Want to ditch unhealthy habits? Don’t skip THIS first step.
Many of us have something about ourselves we want to change and we know that in order to do it, we need to change what we do, aka our behaviors.
Because behaviors done over time become habits. (You can read more about that HERE).
But what happens when we just can’t seem to do the behaviors we set out to do? The ones we know we should do but we keep missing or falling short?
We know we should start running if we want to do that 10K.
We know we should put down that cigarette if we want to quit smoking.
We know we should lift weights if we want to keep our muscles toned and working well as we age.
We know we should skip the afternoon cookie if we want to eat healthier.
But something inside keeps us from actually doing it.
It could be the IDENTITY we have of ourself (or lack thereof).
That’s right: Identity (who you view yourself as being) dictates behavior and behavior dictates habit.
Here’re some examples:
Instead of saying “I workout”…what if you said “I am a lifter?”
Not “I don’t smoke” (again, focusing on what you do or don’t do) but instead “I’m a non-smoker.” (who you ARE).
Not “I’m trying to be healthy” but “I’m an athlete” …this one has saved me numerous times. When faced with a decision, I ask myself…”what would ATHLETE Jess do?”
Because if I want to feel like, look like, be known for and perform like an athlete, I need to think of myself as one, FIRST. This identity empowers me to to skip the afternoon cookie that I’ll know will escalate into more “screw it” choices, to forgo the extra cocktail I know will keep me from wanting to run the next day, to go do my strength training program instead of one more scroll on Instagram, to drink the water, to go to bed on time, to pursue personal growth. Cause that’s what Athlete Jess would do.
What identity can you claim that will help charge your behaviors?
You may feel like an impostor at first but as you remind yourself over and over WHO you are, not just WHAT you do, that “character” of yourself will form your actual character.
Claim a healthy identity.
Make choices as that person (fake it ‘til you make it if you have to).