When I decide I want change in my life it usually comes with the tag of “like, yesterday!” Example – “I want better posture, like, yesterday!”
I know this mindset is not totally unique to me. Lots of people suffer like I do, especially in our day and age with instant gratification machines (AKA the internet connected computer). Which leads to the following cycle:
“OOooohhh, change” → Unrealistic Goal for change (yesterday) → disappointment → “Never gonna change, why bother?” → “OOooohhh, change”
Sounds familiar, right?! Well, here’s my small little glimmer of hope.
My neighbor is going to school for message therapy, which means she gets homework. This homework means she needs to work on someone to practice the new techniques she is learining. I’ve been lucky to be one of her test subjects. I get so excited for these free messages because they are not your typical relaxation message, she’s learning how to retrain the patient’s muscles. She ends up talking through what she’s doing with me so I learn an awful lot about my body’s muscular and skeletal system. It is really cool stuff!
Did I mention my upper body/arms are a wreck?!
I saw her in early November and we talked about posture. My posture was atrocious. We talked about it and she told me two things – 1. When you think about putting yourself in ‘good’ posture, don’t raise your chin, push it back. It will change how your spine and shoulders align. 2. Make sure when you walk, you’re not leaning forward.
Got it. We also talked about my goal cycle, she laughed and said off hand, “Yea, I get that. It’s watching my kids that I remember to be as gentle with myself as I am with them about good habits.”
Now, I know this isn’t the first time I’ve heard such sage advice – stick with it and be gentle. But man did it hit me that day. So, for about 2 weeks I remembered to realign my chin while driving in the car. After that, it was more about implementing ‘good’ posture when I thought about it.
I saw her 2 days ago and she couldn’t get over how much my posture had changed. I laughed because I knew it was better, but I didn’t realize by how much. Just trying over and over and being unattached to the outcome (I’ve tried to fix my posture before, so if I failed, oh well, nothing new) allowed me to keep with my little consistent change. My posture is by no means perfect, but I find myself subconsciously aligning myself all day, especially while seated in front of a screen.
So today, I found myself leaning forward as I walked. I self-corrected as soon as I recognized it without consciously realizing it. I laughed to myself. Change, when not setup to fail, really is possible!