In this short blog post, we are going to look at ways of forming a habit. You may be asking yourself why would I want to form a habit, aren’t habits bad for you? It all depends on what the habit is. Here I am primarily looking at how to form the habit of making music.
It is easy to come home after a hard day at work and just veg out in front of Netflix and making excuses why you shouldn’t be in the studio making music. The best way to get out of this rut is to form a habit, a kind of ritual. The idea here is that you set up a pain/reward system as this is the best way for your mind and body to assimilate something different and perhaps new.
Choosing the pain
Okay, when I talk about choosing the pain I am not expecting you to take up firewalking or any other extreme measures; unless that’s your thing of course. The pain bit could be something you know has to be done or something that is part of your daily routine. Whatever you choose it must be something that you do every day. Once you have chosen the activity you follow this with a stint in the studio. A simple device for one that is very effective.
As an example, you may choose to meditate for 10 – 15 minutes after eating your evening meal. Once the meditation is over you spend a minimum of 15 minutes in the studio. You may decide to do your daily exercise then follow this by a 10-15 minute in the studio. Whatever the pain/reward relationship once you have done this for a period of at least 10 days your mind and body will see it as part of your routine. It will then become second nature to the extent your mind and body won’t realise it is happening.
Progressing the habit
Once you have performed the habit of making music for at least 15 minutes a day you may find that 15 minutes turns into 30 and then before you know it you are up to one whole hour. The thing is to keep performing the routine of pain followed by pleasure. Once you have repeated this cycle for at least 10 days your mind slowly disassociates itself from the pain/pleasure relationship and it becomes a natural everyday occurrence.
However, creating the habit is only the first step. When you get into the habit of making music the aim must then be to finish your tracks. If you don’t aim to finish then you end up forming a different type of habit. A habit of procrastination and not finishing your tracks.
I provided some tips on how to be more effective with your time in an earlier blog post about time management. If you mix these tips alongside forming a habit, there should be no reason why you will not become more productive and finish the music you started.
Falling off the wagon
Do not worry if you for some reason you are unable to follow through on the habit every day. Life happens and priorities change. The main thing is not to leave too long a stretch before jumping back on. Once you stop the process for a few days it becomes so easy to fall back to your old ways. The thing is not to be too judgemental on yourself as this will have a negative effect and may make the whole process a chore instead of providing that moment of fun.
If you have any thoughts on this subject please leave your comment below and check out my music.