The Pillow Trick (aka “Getting In Bed With Your Goal”)

So I was rummaging through some old articles I wrote and here was one that stood out. It was written about guitar practice, but can be applied to creating habits for almost any goal (getting more work done, squeezing in some extra pushups, reading more, etc.).

Although I’ve gone on to modify this process, this is a great start!

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I’m often asked by my clients how to find more time to practice the guitar. With so many responsibilities and so little time in a day, how is it even possible to find time for yourself, let alone for your beloved axe? What an injustice it is that so much motivation is going to waste! Ok, maybe that last part was a bit dramatic…

Today I’d like to share a quick tip that I’ve used to get my busier clients (some who even work 3 jobs!) to practice more often. Since my other blogs talk about practice material (the WHAT) and specific practice approaches (the HOW), we’ll devote this one to practice time (the WHEN).

The only thing you’ll need for this is your guitar and the willingness to try something new.

Here’s the 5 step process:

1. When you wake up, place the guitar in the EXACT spot you usually sleep on the bed.

2. Go about your day as usual.

3. When it comes time to go to bed, you will see your guitar resting on your bed. Unless you’re planning on sleeping on top of it (I hope not), you will need to pick it up and lay it down somewhere else. Oh, look…..the guitar is in your hands!!! Why not strum a few chords or go over that song you’ve always loved playing? If all goes well, then continue to play for about 3 to 5 minutes or until you start dosing off.

4. When the 3 to 5 minutes are up, lay the guitar somewhere close to your bed and go to sleep.

5. Repeat the whole process again in the morning.

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I assure you that this approach has NEVER failed! You’ll notice that the 5 minutes here and there will start to add up and soon you will start to find more and more time (and desire) to practice. Even if you don’t, then the time that you spend before bed will still keep the car moving forward.You don’t need to practice for hours to make progress. Always remember: QUALITY over quantity.

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The reason why this works is because going to bed is the only thing that is guaranteed to happen in your day. You can say you will perform a task when you wake up, but what if you sleep in? You can do it after work, but what if your boss keeps you later than you expected? You can do it after Big Brother, but oh no, tonight’s a double-header and you just HAVE to watch it! You get the picture.

The only thing that is certain is that you have to go to sleep at some point in the day (unless you’re Lindsay Lohan), so let’s exploit it. If you incorporate your goal into your bedtime routine, you will have a surefire way of sticking to it. You’ll also have created a pattern in your mind for better sleep.

I’ll be writing more about this in future posts…

In the meantime, how about you share your best practice tip for consistent practice? Please leave a comment below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

signatureSteveakaVØID

About Steve (aka VØID)

Steve (aka VØID) is the owner and head Guitar Coach at Rockstar Mind. He is a self-taught guitarist for 20 years and a professional guitarist & Major label recording artist for 10 years (touring the world opening for and performing with big name acts such as KISS, Hinder, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace). Most importantly, he has been coaching struggling guitarists for over 15 years to quickly overcome their playing obstacles and play their favourite songs on guitar. After his father was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, Steve put his music career on hold to become his primary caregiver. He created a fundraising initiative called VØID Cancer where he uses proceeds from every sale to create new programs for patients and caregiver. All in his father's honour. Connect with Steve (aka VØID) on Facebook.
About The Author

Steve (aka VØID)

Steve (aka VØID) is the owner and head Guitar Coach at Rockstar Mind. He is a self-taught guitarist for 20 years and a professional guitarist & Major label recording artist for 10 years (touring the world opening for and performing with big name acts such as KISS, Hinder, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace). Most importantly, he has been coaching struggling guitarists for over 15 years to quickly overcome their playing obstacles and play their favourite songs on guitar. After his father was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, Steve put his music career on hold to become his primary caregiver. He created a fundraising initiative called VØID Cancer where he uses proceeds from every sale to create new programs for patients and caregiver. All in his father's honour. Connect with Steve (aka VØID) on Facebook.