“The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside is that we stop paying attention to little errors. Habits + deliberate practice = mastery.”
- James Clear, Atomic Habits
Habits are learned and repeated actions that become part of our routine. Good habits such as exercising can have a positive response on our physical and mental state while other habits like watching television after work can lead to negative lifestyle consequences over time.
Our health and movement patterns are influenced by our behaviors and require some type of behavior modification component. It doesn’t require perfection or an “all or nothing” mindset; change happens with awareness and focus on small behaviors changes until these behaviors become habits and part of our daily routine and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, habits are not created overnight. Studies show that on average, it takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic where it becomes part of your daily routine and you don’t have to think about it (Lally et al., 2010).
If you tried changing behaviors in the past, you know how difficult it can be making changes on your own. Luckily, habit coaching provides you with support and accountability so you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you know what you need to change, but need help achieving it or you don’t know where to start at all, habit coaching can help you identify your long-term goal and break them down into smaller, attainable actions. Habit coaching meets you where you are right now and uses your strengthens to achieve your desired goals.
So how can habit coaching improve my lower back pain or movement?
First time Stretch Care clients receive a Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) to identify imbalances in movement patterns. If you haven’t received an assessment or would like to be reassessed, we can schedule a 30-minute appointment to do so.
After your assessment and initial bodywork session, clients receive a recommended bodywork plan along with corrective stretches to address the imbalances in your body. If you feel this is all you need to create long-lasting change – amazing! If you’re looking for support to change movement and behavior patterns that are causing you discomfort, habit coaching is your answer.
During habit coaching we,
Identify times or opportunities in your daily routine to complete your corrective stretches to start creating new movement patterns.
Review your daily routine and notice situations when you’re most likely to engage in habitual movement patterns that are causing you discomfort. This will help us strategize appropriate alternative behaviors to encourage new movement patterns and discourage old movement patterns.
For example, if you're sitting stressed in traffic, most likely your shoulders are reaching towards your ears tensed up. This is a great opportunity to become aware of the tension in your shoulder and engage in a breathing exercise that will allow you to relax your shoulders and muscles to prevent stiffness that may occur over a period of time.
Track habits you would like to increase or decrease. We’re not looking for perfection, but we are looking for you to engage in good habits and movement patterns consistently enough to positively impact your daily routine with little to no movement discomfort.
If you’re interested in moving better with habit coaching, schedule your session today.
Lally, Phillippa & Jaarsveld, Cornelia & Potts, Henry & Wardle, Jane. (2010). How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. 40. 10.1002/ejsp.674.