Expanding a Newly Added Habit into a More Layered, Nuanced Practice
So to add a new action to our daily activities, and then habituate it, we first remember the already-daily event that will precede our new action. Then we remember the already-daily event that will follow our action.
Then we imagine the new action we are inserting between them, making it as real to our senses as possible – that means touch, vision, hearing, space, movement, and accompanying emotion (smell and taste are optional — and powerful too).
Then we re-remember our chosen preceding event, then the imagined “new” action, and then the following event, in sequence, flowing from one to the next.
And we repeat this in memory-imagination, giving it more feeling each time. Remembering our future sequence into existence.
To make the sequence more magnetic, we add a little surge of celebration as we flow into and out of the imagined “new” action in our memory. You can do a little victory dance, let out a loud “Woo-Hoo!” with your fists clenched over your head, have a full-body orgasm, whatever you wish — you do you— that said, celebrate to make your body healthily crave more of the new action, placed in its new temporal context.
As this gets stronger, when we reach the preceding event in our daily schedule, we experience it, pause, and insert the “remembered” visualization of our new action, in fast-forward. From here, having already imaginally performed the action, we can celebrate and do the action for real, give ourselves the pleasure of another little surge of celebration, and continue into the already-daily event that follows.
Later in the day, go through the imaginal process and celebration again in anticipation of the next day.
Each repetition, real and imagined, builds momentum… forward-moving inertia.
When, after a number of days, the new action is now a part of your “normal” expected experience of your daily schedule, you have real momentum – the power of contextual patterns – working inexorably for you.
If you so desire, you can now expand your new action into a more layered, nuanced practice.
How to do this without losing your momentum?
One action at a time, with feeeling!
Take the book-end events and the first action you habituated between them, and add action #2 between your first action and either of the bookmarks.
So with KAP practices, lets say action #1 is establishing the proper KAP breath dynamic, and maintaining it for a few minutes.
I’ve decided to insert that breathing between getting dressed, and eating breakfast.
I’ve imagined the flow from dressing to 3 minutes of breathing, KAP-style, to walking down to breakfast.
Next day, I’ve actually dressed, paused, celebrated, imagined breathing, KAP-style, then done it, celebrated again, and then, I’ve walked down to breakfast.
I’ve done this for a few days… now it feels natural… like it “just happens”, without planning, “spontaneously”…
So now I continue what is natural, and add another layer to it, fleshing out my new habit into a more powerful, layered practice.
First I remember, vividly, the experience of dressing, breathing, and breakfast – using as many senses as possible. Maybe I even act it out, pantomiming it in fast-forward…
Separately, I imagine a quick, full-body self massage. Each part of me feeling the process, doing the process…
Next, I put it into the sequence….
I imagine getting dressed, and flowing into a quick, full-body self-massage, celebrating the new action, flowing into a few minutes of my new breathing practice, and (since it’s the same action and easy to add twice), inserting another self-massage to conclude, celebration again, and it’s down to breakfast.
I repeat this imaginative “remembering” several times over the day, adding feeling to it, until it tastes real, and then, the next day, after dressing, I imagine the massage, I then do the massage, celebrate, breathe, massage, celebrate, and it’s off to breakfast. My habit is getting bigger, more powerful.
Later in the day, I visualize or pantomime the sequence a few more times, in fast-forward. Maybe I do so again as I fall asleep… maybe again as I wake… and then after dressing, it “just happens”. And so it continues…
More on strategic celebration…