The dictionary defines muscle memory as, “The ability to repeat a specific muscular movement with improved efficiency and accuracy, that is acquired through practice and repetition.” In other words, we have the ability to put our body and mind on autopilot.
Using the same concepts as top-performing athletes we can develop Recognition Muscle Memory. You see, muscle memory is a process of reorganizing and rewiring our nerves to make the connection between our brain and body stronger, faster and more accurate. As we practice a new movement over and over again, we create a new neural pathway within our central nervous system, like paving a road. This makes it easier for our brain to tell our body what to do the next time. This is scientifically referred to as “neuroplasticity,” or the ability of our central nervous system to reshape itself based on the demands we place on our brain and body. Our physical and mental actions literally change the shape and strength of our nerves and brain.
Development of our Recognition Muscle Memory yields positive results for ourselves and others. As we train and strengthen our Recognition Muscle we create a greater sense of wellbeing and positive outlook as well as develop loyalty, a stronger desire to call attention to the good around us, and most importantly, deeper more meaningful relationships.
How do you become a high-performing Recognition machine? The process is fairly straight forward.
Set a Recognition Goal
When you hit the gym, you have a workout plan. Think of Recognition in the same way. Start with a warm up goal, like, “Say, Thank You, to three team members each day for their efforts.” Proceed to a heavy lifting goal such as, “Recognize the achievements of two people each day by sending a handwritten note or small token of gratitude.” Then, end with a cool down goal, “Show gratitude to two people that I randomly encounter each day. ”
Increase repetitions and depth of recognitions, each week.
Schedule Time for Recognition
Until your Recognition Muscle is on autopilot, it is imperative to set aside time each day to reflect on, and give, recognition. Carve out 10 minutes, twice daily, to start. This is your training time and it should have the same weight and priority as your other physical and personal development practices. Dedicated time and consistency of actions breed strength!
Review Your Recognition Muscle Memory Progress
Take time each week to review your progress. Ask yourself these questions:
Did I meet my Recognition goals?
What is working and what is not working?
Does one form of recognition have greater impact than another?
A quick, honest assessment will help you adjust your Recognition approach and goals for the next week. As a result of consistently recognizing the good in others (strengthening your Recognition Memory Muscle) you will be able to more easily identify opportunities to do so. It is also likely that people around you will begin to more readily recognize your own efforts and achievement. You get what you give!