Why is it so easy to form “bad” habits, and so dang hard to form the “good” ones?
As a musician and music coach, I have thought about the subject of Intentional Habit Forming at least a thousand times a day.
As a young kid, playing music everyday felt effortless. So did playing outside on a playground. But as soon as I started taking formal music lessons, and as soon as I realized I needed to exercise everyday to avoid all kinds of health issues, it was like a switch got flipped. I no longer wanted to “play” music “play” outside. Now I HAD to “practice” music and I was SUPPOSED TO exercise regularly. And suddenly, it seems like overnight, I started resisting and despising practicing music and exercising.
I would spend the next couple of decades feeling like I HAD TO or I WAS SUPPOSED TO. And that feeling would simply push the pleasure of playing music farther and farther away. It wasn’t until I learned a few tricks of forming intentional habits and helping (tricking) my brain into remembering how much FUN playing music and moving the body could be.
And now it’s almost like a game. Actually, it’s totally a game. I watch my brain start the resisting and complaining and making excuses thing, and then, like a little happiness-elf who knows just what to do, I start sneaking the new habits and new approaches in their place. Because at the end of the day, as much as a part of me hates to admit it, the only way to play the music we were born to play, is to be with it and PLAY IT, at least a little bit, ALL THE TIME.
As a music coach, I happily do this with my fellow musicians too. And sure enough, we go from struggle and self-doubt, to having way too much fun playing music and moving our bodies once again.
Want to know these secrets and tricks of Intentional Habit Forming?