I put out a call for a running buddy a few months ago. I did so because I know after years of trying to motivate myself that I find it easier to exercise regularly if I have someone by my side, someone to whom I am accountable, someone who will miss me if I don’t show up.

Without this someone I find it hard to stay motivated, to get myself out of the house for a run, despite my best intentions.

It’s like the dozens of people who signed up for my free online piano lessons when this crisis began two months ago. Everyone started with a bang, full of motivation to improve but if I look today, I will probably see that most of these well-intentioned students haven’t visited the website since March. No judgement here – it’s the same the world over with online (and other) courses.

Many of those who do still regularly engage with the website (and more importantly with their pianos) say that one thing that helps is to tune into the weekly live lessons that I give from our Facebook Community Group.

Because regular contact with a teacher is one way to increase motivation to practice.

So is an upcoming deadline, a ‘buddy’, a reward you promise yourself after achieving a certain task, or maybe the fact that you can watch the sunset while you practice!

It’s hard to stay motivated on your own. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it just is. Especially in the middle of a global pandemic when everything is upside-down.

So think about how you can help yourself. Focus on the things that work for you, and then create working/practicing conditions for yourself in which those things are easily found.

Otherwise those great intentions are in danger of going to the same place as the last set you had. And that would be a shame!

Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash