2024 is travelling towards us as fast as a Tommy Emmanuel riff so…
Today, let’s talk about how to make next year an amazing one for your playing…
…And how to keep you highly motivated throughout the year.
Motivation can be a bit of a puzzle.
…Especially when it comes to something as personal as playing the guitar.
Well, here’s a mixture of scientifically backed motivating advice and tips I’ve used many times with students in my studio.
Many of these tips I first discovered in the great book 59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman. Here we go…
1. Set Clear and Achievable Goals:
Break down your guitar aspirations into manageable tasks. It’s pretty obvious but also proven that having specific and realistic goals amps up your motivation.
2. Internal Desire
Look within for motivation. Find joy and personal meaning in your guitar journey; that’s what keeps the fire burning. In other words, learn the things that make your heart sing.
3. Reward Systems:
Give yourself a pat on the back. Behavioural psychology massively supports the idea that recognising personal achievements is a potent motivator. Treat yourself for hitting any small guitar milestones. (New strings? New capo? New Martin 000 guitar?)
4. Visualise Success:
Picture yourself playing your music to a high standard. Vivid visualisation can boost your confidence and drive (and it also has the big benefit of potentially helping you to remember more and train your mind to control the fingers and play with more fluidity).
5. Create a Routine:
Habits and routines make things smoother. Establishing a routine can reduce decision fatigue and make practice feel more automatic. If you need a daily routine to warm up with, my Academy will help, but of course, you can create your own routine – ideally make it simple, fun, and make sure it excites you to pick up and play!
6. Social Support:
Jam with like-minded folks. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who share similar guitar goals, both in person and online. Accountability to others is a game-changer, and I once read somewhere that it is the main reason why weight loss programmes such as Weight Watchers work – accountability is very powerful.
7. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection:
Small wins count. Embrace progress over perfection; setbacks are part of the process, so accept that will happen. Thinking about the things that might slow down progress is helpful though, as it can allow your mind to think about ways to overcome obstacles.
8. Mindset Matters:
Ever heard of the growth mindset? Believe in your ability to grow and develop through dedication and hard work. We all have our doubts, and if you’ve played in front of others before and it did not go as well as you would have liked, or you’ve had negative comments, this is not easy…. But do your utmost to believe in yourself. Your mindset is crucial.
9. Create a Positive Environment:
Make sure your practice space is conducive to productivity and surround yourself with positive people who cheer you on. If your spouse is hammering away on an old motorbike while you’re hammering on (see what I did there?), it can be a big distraction. A pleasant and inspiring environment counts.
Finally, and above all, research shows that having concrete plans can make you more motivated and much more likely to achieve your goals.
“Of course, genius, that is obvious,” you might think.
Well, so many try and struggle for years without any sort of plan, so of course, it’s key to mention this here!
Now, tackling all this on your own is possible.
And if you’ve managed to do this yourself, it deserves a round of applause.
I mean that.
In a world filled with distractions and endless courses and lessons, it’s no small feat to stay focused on your journey.
Back in the day, before the internet took over, I only had to fight distractions from BBC Radio 1 and Kerrang rock magazine. Distractions are so much worse now.
If you’re keen on getting the above dialled in, and you’re committed to the guitar…
Then the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy will help with the above. It’s my primary programme that’s been refined over many years, designed to give you clarity, focus, drive, and motivation – so you don’t need to go at it alone.
I’ll be revealing more in the next few days on the upcoming January lessons, but I won’t drone on about it here. Check out what members on the page below have to say.
Anyway, here’s the link to find out more…
Remember, everyone’s different, so experiment with the above strategies and find what resonates most with you.
…And, of course, keep rocking that guitar.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.