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If you're trying to get yourself to practice every day, a decision as simple as where you keep your instrument could either thwart or support your efforts. This is the science of "nudging," of using tricks of design to make it more likely you'll choose one option over another. One example: a cafeteria raised the sale of healthy items by almost 50 percent just by putting them at eye level.

Humans tend to do the easiest things, and part of nudging yourself toward practice is making practice the easiest thing. Here's how to do it:

Make Sure You Can See Your Instrument

Don't put it away in a closet. Have it out within arm's reach from your favorite seat. Put it where it's the first thing you see when you come home, like a dog waiting for you to play with it.

Don't Make Your Living Room a Shrine to the TV

If you find yourself in front of your TV every night until you're too tired to play, try turning your seating in to make the room more social, like a good place to jam. If your TV lives in a piece of furniture with doors, close them at the end of each day.

Put Distracting Devices on Airplane Mode

Block out the buzzes as you practice on Play by putting your phone on airplane mode. Nothing breaks your concentration like a text from mom. Set a reminder to turn it back on at the end so you don't forget.

Set Your Schedule with Your Loved Ones

Make sure the people you live with know when you're supposed to be practicing. If they know that you want to always practice right when you get home (perhaps after a quick hello), it won't feel like rejection if you tell them you have to spend time with your instrument. They might even start to keep you accountable.

Make Your Next Goal Specific, Visible and Time-Bound

This might be a note-to-self on the fridge that says: "Heartbreaker by August 15th". If you know the next step, the smallest measure of success, and you see it every day, you're more likely to feel both able and motivated to move toward that goal. You won't feel so overwhelmed by the huge goal of "learning to play an instrument."

Be Easy on Yourself

Self-compassion is linked to resilience. The more you forgive yourself for not practicing, the more likely it is that you'll pick it back up if you slack. Beating yourself up is just time wasted not getting back to it. If you failed yourself in your goal to practice every day, take a look at your systems for remembering and making space to practice, see what didn't work, make adjustments and start again.

Remind Yourself of the Long Game

Keep your inspirations close. Make a habit of going to see other people play, create a playlist of your favorite songs, and remember why you're dedicated to learning.

Make the path to practice the path of least resistance, and you'll be more likely to make yourself proud with your consistency.

If you want to learn more practice tips and tricks, click here to start your free trial with Fender Play.

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