We're halfway through January, and by now you might have some feelings about your New Year's Resolutions. Already forgetting to follow through with some thing? Giving up after missing one day of something you told yourself you'd do EVERY day?
You might even be laughing at the thought of making a New Year's Resolution at all considering how many unexpected things happened last year.
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
It's always a good time to set goals for yourself, whether it's on January 1st or six months from now. Creating specific, attainable goals can help you build a sense of self, and structure, two things that a lot of us need a little more of right now.
Here are a few resolutions we've come up with to help you on your musical journey:
1. Warm Ups
You've heard this one before, but it really makes a difference. Artists need warm ups to get into the flow of things before making a masterpiece, athletes should warm up to avoid injuries, and in some ways you are both an artist AND an athlete! Play through some quick scales, or just a couple of songs you know and love before getting down to business. It'll truly help you loosen up, and get that muscle memory back in action.
2. Practice Routine
Work warming up into a new practice routine. We get it. You want music to feel fun, and fluid, and you want it to come to you through some kind of divine order. Hate to break it to you, but that just doesn't work for most people. Pick days of the week, and/or times of the day when you KNOW you'll feel most like practicing.
We're not saying everyone needs to have the same practice routine, but find something that works for you! Try incorporating warm ups, playing songs you love, devoting specific amounts of time to working on something new, or adding a little free play to the mix!
Sticking to a routine (i.e. practicing every Tuesday at 3pm for half an hour) is better than nothing, and we know you'd rather be playing music than doing nothing.
Does it seem too hard to come up with a practice routine on your own? Start taking lessons! Having a teacher help you organize your time, goals, schedule, and to help hold you accountable is an AWESOME way to get into the groove and stick to a resolution.
4. Increase Practice Time
Not ready to take lessons? Feeling stressed at the idea of practicing for long periods of time? We've got great news! You don't have to! You can totally start small. Pick up your instrument and play it for five minutes a day. Then try ten minutes. Then fifteen, and twenty, and so on. It's always easier to start small, and work your way up to something.
You wouldn't try running a marathon without even seeing if you had the stamina to run for even five minutes, would you?
5. Get Organized
It can feel GREAT to clean your space, and the same applies to your instruments. Give your case a quick vacuum. Organize your guitar picks, reeds, or cleaning supplies. Give your instrument that much needed bath you've been putting off.
You could even go big with this one! Display your instrument on a stand, or hang your instrument on the wall so it's always in sight begging to be played.
BONUS GOAL: Share Your Music
It's easier than ever to share your music! Hit record on your cell phone, plug in a USB mic to your computer, or start a live stream. Sharing your music with the world can take you to the next level as a musician, and it's just downright fun!
YOU GOT THIS!
We're still living in a very weird time, so this is just a reminder to be gentle with yourself. Only you get to determine what failure means when it comes to your goals, so cut yourself some slack, start fresh as many times as you want, and adjust whenever you need to.