One of my favorite podcasts, Freakonomics Radio, did an episode awhile back entitled "Big Returns from Thinking Small." It explains the concept of the "nudge," a concept that suggests that small adjustments to our behaviors can yield huge results. The core idea is to change by suggestion and by small degrees rather than making some drastic change that won't last. For example, instead of going from no exercise to an hour 7 days a week, it's more sustainable to simply take the stairs rather than the elevator, or to park a bit further away when you go to the grocery store. How's this for a silly example: the little bee stickers they put in urinals effectively nudge men to aim better...
So, let's nudge ourselves to better singing: instead of doing vocalises for 10 minutes, do 11... don't let yourself watch an episode of that new Netflix show until your practicing is done... instead of repeating that thorny phrase 5 times, do 7 reps... With extra time and extra repetitions, we unleash a powerful cycle:
effective practice --> noticeable improvement --> enjoyment --> desire to practice --> effective practice --> noticeable improvement --> enjoyment, etc.
After all, we're always, always strengthening habits, no matter what we're doing. We're either strengthening good habits, or we're strengthening bad habits. And, most importantly: we have the power to choose.
Well, gotta go--I'm feeling nudged to go practice!