On his blog, Mark Watson recently started up an idea called the Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge (TYSIC for short). Readers of his blog were asked to submit things which they wanted to accomplish over the next ten years, and it would form some sort of community of people working on it together.
I didn’t post anything up at the time (the official start date was 4th March) but, on reflection, I’ve decided to take up the challenge. Here’s my TYSIC:
I’ve always lacked discipline when learning an instrument. At the piano, I always used to (and still do) learn things up until I can sort of play them… and then stop. I’m finding it the same at the guitar as well: I learn things up until I can “sort of” play them… and then stop. Well, no more. My aim is, over the next ten years, to try and get actually good at playing the guitar. (I say guitar, I didn’t want to be too ambitious and I already play the piano to an extent I’m relatively happy with … I might extend to the piano as well depending on how it goes).
So, from now on, when I practice guitar – and I’m going to try and do at least 10-15 minutes every day – I’m going to be doing the things no-one really likes doing: scales, finger exercises, and generally playing solos really really slowly to make sure that I’ve got them perfectly. We’ll see how it goes, but I started last night and felt better as a result!
I thought as well that it would be better to do this as TYSIC rather than just an aim of mine, because the TYSIC community will hopefully keep reminding me of this!
I’ll update here from time to time with my progress.
One thought on “Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge1 min read”
I’ve always found the best way to ensure you keep practising and doing it properly is accountability. When I was learning instruments when I were a lad, back at school, the only reason I really progressed was because my Mum would be listening in all the time. She’d point out my mistakes to me, not because I didn’t know I was making them, but to make sure I didn’t deliberately ignore them for the sake of getting through the piece. So if you want to succeed with this challenge, make sure you’ve got people around who will ask you how it’s going every now and then, just to make sure you’re keeping to it!