As with every Monday, I often wake up a little tired and a little sore from playing social Ultimate Frisbee on a Sunday evening. It's one of the highlights of my week because it's so much fun and it scratches the strong competitive itch that I have. The next-day consequences are a reasonable by-product, but they have a habit of affecting my motivation to do the less fun things in life. The harder I ran, the more stiff my legs, the less likely I'm going to be happy about standing up off the couch to unpack the dishwasher. So, like many of you, I battle with two key aspects of my life that are closely linked with your practise time - routine and resilience.
Routine is something that I always thought I'd be bad at, one of those things that I thought was character-defining and finite. "I'm not good at creating new routines," was a standard reply to anything that needed habit to work. I'm now very proud to say that I now feel like crafting new routines comes much, much easier than it used to. My number one routine building tip is this: try and combine more than one thing in to the same routine.
For example, last year I decided that I wanted to listen to more music. I also decided that I wanted to be more proactive in household chores. In combining the two I've built a successful routine - in the morning I put on some music (usually an album in my quest to listen to my library alphabetically) and start the chores. In combining it with the music, I've inadvertently given myself permission for the chores to take as long (or longer) than the album, so I don't feel like I'm having to rush to get them done and they don't feel like nearly as much of a hassle. Win win!
Then we get back to the Monday mornings. Even with a well-honed routine, some days the motivation still falls short. Sometimes that's fine - maybe I'll iron the shirts tomorrow - sometimes it's not, like when it's bin day. On these occasions, when my motivation is low, my focus is on building my resilience. I make an effort to push past the part of me that says "I don't want to" and engage more with the part that says "I should". I have to acknowledge the difficulty - no point in masking that, but once I've admitted that I don't want to, I move to the next step of reminding myself that it's the starting that's hard, not the task itself. It's no coincidence that I have a "Just Start" poster in my studio!
So, over the next week, I want you to pay attention to how often your motivation to practise falls short, and start to think about possible changes to your routine or building resilience against the times where you'd rather just stay sitting and scrolling.
A warm welcome to new student Sophie who has her first lesson booked in this week! Sophie joins the list of students on "Standby" who come in for lessons when cancellations pop up. As that list grows, please be conscious of the amount of notice you're able to give when you'll be away for a lesson - the more notice the better! This is also why the cancellation policy is strict on 48 hour and same-day cancellations as it's much more difficult to reallocate the lesson time on short notice.
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: