Continuing our quick tour through James Clear’s Atomic Habits, let’s talk about the importance of your Identity in forming better habits (and breaking the bad ones). (Soon we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of his 4 Laws of Behavior Change.)
James presents a couple different ways to approach habits. He calls one “Outcome-Based” and the other “Identity-Based.” Long story short, we want to start with our Identity.
Rather than start with thinking about WHAT we want to achieve, and HOW we’re going to get there, James tells us that we want to start by thinking about WHO we are committed to becoming.
THAT’s the engine that drives the creation of the best habits and the destruction of the worst.
Start with who.
Quick check in: Who do YOU want to become?
Quick check in Part 2: Are your habits in line with that best version of you?
Pay attention because our Identity and our Habits go together.
James tells us: “The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. In fact, the word identity was originally derived from the Latin word essentitas, which means being, and identidem, which means repeatedly. Your identity is literally your ‘repeated beingness.’”
Isn’t that amazing?!
Your identity? It’s LITERALLY what you repeatedly do and who you repeatedly are.
What’s interesting is that you can make a shift in your Identity by choosing to BE a different person and/or choosing to DO different things.
Want to be a leader? Lead.
Want to be a writer? Write.
Want to be a better father or mother or husband or brother? Act like one.
Want to be healthy? Act like a healthy person. (James actually shares a story about a friend of his who lost 100 pounds by simply making decisions that a healthy person would make.)
I’ll share my own reflections on this whole Identity business a little more tomorrow.
Who do you aspire to be in this one precious journey of ours?
Are you repeatedly BEING that version of you?
Here’s to becoming all we’re capable of being.
+1. +1. +1.