Have you made any resolutions for 2016? If so, congratulations--according to psychologist professor and researcher John Norcross in a New York Times article, you are TEN TIMES more likely to achieve your goal over time than a "non-resolver" with the identical goal and comparable motivation to change.
That's good news for people who make resolutions, but the news gets better. There are some simple steps you can take to dramatically increase your chances of achieving any goal.
1. Don't Rely On Willpower.
Precommit yourself to make it easier to keep your goal. If want to get out of debt, cut up your credit card! If you want to stop snacking on junk food at home, don't bring it into the house! To practice more, put your guitar out where you can see it!
2. Make A Plan.
In his chapter on motivation in the book "59 Seconds", Richard Wiseman suggests breaking your overall goal into a maximum of five smaller steps. Make sure each step is concrete, measurable, realistic and that you have a time-line for doing it!
3. Tell Your Friends And Family.
Wiseman says that in a study of over 5,000 goal setters, "successful participants were far more likely than others to tell their friends, family and colleagues about their goals." Similarly, goal setting website stickK.com found in an analysis of 125,000 goals that people who had a "referee" to monitor their progress were over twice as successful as those who tried to do it alone.
4. Forgive Yourself.
Understand that setbacks are normal and don't allow them to be catastrophic. Don't be the person who says "well, I smoked one cigarette, so I might as well smoke for the rest of the year" or "I missed this class this week, now I'm too far behind to go back." Successful goal-setters are resilient, and get back on track after a temporary failure.
5. Track Your Success and Reward Yourself!
Keep track of how you are doing, and remember to do something nice to do for yourself when you achieve one of your sub-goals!
Could these techniques be adapted to your guitar playing? Heck yeah! Have a wonderful year! Thank you for being part of the NYC Guitar School community, and I wish you massive success in all aspects of your life, musical and otherwise!
Founder, NYC Guitar School