There are three kinds of tasks that keep coming up in our lives, and how we frame them can have a big impact on how well (and how often) we do them.
Three Kinds of Tasks
Things that we have to do (but don’t want to do) are labeled as chores.
Things that we have incorporated into our daily lives without much thinking are labeled as habits.
Finally, things that we (generally) enjoy and have established some sort of ceremony or customs around are called rituals.
Habits Before Rituals
Last week I talked about “micro practice”. This practice idea is designed to help younger students move the idea of practice from a rarely-done (and rarely enjoyed) chore into a habit.
Once practice is a habit, it’s not something you’re forced to do, it becomes a part of who you are.
You’re a musician, and musicians practice.
If you haven’t moved music practice (or any important work) from a chore to a habit, there’s little chance that you’ll ever make meaningful progress. And even if you do make progress, you likely won’t stick with it over the long-term (when you inevitably hit a dip).
Of course, the danger of keeping practice in the habit stage for too long is that you won’t move forward. If you’re not intentionally and intelligently pushing your limits, you’ll default to comfort rather than progress.
But before you worry about reinforcing bad behaviors while practicing, you have to actually get into the habit of practicing!