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Settling Into a Routine … Again

This is a time of year that many of us have made New Year’s Resolutions & are struggling to keep up with them.   Earlier this week, yoga class was full at the studio as many individuals strove to get in shape or lose weight.  However, I know that quite a few of those same individuals will stop coming in just a few weeks & by February the studio will be at ‘normal’ capacity again.  I know this because I have been that person in the past more times than I care to admit.

Last week, I spoke about 80 Days of Excellence.   This week, I’ll be letting you know how my students & I are settling into a routine … again, but with a mind on how we can reach our goals in the next few months.

Knowing Where You Want to Go

Part of achieving goals is making them in the first place.  Last week, I listed my goals for the next few months that cover several areas of my life.

For our first lesson back, my students were assigned a worksheet to create goals they would like to accomplish by the end of February.  This coincides with the end of our current warm-ups (more on that in March) & a method book blitz that we are just starting.

By setting a shorter time frame, both my students & I can be hyper focused on what needs to happen now … there is no room for students to procrastinate from week to week because then their goals won’t get accomplished.

It also has given them an opportunity to let me know something they would like added to their lesson that we don’t currently do.  One of my students wrote down “Rhythm Menagerie” by Wendy Stevens.  No shock there since he had told me before the holidays he would like to get back to that resource.   However, one of my students really surprised me when he wrote down sight reading from his Four Star Sight Reading & Ear Training book.  Wait, what?  The activities that have been like pulling teeth for him to just get them done?  Those ones?  Turns out our warm-ups are showing him gaps in his knowledge & he may just be ready to fill in those gaps … so long as we do them in lesson so he can be guided through them.

I have been impressed with the responses that I got from students.  They really thought about the goals & even realized that it would take a good routine to pull this off.  Each week, we will be reviewing their goal sheets to see what is moving forward & what needs to change so they continue to progress.

Settling Into a Routine … Again

Setting goals without having a plan results in people dropping out of yoga class.  Well, not just yoga class.  Without a plan, goals are just empty words … much like a hamster on a wheel going nowhere really fast.

For myself, I like making a weekly list of goals & tasks that need to be accomplished.  From there I am able to happily tick off the tasks as they are completed … I love seeing a task get crossed off a list!  It keeps me in my happy place.

Something I have added to my weekly list is which days I will do certain tasks.  Most things I don’t worry about having a specific due date since I like & need the flexibility.  After all life happens … like when the school called on Monday to let me know that one of my kids was sick & needed to come home.  My whole work day got topsy-turvy with my usual morning activities getting pushed to the evening & some being pushed to other days completely.

In the early stages of setting a routine or habit, it’s best to schedule it in.

This gets our brains used to the new pattern of our days & weeks.

This week, I have practiced yoga 4 times (with one of those being at the yoga studio) & this afternoon will be my 4th piano practice session.  I’m excited to reach my weekly goal, but this would not have happened unless I thought ahead of time about which days I would be able to realistically do either of those activities.

In the studio, students & I have been talking about specifically what THEIR practice times will look like & how they will make their practice a routine.

More practice won’t happen unless there is a plan in place.

Learning songs won’t happen unless there is a focus each practice session & each repetition of a section.

It’s hard work thinking about the how & when of practice, especially when your students are as young as mine.  But, it’s worth it to have a plan so progress actually happens.  And, it’s a lifelong skill that will hopefully help them avoid the dreaded New Year’s resolution fail that so many of us go through.

Setting YOUR Routine

Settling into a routine doesn’t have to be mindless.  We can choose to ADD activities or routines that help us reach our goals & REMOVE many of the activities that don’t bring joy or personal fulfilment to our lives.  (I say many activities because there are just some activities that we need to do.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a fix for loading the dishwasher or other tasks that you just don’t want to do.  However, if you happen to  LOVE loading the dishwasher & washing dishes … email me.  We can totally help you out!)

If you are looking for a worksheet to use with your students this upcoming week to help them get focused on their music goals, get the FREE goal setting worksheet (student edition) here!

What will YOU be doing this upcoming week to reach your goals? What routines or habits are you setting up now to have the life you want?

And lastly, how will you support your students in not only setting musical goals, but making the routine & habits that will help them reach those goals?

Have a great weekend!

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