Relax and Focus
When you're getting ready to practice, it's good to take a few moments to relax your body and focus your mind. Chances are your shoulders, neck, and jaw are still carrying the tensions of the day, and those areas are precisely the areas you need to be relaxed to play well. Your mind is also likely to be full of the details of your day and will need a focusing exercise or two to remove those distractions. You'll want to be as relaxed and focused as possible to make the most of your practice time.
To unwind your body, close your eyes and consciously tell each area of your upper body to relax, like a check list: “relax your scalp, relax your eyes, relax your neck, relax your shoulders…” and as you do, focus on relaxing those individual muscle areas. This technique is very effective.
To focus your mind, you might start with the exercise of breathing through the harp that was discussed earlier — first breathe out slowly through holes 1-2-3, and then inhale slowly through the same three holes, listening as your breath is translated into sound on your instrument.
One more good exercise for focusing your mind on practicing is to think about why you're practicing — whether it's to sound as good as someone you've heard on harmonica, or to become a performer, or just to be able to blow people away who didn't know you'd been studying harmonica. Envision your goal while you practice. Hold it out in front of you like a carrot on a stick.
Finally, start your actual practice session by warming up with easy things that you can already play to loosen up your muscles and get into the swing of practicing.