motivated. Motivation requires us to expend energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere.
I’m going to say something that may shock you, or at least surprise you a little. I’m actually going to give you permission to NOT practice. That sounds like a radical idea, I know, but it’s a valid technique. When you’re not feeling it, maybe you shouldn’t do it. However, let me quickly add that there is a right way and about a million wrong ways to skip your practice, and the wrong ways won’t help you. You’ll end up out of shape, feeling guilty and miserable, kind of like when you binge on chocolate fudge and potato chips and have to wear your stretchy pants.
No, what we’re going to discuss today is motivation and where it comes from, plus what to do when you don’t feel motivated. I have five easy ways to pump up your practice energy and at least four of them are fun. The fourth one might be fun too; you ‘ll have to decide that for yourself.
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
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