Conditioning happens whether you want it to or not.

It can work for you by reinforcing behaviours that you want to become habits… or, against you by deepening your bad habits.

Classical conditioning is all about association – if you’re trying to develop a new skill, or master an old one, anything you do during this practise will be associated with the skill to some degree; so, make sure your entire practise is congruent with what you want to achieve.

Operant conditioning is all about reward and punishment – the rewards you receive when developing a new skill will increase your likelihood of using that skill more.  If practising a new skill leads to punishment (also referred to as sanction to make it sound nicer) then you’ll tend to do it less.

You can tailor your practise to take conditioning into account, or you can ignore it and go on as you usually do…

… but conditioning happens whether you want it to or not.