Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: (1) we try to change the wrong thing and (2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way.
Favourite quotes from Chapter 2:
Behaviour that is incongruent with the self will not last. You may want more money, but.. someone .. consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning.. want better health.. prioritize comfort..you’ll be relaxing than training.
Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity of an organized person.. write each day… identity of a creative person.. train each day… identity of an athletic person.
I have a friend who lost over 100 pounds by asking herself. “What would a healthy person do?” All day long, she would use this question as a guide, Would a healthy person walk or take a cab? .. order a burrito or a salad? She figures if she acted like a healthy person long enough, eventually she would become that person. She was right.
The Three Layers of Behavior Change
Think of behaviour change like layers of an onion.
Most people start from the outside and work their way to the middle. We set a goal (an outcome), try some new habits (processes), and once we achieve the goal, our identity changes.
However, the correct way to build habits that actually last is from the inside out.
Who do You want to be?
Goal setting will only work once you identify yourself with the person you want to resemble or be.
The affirmations and the language used is so important:
- I want to lose weight → I want to be a healthy person
- I want to write 2 articles/ month → I want to be a writer
- I want to train → I want to be an athlete
Is it necessary to go to the extremes?
The identity that you wish to identify with, is dependent on the multiple repetitions of the actions associated with it.
If we work out every week, we have evidence of being an athletic person.
If we pray every day, we have evidence of being religious.
Identity is a Double-Edged Sword
Identities and beliefs are not innate. We are trained to them with our actions and experiences.
They are not always helpful:
- I am a procrastinator
- I cannot maintain a schedule
- I am always eating sweet stuff
- I have no control over my mood swings
- I cannot think if I don’t have my morning coffee
It is important to recognize these negative beliefs, else these will take us in the wrong direction. Through small changes, these negative beliefs can be negated.
Can one small change, taking one step at a time bring so much to the table?
Image Credits: James Clear, Canva, Unsplash