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Motivation Monday: Practice Advent Calendar

trans voice Feb 21, 2022
Motivation Monday: Practice Advent Calendar

Hello Trans Voice Explorers! 🧭

Every month, I hold an open live office hour with students in my Trans Vocal Exploration e-course in order to discuss their blocks, give them direct feedback, and listen to their feedback about the course.

Last month, we talked a lot about maintaining a regular voice practice, and how hard that can be, especially now as we're well into 2022 and the shine may have gone off the apple of the resolutions you set at the beginning of the year.

One of the solutions we came up with as a group was to create (or buy) a practice advent calendar. If you're a chocolate lover, you can go and get a pack of Hershey's Kisses and every day that you practice, you get a little chocolate treat.

An advent calendar makes use of how our brain creates habits to program ourselves to look forward to practice.

Habits are created when three components come to together:

  1. Cue - Something reminds our brain about a pathway to a reward
  2. Action - the habit itself
  3. Reward - the reward for doing the action

Even the smallest habits in our everyday life follow these three steps. For me, I brush my teeth every day after I shower. The end of my shower is the cue for brushing my teeth. Brushing my teeth is the action. The minty fresh feeling I get in my mouth after I brush my teeth is the reward. (Fun fact: mint was actually added to toothpaste for this exact reason!)

A practice advent calendar fits the bill perfectly. You are cued to practice because you see your advent calendar (as long as you keep it somewhere visible). Then you practice (which is the action), and you are rewarded with your little advent treat!

You can make this even more enticing for your brain if you ask a friend to create the advent calendar for you. Yur brain receives a little more dopamine where there is some uncertainty about the reward (fun fact: this is why social media is so addictive!)

Long story short, your brain is a reward-seeking machine. If you want to create a new and long-lasting habit in your life, make sure the cue-action-reward process is there.

Happy practicing!

Renée ✨

 

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

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