What is a plan? It’s a set of instructions for doing something you want to do. It is the single most important ingredient in your success in accomplishing your task. Don’t believe me? Just try putting a piece of IKEA furniture together without following the instructions.
Sure, you can always wing it. But you’ll be risking the failure of your entire project.
When it comes to music study, having a plan is just as vital. Firstly, without a plan you can’t be sure you will actually achieve your objective. Whether you’re trying to nail down a fingering, speed up a passage, or memorize an entire recital, a plan will ensure that you get it done and in a defined time frame. No plan, no deadline, no guarantee that you’ll get it done.
Even if you don’t accomplish your goal in the time you planned, simply following a plan allows you to see progress which is essential for fueling your motivation. The succession of steps embodied in a plan allows you to see how far you have come on your path. It’s a confidence builder that leads to even greater progress.
And that progress allows you to stay focused on your goal. You experience the growth which keeps you motivated and that inspires you to stay the course. It’s a powerful cycle: create and follow a plan, see your progress, maintain your focus, achieve your goal, identify your next one, create your new plan, etc.
If you’ve personally experienced the power of that process, you likely discovered three other side benefits, surprisingly good reasons to have a plan.
A PLAN EQUALS FREEDOM
Imagine the feeling of not worrying about what you need to practice today. You sit down at the harp knowing the exact things you will work on and why they are important. You don’t have to create your practice schedule from scratch each day. You aren’t duplicating your efforts unnecessarily, going over the ground you covered yesterday, stuck in a pattern of pointless repetition. That’s freedom.
A PLAN EQUALS TIME
A plan is efficient. When your practicing is more efficient, it takes less time. Simple. So what could you do with a little extra time? Explore a different aspect of harp playing, a new music genre? You could read some new music, review old favorites or just play something for fun. Or you could spend some more time on a non-musical hobby. And you could do it all guilt-free, because you know that your practice is still on track.
A PLAN EQUALS RELAXATION
It’s a matter of trust. When you are following a plan, you know you can relax. Not only is the path clear instead of confused, but over time you learn to trust the process. All your music learning becomes easier because you know the progress will come as you work your plan. As your mindset relaxes, so will your body. In fact, everything becomes easier. All because you have a plan.
NOTE: In next week’s post I’ll give you the 3 ingredients of a perfect plan. Don’t miss it!
Here’s my question for you: Are you ready to create your plan?
Let me know in the comments below.