LEAP into your Atomic Habits
I recently listened to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and highly recommend it!
I’m going to share some thoughts from the book with you that I found powerful to help you create your best life and then, like always, I offer a shortcut. 😉
Why is it so hard to stop repeating habits like overeating and keep habits like exercise?
He says it’s hard to change because we try to change the wrong thing.
He shares that there are 3 levels at which change occurs:
- Change your outcome = what you get
- Change your process = what you do
- Change your identity = what you believe (who you are)
He shares that most people start to change a habit by focusing on what they want to achieve and by deciding what they are going to do to achieve it.
But if the person does not align their identity with the outcome and process, they default back to their old habits because they have not changed who they are.
He shares that long-term results come from building identity-based habits, focusing on who you wish to become, not what you want or what you are doing to do.
He gives an example: If someone is trying to stop smoking and someone offers them a cigarette they might say, “I’m trying to quit.” The belief is: I am a smoker trying not to be. They are trying to change their behavior while carrying the same belief.
If someone else is trying to stop smoking and someone offers them a cigarette they might say, “No, I’m not a smoker.” They are still saying no, but it shows a shift in identity. They no longer identify as someone who smokes.
Most people don’t consider identity change when they want to improve.
They set goals and determine actions they must take to achieve the goals without considering the beliefs that drive their actions.
I want to be skinny (outcome) and if I stick to this diet (process) then I’ll be skinny.
A more effective and long-term identity focus would be, “I am a healthy person so I make healthy choices.”
Behavior that is incongruent with the belief system will not last. When looking for long-term change, you have to change your identity.
It does not matter what you want, it matters what you believe.
The only reason you will stick with a new habit is if you make it part of your identity, your belief system.
The goal is not to have or to do, the goal is to become.
For example, the goal should not be to make a million dollars, the goal should be to become a millionaire.
The goal should not be to go to the gym but to become a healthy person.
When you believe, you automatically act in alignment with that belief.
Let go of beliefs that don’t serve you!
Have you adopted any of these beliefs:
- I’m terrible with direction
- I’m not a morning person
- I’m bad at remembering people’s names
- I’m always late
- I’m not good with technology
- I’m horrible at math
When you repeat stories for years, they become your identity. Self-fulfilling prophecies or in other words, a feed-back loop in your brain.
How do you change your identity?
You change your brain.
You literally program your mind to become who you want to be.
No more trying, it’s about becoming.
Who do you want to be? Take 2 minutes and write it down.
I want to be:
How are you going to accomplish these 10 goals?
Remember, don’t default to outcome and process, think identity.
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To daily becoming the you that you have always wanted to be-
Jenny and the Balanced You™ team