Habits can be very effective at saving time and helping us get what we want. When you put fruit on the table instead of in the fridge, you make it easier to form a healthy habit because the food you want to eat is what you see when you walk into the kitchen.
Ineffective movement habits don’t need intention
You would never work toward creating a habit that you knew was causing you pain or difficulty.
Ineffective movement habits form without any help from your conscious mind. And because they can create a lot of problems for you, it’s important to develop the kind of attention that allows you to discover them and change them.
That means you need to know what you’re doing.
Here’s an example.
Static creates a tension habit
When you know you’re going to get zapped, you get ready for the pain long before you reach the object you know you need to touch!
I grew up in New England, where winters are cold and often dry. If you’ve ever lived in a place like that, this may ring a bell.
You realize you need something at the grocery store, so you put on your coat and shoes, walk across the carpet to the door and pick up your keys. Then you go outside with the simple intention of getting into the car and driving to the store.
But on the first day when it’s that cold, you aren’t ready for the jolt that runs through your entire being as you touch the metal car door and all that collected energy gets discharged in a giant static shock!
The next day, you get zapped again.
By the third day, and for all succeeding days, you approach the car with built-in readiness for the electric jolt.
As time goes on, your shoulders draw up around your ears, your legs tense, your feet grip the ground more seriously and your head sinks into your rib cage—all in the futile attempt to stop what you know is unavoidable.
Eventually, you don’t bother waiting for contact with the big metal object… you start getting ready for the whack as you walk down the steps to the street.
Then Spring comes, and one day, you prepare but you don’t get zapped.
The habit means you prepare PREPARE whether you need to or not.
That’s the movement habit.
You don’t do it because you need to or want to.
You do it because you do it.
You can change movement habits with awareness
The beauty is that you can stop engaging this kind of habit once you become aware of it… that’s where Move Like You Used To comes in.
My job is to help you figure out how to change what you’re doing so you can live with the static, or without it—doesn’t matter, because the static isn’t in charge anymore.
You run your own life.