How to guide: LEARNING NEW movement habits…
4 part series to support the changes you want to make
Part 1: Emerging from NOT knowing – seeing your habits!
Part 2: Consciously exploring new pathways
Part 3: New Normal Emerges
Part 4: New Habits formed – celebrate!
Consciously exploring new pathways (thinking patterns and moving patterns)
It takes on average 66 days (reference below) for a new way of thinking, feeling or doing to form as a new habit. Of course people are varied, some can cultivate deeply grained new habits in 18 days, while the other end of the spectrum is over 200 days for new habits to be formed.
This time (let’s just go with the average of 66 days) is when your old patterns and habits are still dominant. It is super easy to return to the auto pilot of moving.
Based on your external objective feedback (from a teacher or your own self discovery) this phase of learning is when you need to apply conscious effort to be in the ‘new learning’ territory.
Many people find this a challenge as it can be unfamiliar, weird, un-‘natural’… these types of experiences and comments are common when you are consciously exploring new pathways. Many professionals encourage you to have a buddy or some type of support system to keep you engaged in this unfamiliar territory.
For moving habits – like less tension in how you sit, or more length in your spine (yep better more open posture) these goals respond very well to support. Working with a teacher to gain weekly feedback and refinement or joining a group helps you stick with the conscious process of learning new habits.
In the BodyMinded approach we use the principles of the Alexander Technique with body mapping knowledge to be the constructive process for creating change.
The secret to success is being curious and playful with your exploring. Focus on the techniques and ideas rather than the outcome. It is your ‘deliberate practice’ that creates new neural pathways.
The great news is that there is no specific formula about how much you need to ‘practice’…. Every mindful moment of conscious practice contributes to establishing new habits.
Today’s task is to
Set up a simple reminder system for you to activate your conscious process.
Choosing a simple marker for your practice works very well, for example:
Each time you start the car
Each time you put the kettle on for a cup of tea
Placing post –it notes on the fridge door
Put reminders into your phone
Here are three apps that are FREE and will help as prompts for you new habits:
- Good Habit Maker (Greg has used this one and says it a very simple but effective app!)
- Habit Coach
- Habit Builder.
Be mindful in your movements and be willing and ready to take on the prompts and support available to you. Your regular habits are still dominant making it all to easy to slip back into auto pilot.
Next Blog, part three of the learning new habits cycle: New Normal Emerges will be coming soon, please look out for it.
About Kathy Driscoll
I want to share my insights and a few stories about Alexander Technique with you. I’ve used Alexander Technique in some extreme circumstances including the birth of my twins and when I had appendicitis! I also use Alexander Technique for everyday activities as well.
I have been involved with Alexander Technique for more than 25 years. I meet Greg Holdaway (Director of Sydney Alexander Technique) just as he was transitioning from a professional career as a dancer into Bill Brenner’s Alexander Technique teacher training program in Sydney.
Greg now has been teaching for decades, he remains passionate and totally focused on positive results for those he works with, which now include his own teacher training program.
Please get in touch for more information about Alexander Technique.