Having a good, strong practice routine is key to fulfilling your goals as a musician. It is so easy to get into a rut in our growth as artists and musicians. As guitar players its seems even easier to get lax and settle into our couple of favorite go to licks. To ad to this as guitarists most of us stick to one or two main genres. This leaves us very susceptible to ruts and stagnation in our musical prowess.
Identify your goals
The first thing we must figure out is what exactly your goals are? Where do you see yourself, music wise, at this time next year? Having a new gig is a great way to advance as a musician. Another challenging idea is to prepare and try to score gigs outside of your normal musical styles. For example if your a classic rock player maybe try to score a few theater gigs. If your a jazz player maybe join a pop band. You will be amazed at how your playing rises to the occasion!
In the Woodshed
Once your goals are identified try to zero in on your weakest aspects of this new style or technique. For example, if its country music I am looking to learn and I am a classic rock guy, I may need to learn more chickin pickin licks. If I have never done chickin pickin I may need to learn the basics of that technique. Maybe I am familiar with it but need to advance. Search out banjo rolls on guitar. Find 4 or 5 examples and practice practice practice! The internet is a wealth of knowledge.
Consistency is Key
Whatever the actual techniques and exercises you are looking at, a clear practice routine is key. Set a realistic practice schedule. Lets say you work a 9-5 Monday through Friday. Maybe try 4 nights a week for 45 minutes after dinner. Stick too it Monday through Thursday. If 45 minutes is too much bump it down to whatever is feasible. 20 minutes a day at a consistent rate will yield very serious results. I guarantee better results with this method of practice than practicing once a week on saturday for a few hours.