The habit of creating a habit – IN PROGR
by Martino Scovacricchi
This article applies to anyone in the music world as well as outside it.
- Professional musician looking to establish new habits within your own practice
- Complete beginners looking to practice more (or get into the habit of practicing)
- Amateur players
- Performing artists of any kind
- People with non-artistic lives
In order to establish a good foundation of knowledge, whether in music or in another profession, we need to stay focused and be consistent at it over a long period of time.
Especially while learning an instrument and developing our skills on it throughout our lifetime, we face challenges that get in the way of staying focused and consistent.
We all get distracted nowadays and very easily.
It’s either our phone, you tube, amazon, google, what’s app, chats, phone calls, friends, facebook, instagram, ads on the street, on TV, online, magazines….
Let’s face it – distraction is everywhere.
We can’t change that unless we move to the forest in isolation. Yet still, I bet we would find ways to get distracted in the forest as well.
In order to achieve what we want in our lives we need to stay true to ourselves and say no to things, be determined to carry out what we have decided to get accomplished.
For me, the most difficult thing is to establish a new habit while realising I’m trying to do it.
Growing up we created many different habits that now make who we are. This process was somehow conscious but probably most of it unconscious.
Creating a habit consciously is challenging as we quickly realize when it’s not working and this makes us feel frustrated as we don’t see the wanted results.
HOW TO DO IT
If you’d like to get a new routine to become part of your daily life you want to forget the end result and focus on doing it!
Forget the end result!
Firstly, start is by starting!
Creating a habit is not achieving a good result.
Creating a habit is making sure the action of doing (what you have decided to achieve) becomes part of your daily routine.
I used to put a timer on 3 minutes (and still do) which would be my allocated time to practice the THING.
Once the alarm went off, I would stop, without worrying too much about the result and carried over to the next topic or stop my practice completely.
I did this for 4 months and started seeing incredible results on my playing and habits.
By doing the same thing for a very short period on a daily basis, I noticed I was getting better at it and was able to go more into detail every time.
My brain was not worried about putting in 5 hours of practice everyday while feeling frustrated of not being able to achieve that.
I knew I had 3 minutes – we all have 3 minutes.
Those 3 minutes would sometimes become 5, 10 even 15 sometimes. (if the students was late :))
Aiming for the shortest amount of time possible was actually making me more focused, aware and consistent.
If you establish the habit of doing something for 3 minutes a day for 3 months or more then it’s just a matter of polishing what you are working on to make it better.
Remember to establish a habit you don’t need 5 hours every day. You can start with as little as 30 seconds and do it every day, every day!
You just need will power and stay strong to your goals! Everything will fall into place.
It’s your turn! I’ll leave you to experiment with this.
There’s nothing much to practice here. You will get the hang of it just by doing it, doing it and doing it and over time you will be able to do this with one hand only (not that is necessary).
If you have any questions just let me know in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your saxophone journey.