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Practice Makes Permanent

by | Sep 22, 2020 | All, Healthy Habits | 1 comment

The old adage practice makes perfect has been around for centuries. It’s origins came from an old Latin phrase that when translated meant “use makes perfect.” The act of repeating a task, exercise or function over time will allow the person to become perfect at doing it. However, if we practice something wrongly for a long time, will we be perfect at being wrong?

When practising anything one must be able to ‘do’ that thing proficiently enough that they are not still learning how to do it. They have done it for a long time and are at the level of making themselves better at it. When we exercise, for example, if we learn how to lift weights the correct way, we will then practice that, and over time be very good at that. If we have learned the wrong way then we have been practising something wrongly for a long time, and must change how we approach the activity.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), or the intervention of our behaviors to improve mental health, is a treatment to change unhelpful beliefs, attitudes and behaviors towards the way we do things. For example, if I think that doing 10 repetitions of curls is the only way to every do curls, it probably should be adjusted. But how do we make the mental shift to accepting new ideas? That’s where I come in.

At TSFC we are working on a lifestyle and a plan. Our goal is not just to workout. It is to be motivated the other 23 hours in the day that you are not working out. Making the right food choices. Making the best decisions on how to lift something, or work in the yard, or do the dishes. The daily habits that we have been practising for years are either right or wrong, so through our training, we will start identifying what those things are and how to change. We’re not going to focus on changing one specific activity however our thinking about how we do things.

The first step to CBT success is to be motivated to change. Identify that something isn’t going the way you would like it to and decide that it is now time to do something about it. In regards to fitness, this often is a point where we realize we aren’t what we ‘used to be.’ Whether it’s how we look, feel or perform there’s something about the way we are doing it not that isn’t as good as it once was. This motivation can be used, but we have to be careful that it is not unrealistic. (See my blog about SMART goals)

The next thing to be focused on is knowledge. Do I know how to use my motivation, with the new skills I’ve learned, in order to get this change done? Have I learned how to exercise properly long enough where I can do this on my own?

After we’ve learned to use motivation, the next two phases are to be able to understand how to use that new skill to get it done in conjunction with measuring the results of these changes to make sure we are actually progressing.  Let’s take the bicep curls again as our example. If we have changed our form, repetitions, rest period, posture, etc. can we see a measurable difference in results?

As we train, there will be challenges. There will be new ways of doing things, and old familiar ways of building a foundation. Our goal is to practice the right stuff so over time we can have safe and effective exercising techniques to keep going strong.

1 Comment

  1. Aleks

    Brilliant – this really provides some perspective on the importance of forming good habits and sticking with it!

    Reply

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