What do you know about yourself? What type of learner are you? What kind of habits could you develop to improve your work and your life? What mechanisms could you put in place to realize your dreams?
When practicing, we often dissociate ourselves, separating the player from the human. The older I get, the more I find that actually learning about and working with who I am as a person has a profound impact on my practicing and my creative output.
I've been a fan of Gretchen Rubin for a few years now and I'm loving her latest book, The Four Tendencies. Following her framework, I am a typical Obliger: Obligers meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations. (I.e. Doing everything that must be done for others/work/family, leaving little to no time and energy for personal projects.)
I have instinctively been setting up outer accountability systems for years in order to keep working towards my goals. E.g. concert dates and upcoming projects with specific deadlines are great built-in accountability systems. Enrolling accountability partners, creating external systems such as detailed schedules and to-do lists, signing up for auditions or classes, and joining groups are other great ways to keep an Obliger on target.
By better understanding this about myself, I can continue to cultivate systems that work for me and will help me create a path to accomplish both the outer and inner goals I set for myself. Understanding the different personality tendencies is also a potentially powerful tool in my studio. By presenting concepts and assignments in ways that cater to their tendencies, I can be better able to help my student stay on course and progress faster. So much potential there!
Check out your tendency by taking her quiz here:
https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3706759/Gretchen-Rubin-s-Quiz-The-Four-Tendencies. Also checkout her previous book, Better Than Before, for 31 strategies to transform your habits.