Counting up, or how I build habits

PianoI’ve been re-learning how to play the piano since November. I previously stopped playing when I was 12 or so, and it’s fascinating how much I remember. As part of learning a musical instrument, practice is involved.

For a few months, I would set a timer for a certain amount of time and try to practice that much. I found that I would begin to resent that timer and would avoid practice because I didn’t want to deal with the timer counting down. Recently, I started counting up. I started using a stopwatch app instead of the timer.

Now, instead of struggling to practice for enough time, I find that I’m happy to practice and see how much time it takes. Each individual practice isn’t as long, but I practice much more often, and I enjoy the practice more.

This made me think about how I build other habits. Maybe, if instead of going for devotional work 5 times a week, I see how many times I can do devotional work … don’t aim for a number, see how high the number can get. Maybe it’ll start a streak!


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