Everyone can agree that improving our daily habits should greatly impact our life and our future, yet we all tend to do the same things every day, rather than something better. Many people walk through life in a cognitive slumber, blindly following the norms attached to their identity.
“I’m terrible with directions.”
“I’m not good with technology.”
“I’m not a morning person.”
Why is it so easy to repeat bad habits and so hard to form good ones? This time next year – will you have made things better or will you be like most – not any further ahead than you are right now? Why is that? Are we lazy? Why do we keep trying, and then give up?
Let me make something very clear – you are NOT lazy.
Someone who wants a better outcome may just be trying to change their habits the wrong way. You see it takes a change in your identity to create new habits. Simply wanting more money but having the habits of a spender will never make you wealthy. You may want to be thin and healthy, but if you continue to prioritize comfort over exercise and eating more than you should, you will continue to be overweight and unhealthy. There are so many people, myself included, that write down our hopes and dreams, creating goals and future targets, even creating a game plan on how to achieve it. We start our new plan with enthusiasm, believing that we will do it this time out of sheer mindful willpower, only to be devastated once again when we succumb to failure and find ourselves slipping back into our comfortable self-destructive habits.
So, how can you make meaningful changes for the better?
True behaviour change is an identity change. To really stick to something and create a new habit it must become part of your identity. You must start acting like the type of person you wish yourself to be.
Let me give you an example: if you have decided to quit smoking and someone offers you a cigarette. Do you say: “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.” Or do you say: “No thanks, I don’t smoke.”
Changing your identity to be a non-smoker signals a shift in your thought process and makes you more apt to become who you believe you are: a non-smoker. To change who you are, you must first change what you do – that is, you must change your old habits into new habits that define your new identity.
Remember, improvements are only temporary until they become part of your identity. So, if you want to have more money in the bank, to retire comfortably in the future you must become a saver (we all know that). Becoming someone that saves, must be part of your entire life. When your behavior and your identity are fully aligned, you are no longer pursuing change. You simply act like the type of person you already believe yourself to be: a saver. We change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit, continually undergoing an evolution of ourself. Every action we take towards the goal: to be a saver, transforms the belief that you are not.
Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continually change and expand your beliefs as you focus not on
what you want to achieve, but rather on who you wish to become.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,