A little while ago, we talked about how to find your intrinsic motivation and talked about kicking the bad habit of relying on extrinsic motivation. In this post, we’ll look at the next step in increasing your rate of progress.
At this point, you need to sit down and ask yourself a question:
what would it take for me to practice more?
What you’re really getting at with this question is clarifying your obstacles. Human beings are funny creatures. Very often it’s seemingly insignificant things that hold us back from achieving big goals. Any musician will tell you that just having an instrument out of its case and available will dramatically increase the amount of practicing the musician does.
Think about that.
Something as simple as where a musician puts an instrument in their house dramatically changes the course of their practice (and skill level).
Now let’s look at this question again: What would it take for me to practice more?
There’s a trick to answering this question. To really find your obstacles, you have to think about what you think about when you decide not to practice.
Sit down in a quiet place for just a moment and close your eyes. Imagine you are at a time and place during your day that would be optimum for practicing. But you don’t want to. What makes you not want to practice?
The answers can vary.
You might say “I’m tired from work and I don’t have enough energy,” you might say, “My house is too messy and I just can’t get in the right frame of mind with this mess all around me,” or you might say, “I’ve got so many things to do and I don’t know which of them I should do right now…”
You get the idea.
Now that you’ve got a better idea of your obstacles, you can answer the original question.
For example, if having a messy house is affecting your frame of mind so that you’re not able to practice, the answer to the question would be “If I were going to practice more, it would take having a clean space to practice in.”
If you’ve got a bunch of things to do and you’re not sure what you should take care of right now, then the answer to the question would be “If I was going to practice more I would need a time designated specifically for practicing.”
To recap, we’ve talked about finding your intrinsic motivation, we’ve asked the question “what would it take for me to practice more,” and we’ve outlined a method for how to answer that question.
Next we’ll tie everything together and talk about the last step for getting you on your way to practicing more.
Until then, go check out Clear’s Tai Chi Online for a vast library of Tai Chi drills and exercises that will ensure you never run out ways to increase your skill.