In our course, Year of Practice, we're building three practices over the course of an entire year. But what is a practice? And what is the difference between a practice and a habit?
I had a conversation with a friend recently and I loved the framing they used: The practice is the "core", and the habit is the "mechanics" allowing to embody that core.
For example, my first practice is movement, with a goal of developing what I called an "acrobody" – a body capable of performing funky acrobatic stunts 🤸♀️. That's the core, the goal, or the purpose, call it whatever you want. But that's of course not enough.
In order to make that goal come to life, I'm employing the mechanics of habit-building, which is the most effective way to do it.
Habits are tools, building blocks, and the steps on the path. It doesn't matter so much what they look like, and it's more than likely that they will change over time. That's totally fine, as long as they keep you moving in the right direction. As you evolve, so will your habits.
My intuitive movement sequence is a great example of this process. It's not the habit I started with, but a habit I discovered through the process of iterative habit building. And in order to find it, I needed to actually start doing something every single day. The habits really are the key.
Because here's the best part: by engaging in a habit, you're embodying your practice, or in other words, you're making it come to life, right here, right now, and you're doing it consistently, which shifts your identity towards "being a person who actually does ... [insert your practice]".
Without habits, your practice is just an empty idea. But without your practice in mind, habits are just steps in a random direction.
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