Practice makes perfect, or so we are told. But, is it true? I tend to believe the saying, “practice makes permanent.” Muscle memory determines actions when “stuff” hits the fan. Today I’ll show you how to leverage muscle memory to make your practice pay off when it counts most.
How many of your tasks in everyday life involve muscle memory?
Just think about the last time you got into your car. Did you go through a checklist to turn the ignition, set the heat, and change the radio? Most likely, you did all of this without thinking about it. Muscle memory took over because you unconsciously practice this same set of movements each time you get in the car.
Muscle memory is built up over time through repetition. You can channel the power of repetition by training purposely. All it takes is planning. Through thinking ahead, you can “hack” your body into helping you perform at peak levels.
You can channel the power of repetition by training purposely. All it takes is planning. Through thinking ahead, you can “hack” your body into helping you perform at peak levels.
All Soldiers go through Basic and Advanced Rifle Marksmanship while at Basic Training. They spend days and weeks learning to point their rifle in a safe direction, sight-in and fire their weapon, move it from safe to fire, and move as a team. This process is designed to make using a weapon second nature. By the end of training, their weapon is just another limb.
Repeating high-quality muscle movements over high quantity repetitions prepares Soldiers for battle and teaches them to use brainpower to assess situations instead of thinking about how to hold and fire their weapon. They rely on instinct.
How does all this apply to you? Below are FIVE secrets for using the power of muscle memory to accomplish your goals.
1. Spend one week conducting an assessment of your tasks and routines.
Track this using a journal, a sticky note, or a digital notebook.
2. Identify one habit you would like to add to your routine or modify.
For example: Get out of bed when the alarm goes off each morning.
3. Find the ideal time in your current routine to add this habit.
Duh, in the morning when I should wake up.
4. Change your physical surroundings to meet this goal.
Move the alarm clock across the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off.
5. Use your current muscle memory and routine to make it stick.
Over time, getting out of bed each morning when the alarm goes off will become muscle memory and eventually instinct.
Connecting this new habit to muscle memory increases the chances it will stick. It becomes part of your daily routine.
Remember, practice makes permanent. Practice with great form and focus. The resulting muscle memory will make sure you are ready when you face that challenge.
Practice with great form and focus. The resulting muscle memory will make sure you are ready when you face that challenge. Make it so simple you don’t have to think about it.
Question: How else can you use muscle memory to make practice permanent? Leave your comment by clicking here.