Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Take Inventory

February 2nd... a big day. Groundhog Day!

Rouse the Spouse and I were wondering yesterday morning, what about that groundhog? Where did that silly tradition come from? Lo and behold, all was revealed during my daily facebook feed scan.

Here's a big explanation of what Groundhog Day is all about, as seen on facebook, posted by Doug Elliott. I found it quite interesting. I assume it's all true! :-)

Who knew? February 2nd is a "cross-quarter day" marking the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Early February is the time to take inventory of supplies. Check your stored food. Check your woodpile. Check the hay in the barn. How's everything holding out? February 2nd is the halfway point of the cold weather and if you’ve still got half your food and supplies left in the beginning of February, you should be good until spring.

This made me think that February 2nd might be a good day to take inventory of my practice habits. Instead of checking how fast it is dwindling, though, I'll be checking on how it's adding up! Mind you, I'm not going back to December 21 (winter solstice). I'm looking at progress since January 1. I didn't like that my practice had really fallen off in 2020, so my initial goal was simply to get back at it. How am I doing? Here are the numbers:

     31 Days in January (i.e. opportunities to practice that I'll never get back)

     18 Practice Sessions - broken down as follows:

week 1 3/7 days

week 2 7/7 days

week 3 3/7 days

week 4 5/7 days

1,110 Minutes spent practicing

  35.8 Average # minutes practiced per session

It's important to have measurable goals, so I actually do track my practice sessions. These numbers don't lie! They help me answer some important questions, like "Am I satisfied with my efforts?"  "Am I doing the best I can?" "Why is it taking me so long to learn this tune?"  These numbers give me a real starting point. I think I can do more, but I'm going to take it in baby steps. Best to keep goals measurable AND doable.

So, my goals for February will be:

  • increase the average # of minutes practiced per session to 40
  • increase the number of practice sessions to an average of 4 per 7 days
Have you taken inventory of your own practice habits lately? Are you satisfied with your efforts? How might you improve? Would love to hear how you keep yourself motivated and on track. Let's go play!

We’ll dig down and we’ll dig deep,

We’ll find that whistlepig where he sleeps

Oh Groundhog!


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