January 15, 2014

It's a new year -

It is a new year – the time when we know that we “should” be reflecting on the past year and generating new goals for the coming year.  Making resolutions that we're highly unlikely to actually keep.  And we do this every year…sigh.

So how about this year we make a plan rather than a goal? What if you focused on what you wanted to do rather than generating objectives?  What if this year you started out knowing that you could do it rather than waiting to fail?  What would you do to make this plan so that you can follow it all year long?  

Here are six things you can do to start working toward a plan:

  1. Write it down – this way not only can you not forget what your plan is, but you can make sure the plan doesn’t get any bigger (or any smaller) as time passes (unless you intend for it to).
  2. Think first – don’t just burst into action, but each day think about how you’re doing to get through that day’s part of the plan.  Take a few moments of quiet time (can be in the shower, over your morning cuppa, or anywhere else you have the time to be quiet) and think about it.
  3. Focus – spend time in your harp space, doing harp things.  Don’t bring your phone in with you, don’t turn on the TV, put down your novel and focus on your harp.
  4. Keep your space neat (to help you focus…and to be able to find your harp).  If at all possible, have a harp space – an area that is harp only with no other obligations for the space (that is, don’t play from your desk chair or turn the bench around to have breakfast, but rather have dedicated space for harping).
  5. Make a habit – this is not just me telling you to practice but rather, develop your own habits for your harp time. Warm up in the same basic way, work through your new material in the same pattern, segment your practice time similarly each day.  Once this becomes a habit you can begin to deviate to alleviate boredom – but stay within your habit pattern.
  6. Develop a ritual – this is akin to the habit, but a ritual helps set the mood. Start each day at your harp after you’ve had your tea and brushed your teeth.  Or put up the dinner dishes before your sit down, secure that all is well before you begin to play.  Or light candles in your harp room…or develop any other ritual that reminds you that it is time to practice and prepares you to spend time with your harp. 
This is a gentle way to slide into the new year.  Sneak up on your plan and accomplish your goals without anyone (except you) being the wiser!

No comments: