Habits and muscle memory

I've been thinking about habits a lot lately. I'm reading James Clear's excellent and informative book Atomic Habits. As a recovering person, I'm really interested in ways to change behaviors and I've read a fair number of books and articles on the subject, but Clear is making me refine some of my assumptions.


He argues for the importance of brain grooves and muscle memory. If we go regularly to the gym, no matter how hard it is at first, eventually it becomes routine to do so. It's in our brains to do so and in our bodies. I've been exercising regularly (if not always vigorously) for nearly 40 years and I get antsy when more than a couple of days go by without something. My muscles and my brain remind me.

This knowledge is encouraging me to practice driving my new car. I've been driving for more than 50 years but on a stick shift and always in compact or sporty hatchbacks. This is my first automatic transmission and my first 4-door vehicle so I don't have the muscle memory to make driving it second nature. I keep wanting to downshift to slow my speed and I'm not sure where this larger car is in space. It may seem odd to think about practice driving at my age but I need to make these differences part of my new habits so that I don't have to work so hard when I drive. 


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