How You See Yourself Is Extremely Important!
Change is hard. You’ve probably noticed that!
We all want to become healthier people but even if we get really inspired and start doing things better, it’s tough to actually stick to new behaviours.
James Clear in his famous book, ‘Atomic Habits’ says that the following can make change easier: Believe in a new healthy identity and then prove it to yourself.
To change your behaviour for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself. You need to build identity-based habits.
Many people mistakenly begin the process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. For example, I want to lose 10 pounds in weight. More powerful than this is rather focusing on who we wish to become (and then prove it to ourselves!).
Changing your beliefs about yourself isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. There are two steps.
1. Decide the type of person you want to be (ie your identity).
2. Prove it to yourself with small wins (do them regularly).
Want to be a healthier weight?
So instead of setting a goal to lose 20 pounds, rather decide to be the type of person who is healthy by moving every day. You can then go about proving to yourself that you are that type of person by going on a walk during your lunch break each day.
1. Identity: I am a healthy person who moves every day.
2. Small wins: Prove to yourself that you are that healthy person who moves daily by buying a pedometer. Walk 50 steps the first day. Tomorrow, walk 100 steps. The day after that, 150 steps. If you do this 5 days per week and add 50 steps each day, then by the end of the year, you’ll be walking over 10,000 steps per day.
Step 1: Name the performance or appearance goal you want to achieve.
Step 2: In one sentence describe the type of person who would achieve your goal (This is the new identity you want to take on).
Step 3: List 5 incredibly small steps you can take to become this person.
Commit to doing each step for a week straight before moving on to the next. The goal is not to achieve results at first, the goal is to become the type of person who can achieve those things.