“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” –Jim Ryuun
Doing a little every day keeps a skill on hold rather than let it mold. Playing at least two minutes of guitar every day has not turned me into Jimi Hendrix but it also hasn’t let the possibility of playing guitar slip further and further away.
Doing at least five minutes of exercise hasn’t turned me into an Adonis but at least I have a base of strength and flexibility to work with. Sometimes I do 200 push up and sometimes I just do five minutes of stretching. It beats what I was “doing” before. Nothing.
Reducing your practice to a doable minimum insures that you will have a base no matter how small. Playing two minutes every day makes me at least keep my guitar tuned.
Last week I practiced fretboard vitamins. This is a card system to remember different positions on the guitar. Even with a few late nights when I couldn’t get to the guitar at least I looked at these cards for two minutes of mental practice. Terre Roche, accomplished musician and designer of these cards, encourages all who undertake her system to, “practice with no hope of fruition.”
Mini habits are a great way to hold on in the midst of many conflicting concerns. I don’t study German any more than about seven minutes a day. I’m nowhere near fluent but I “own” a lot more words than if I didn’t. When I can spend more time with German or in Germany at least I will have a base of vocabulary to build on. Keeping it small for now keeps German do-able and fun.
A little a day is the way to play. Keep it on hold. Don’t let it mold. Do your mini habits.