Get your motor runnin', Day 10: The power of 10


10 days into the new year, I can't tell you if I'll accomplish everything I've set out to do in 2009. I can't even promise I'll finish out the month with my goals intact.

But I can tell you this, and with some astonishment on my part: in 10 days, I just realized, I have probably played my guitar more than I did all of last year.

It's probably a no-brainer for a lot of people, but for those of us with perfectionism issues, this 10-minutes-per-day thing is positively magical. I release myself of any enormous expectations: how much, after all, can I be expected to do in 10 minutes? How much better can I get? How fast can my fingers reasonably be expected to move? How thick can my callouses grow?

In 10 minutes? Not a helluva lot. In 100 minutes? You'd be amazed.

I'm amazed, anyway, and that's what matters. I find myself resisting the notion of sitting down to do the practicing far less. Some days I actually look forward to it. But even if I'm just checking it off a list some days, just going through the motions, I'm putting in time doing something that makes me better at it as I put in time. And, as Leo says, I get in the habit.

Something tells me that the other real bigness to this idea is that habits breed habits, and accomplishments spur on additional efforts. I'm sticking to my Best Year Yet goals, but I'm going to look hard at how I can implement a 10-minute-per-day habit each month for each one.

I will not be doing my rendition of "Dueling Banjos" for you, or anyone else, anytime soon. At 10 minutes per day, it may take me 10 years to get through the first 10 bars.

But the power that I get from the doing of this every day will, I have a feeling, seep into everything else I do.

Which reminds me: time to do the next thing...


Image by yellowblade67 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.