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The Power of Habit - Your Secret Weapon to Reaching Goals (and Keeping Resolutions)

Posted by Meridee Winters on

Habits are powerful - anyone who has found themselves absentmindedly driving to work when they actually intended to go to the mall can testify to that. If you can harness that magnetic pull and apply it toward positive change, though, you've got a pretty great secret weapon. That's what Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg demonstrated in his hit book, "The Power of Habit."

In his blog, Charles shared the tricks to creating powerful habits and resolutions, with two key components: a cue and a reward. The cue (perhaps leaving your sneakers by the front door to remind you to hit the gym that morning) nudges you into action, and the reward (maybe an episode of your favorite show) motivates you. For music students, this same approach can be applied to practicing: the cue could be as simple as finishing up dinner, and the reward could be wrapping up the session with your favorite MW music game, or putting a sticker on your homework journal. This cue and reward system is actually a neurological process that leads to the formation of habits, and Charles has even spelled it out in a fun flowchart.

So, don't give up on that resolution quite yet! Try unleashing the secret weapon - habit. And while you're at it, encourage the family musician to do the same.

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