Start with a few minutes each day
You don't have to play the piano for a few hours a day to get better. Just do it every day to establish a kind of rhythm. Sitting behind a piano and pressing a few keys, even when you don't feel like it, puts you in a mindset to play the piano. You'll notice that, once you're already there, you play the piano longer than you thought. And there will also be days when you play a few chords and close the piano lid again. That's perfectly fine.
Work with a goal
It's important to work towards a goal, for example:
- I want to learn to play this song on the piano
- I want to write a blog about habits
- When I read an Italian news article, I want to understand the main points
Stick to it
In my to-do app (Todoist), I make certain tasks return every day, such as playing the piano, reading, and writing. To end the day with an empty list, I have to complete these tasks. This forces me to engage with them every day. If I don't do this, I might forget certain things.
A good example is writing this blog. I saw on my to-do list that I still had to write today. Even though I didn't feel like it, I forced myself to see how much I had already written. I thought, just type a few more sentences, and meanwhile, I've been typing for ten minutes.
By the way, I sometimes skip a day, but because it reoccurs daily on my list, it stays in view.
Don't stubbornly cling to habits
I also change these habits and don't persist endlessly in something I no longer enjoy. A few years ago, I had the idea of learning Italian. It eventually became overwhelming, and before I knew it, I was struggling through all the Harry Potter books in Italian. So, I decided to stop after book four, also because I haven't been to Italy in about 5 years. Therefore, be critical of your habits and ask yourself every day why you do them and whether you still enjoy them.
What comes back on my to-do list every day:
- Writing (fiction or non-fiction)
- Playing the piano
- Writing a logbook (actually a diary but that sounds so dull)
- Training relative hearing (with an app on my phone)
If you want to know more about habits (forming them), I recommend the book 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear. He provides many more tips and tricks on how to develop habits.
What are your habits? Let me know by leaving a comment below.