Have you ever decided you wanted to improve your posture but quit because you just couldn’t remember to pay attention to it?
If so, you wouldn’t be the first, and definitely not the last.
Paying attention to your posture is the first step to improving your posture.
It is also probably the most difficult step.
But it may be that you just need to approach it in a different way.
What you need to understand is that paying attention to your posture is a habit that you wish to cultivate.
A habit is a behavior that is triggered by a stimulus or cue of some sort.
Therefore, to cultivate a habit you need to associate it with something.
A couple of years ago I began taking a prescription medication. It is important that I take the pill each morning 20 minutes before I eat breakfast. I had to figure out a way to remember to do it. I had to establish a habit of taking the pill at the correct time. So, I associated taking the pill with something I already did about 20 minutes before I eat breakfast.
When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is walk into the bathroom. I do a bunch of things in the bathroom (I won’t go into detail) and then go down and fix my breakfast. All of this takes about 20 minutes.
So I decided that I wanted the first thing I did when I entered the bathroom to be taking that pill. It took me about a month or 6 weeks of having to make a conscious effort to remember. It had to be in the front of my mind. I put notes on the mirror. But since then, I have established a habit and the first thing I do when I enter the bathroom is open the medicine cabinet and reach for the bottle with my pills.
I associated a new habit (taking my pill) with something I already did (walking into the bathroom in the morning).
So, coming back to the first step to improving your posture is paying attention to your posture.
Approach it as cultivating a new habit.
And pin it to something you already do.
- If you take the bus each day to work, you might pin paying attention to your posture to waiting at the bus stop.
- If during your day you wait for elevators, you might pin paying attention to your posture to waiting for the elevator.
- If you buy a coffee at the coffee shop each morning and have to wait in line you might pin paying attention to your posture to waiting in line for your coffee.
- If you drive to work, you might pin paying attention to your posture to stopping at a red light.
- If you are working on how to bend using your hip joints instead of your waist, you might pin paying attention to how you bend to picking up a particular bag that you carry around a lot.
You get the idea.
It really doesn’t matter what you choose, just choose something.
It will take patience and some mental effort to remember that you have decided to pay attention to your posture during your chosen activity. But if you are diligent you will gradually associate paying attention to your posture with the chosen activity. And it will become a habit. Paying attention to your posture will happen when you do the activity without you having to remember to pay attention.
The first experiment you do with this will probably be the most difficult.
Start with one activity.
Keep it simple.
After you have established the habit of paying attention to your posture with one activity, go on to another. You may be pleased to find that if you work in this way that over time you will notice yourself paying attention to your posture without having to remember to pay attention, even at other random times during the day.
If you have tried to pay attention to your posture in the past and failed, why not try approaching it in this way and see if you have better results.
Let me know how you get on in the comments section.
Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net