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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Quick Practice Tip: Rate Your Day

Here is a practice tip that might help you to find motivation to practice or to perform any desired habit. Set up a system to rank yourself each day. Here is how it works.

For this example, let us say that I am trying to lose weight. I set up a list of what I consider to be good health habits that when I follow them, I would be likely to lose weight. These habits could possibly include things like:

  • weigh daily on a scale (1 point)
  • log all food intake in a journal (1 point)
  • stay within a daily calorie limit (1 point)
  • meet any or all of the three Apple Watch activity goals (1-3 points)
  • accomplish any 20-minute period of exercise beyond the 30 minutes recorded by the Apple watch (1 point each 20-minute period)

Then I would give myself a point for performing any of the habits and thereby rating my day. I would keep a calendar that recorded my progress on these habits. I would suggest setting a minimum threshold ranking number and strive to at least attain that number.

How would this work for practice scenarios? How about making a possible list of habits to earn points from these areas?

  • playing a scale or scale assignment
  • playing a review song
  • practicing 30 minutes
  • any 15 minutes practicing beyond the initial 30 minutes
  • playing a repertoire piece
  • practicing a preview exercise or 5 minutes of a technical exercise or etude
Then I would set the minimum threshold points goal at 3, because it would be "easy" to gain points for doing a scale, review song, and 5 minutes of a technical exercise. That would be a possible 10 minutes. I firmly believe that everyone can find 10 minutes in even the busiest day.

Let me know if you try this idea and what you discover that helps. I have successfully used this technique for several months now, and I find it very encouraging to reinforce good habits.

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