Many times we get so overwhelmed with our day to day jobs or get burnt out that we stare into a black mirror to decompress. Time that we can exert energy into crafting a skill, once a walk in the park, is being relegated to what Martin Heidegger called the "Chatter" (refers to phenomena that focuses on gossip or other trivial distractions). Instead of focusing on a passion we once had, that passion dissipates into other venues other than what we truly want or desire. To begin anew and set a path forward, this is a blue print for encouragement and goal setting.
In a Spring 2019 edition for Sweetnotes, Writer and Musician Jacob Dupre, highlights three solutions in an article entitled, "Practice Problems":
Set a realistic practice time
Set realistic goals
Be creative in your practice
Deadlines, swamped schedules, and personal issues can get the best of us but setting up a realistic pace for yourself to pick up the instrument and play is the idea. Normally, there is overthinking that results by throwing in the proverbial towel. Why spend an hour to practice when one can recline on a sofa to drown yourself into the Chatter of television, or lay on a bed and sulk into that aforementioned black mirror from a long agonizing shift? As Jacob suggests, how about practicing 15 minutes for four days rather than an hour for one day? Certainly this will help improve your craft and get yourself on the right path. The best goal is an easily obtainable one, not an ambitious one.
Pace yourself to set a realistic goal for the extra push in the creation of a routine. Once the seed is planted, you become a creature of habit. If there's a song that you've been meaning to nail, start at the beginning while keeping the habit of 15 minutes for four days within the week. Then when improvement is observable, move onto the next portion of the song. As Jacob states, "find the peace and self-respect in being patient with yourself and knowing that it's okay to take your time to learn something correctly, rather than quickly."
The biggest motivation of practicing should be to experiment and have fun. Part of that process is creativity. Learning different styles and ideas while coalescing them during practice sessions can make for a fun experience. Jacob further elaborates, "take whatever you're working on this week and find a new way to practice it. Be like a kid in a sand box and explore!" On an anecdotal note, playing your instrument helps relieve stress and puts you in a Zen like frame of mind causing other creative juices in your head to stir so that process can flourish.
We can get caught up in the mundane totality of life's trials and tribulations. It overwhelms by placing any aspirations we have or might have had on a backburner to dissipate into nothing. However, that can be overcome by determination of will by setting realistic goals and never forgetting that once aspiring Musician and the roots you sprouted from.