Conscious Habits (Monthly Mindset, February 2021)

This last year or so has been interesting. A lot has been thrown at you with regards to lifestyles (quarantine, working from home, working out from home) and you will notice that a consistent message from us has been to look for the silver lining among all of the craziness and build healthy habits. This month, we are going to delve a little deeper into habits, more specifically the Conscious Competence Ladder, and how we can apply that to our fitness.

What is the Conscious Competence Ladder? This is a set of four steps outlining the natural progression of a skill. The steps are:

  • Unconsciously unskilled
  • Conscious of lack of skill
  • Consciously working on a skill
  • Unconsciously skilled

How they apply to us in Crossfit is as follows:

Unconsciously unskilled

For most of us, this was before Crossfit. We did not know that we were not skilled [fit], and probably were pretty happy with our current level of fitness. If we did do fitness, we did not do the movements correctly, or maybe even safely. Terms associated with this stage are oblivious and comfortable.

Conscious of lack of skill

And then, BAM! First day of Crossfit. First year of Crossfit, even. We were exposed to many things new and scary, and boy, did we suck! Movements were thrown at us left and right, and in many cases we were not able to perform the movements correctly, if at all. We were very aware in this stage that we were not skilled. Terms associated with this stage are awakening and awareness.

Consciously working on a skill

This is our current day to day for most of us. While it may not seem like it, everyone is in this stage for at least something in Crossfit at this exact moment. In this stage, we now know the correct movement, are performing the correct movement, but it takes a lot of mental power and focus to achieve the correct movement. Terms associated with this stage are awkward and failure.

Unconsciously skilled

The final stage is once you finally master something, and you do not need to think about it anymore to perform the correct movement. At this point, the movement is a habit and the process is so ingrained that it is basically a reflex. Terms associated with this stage are confidence and proficiency.

If you really think about it you will realize that there are millions of skills that we perform each and every day, and all of these skills fall within these four categories in some way. Your mindset this month is to practice the Conscious Competence Ladder in three different areas: the gym, your nutrition, your everyday life. Pick one thing in each of these three areas, assess your current skill level at that task/skill, and then consciously work to improve that habit!

Categories: WOD