When we want to make a change we usually have some kind of a goal or outcome in mind. We want to achieve something: lose weight, stop procrastinating, run a marathon, etc.
We have an aspiration that we want to achieve, but not always we know exactly what we should do to reach it.
Sometimes we know that we should change our habits. We want to break the bad habits and create some good ones. Like going to the gym three times per week, drinking more water during the day, making the bed in the morning, etc.
But rarely do we think about what kind of a person we would need to become to achieve these goals or have these habits. Do we believe that we are a person who can run a marathon? Do we think about ourselves as a runner? Do we believe that we are a healthy person? Do we think about ourselves as a healthy eater?
For making a change it is most important to decide who you would like to be and then start making small steps to prove yourself that you really are this person.
No matter that you are only able to jog for half an hour, but not run a marathon (yet) or that you only eat one healthy meal per day. You have to start from somewhere and by going for jogging three times per week you prove yourself that you are an active person. By eating a healthy breakfast you prove yourself that you are a healthy person.
If you make this identity shift in your head and you feel that you are an active person, it will be easier for you to say “no” to bad behaviours and take on more helpful ones.
An active person wouldn’t sit in front of the TV for the whole evening. An active person would do some small exercises during the commercial breaks or would cut the TV time and go for a walk instead.
A healthy person would not order a doughnut with the coffee. A healthy person would make a shopping list and include more fruits and vegetables instead of unhealthy products.
If you want to quit smoking, do not tell someone who offers you a cigarette, that you are trying to quit. Tell them: “I’m not a smoker.”
Become the person for whom achieving your aspirations would be a regular everyday task.
Tiny Habits is a perfect method for starting the identity shift. You can make tiny steps towards your new identity and since these new behaviours are so easy to do, you will feel successful and you prove yourself every day that you really are the person who can achieve the goals you desire.
So decide who you want to become and ask yourself: “What would a … (healthy, active, wealthy, energetic, good parent, etc.) do?” And then do it.
Do whatever small step at first and you will start believing in your new identity.