I play more guitar by committing to playing two minutes every day

In my last post I discussed how mini-habits can help maintain skills rather than letting them stagnate.   This is an important phenomenon but it’s also true that mini habits can help you exceed your practice goals.

Because of my mini habit,  I am just there with a tuned guitar in my hands or a laptop in front of me.  Though I might only be committed to two minutes of effort, everything is there for the possibility of more.

I owe a lot of my recent progress in this are to Stephen Guise,  creator of the “Mini Habit Mastery” course on Udemy. I am totally paraphrasing him here but what he is says is that you have to keep your commitment to the mini habit small.   Feel free to exceed the mini habit target but don’t make that the new and hard to reach expectation.

Lowering my expectations has helped me to exceed my goals for a few reasons:

  • It puts the tools right in my hands so I can keep on learning or creating if I want to
  • The minimal commitment gets me over the perfectionist death knell that keeps me from starting in the first place
  • Once I start it’s just plain fun to play or challenge myself more

My language inspiration site AJATT shares a similar message:

Starting is more important than finishing. If you just start — show up — every day; finishing will take care of itself. In exercise terms, the trick is not to go to the gym, the trick is to get outside with your shoes on.

A mini habit is a way to get outside with your shoes on.   Do more by lowering the stakes but practicing consistently.