I’ve written about celebrating small wins, and how each win adds up to create big achievements.
In this article, I’m unpacking another topic inspired by James Clear, a leader in the science of habit formation.
This topic is all about identity.
In this article I’ll unpack:
- Why living in line with your identity matters
- The easy two-step process to upgrade your identity and let it guide you
- Decide who you want to be
- Prove it to yourself with small wins
Living in line with your identity matters
Your identity is the story you tell yourself about who you are. It’s shaped by the small actions you take every day. And vice versa.
Being able to take small steps towards the person you’d like to be, and celebrating those small wins is a formula for life long change.
Your identity is more powerful than Now that we know what matters, how do we shift our focus?
Two-step process to upgrade your identity and let it guide you:
1. Shifting towards who you want to be
Drop the results focus
Client’s might tell me, “I want to lose 20kgs” or, “I want to bring my HbA1c below 6.5%”. These are all results-driven. They’re helpful and easy to outline. It’s clear and concise. It’s an objective measure, to look back on six months from now. It’s where you want to go.
But it’s not who you want to be to get yourself there.
Who is this person to you?
Who is the type of person who could get those results? Who is the type of person who can put their diabetes into remission?
It’s probably someone who committed, values longevity and their health.
Maybe you see yourself as a community leader or a role model for your children. Everyone is different. Who is this person to you?
2. Prove it to yourself with small wins
Your small wins not only create good habits but they also teach you to trust yourself. You start to see results, and you’re reminded that you can accomplish the goals you set out to do.
Your habits matter because they help you to become the kind of person you value and admire.
Let your identity guide you
I had a client who lost 20kgs by asking himself, “what would a healthy person do?” All-day long, he’d use this question as a guide. Would he go for a walk or watch TV? Would he eat a salad or a pizza? He figured if he acted like a healthy person long enough, eventually, he’d become that person. He was right.
Our habits embody our identity, and our identity drives our habits.
If you’re a client of mine, we would have created a wellness vision together. What, of that vision, describes WHO you want to be? What is the identity that you’re striving towards?