There are times that I feel the only consistency is the inconsistency of life. Not very profound, I know and I’m aware that my frame of mind is in need of work. I have many things to be grateful for and they don’t go unnoticed. But…
Getting out of the habit of negative thinking is necessary to propel ourselves forward and it’s not always easy to do. I started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear a few days ago. My fiancé Michael gave it to me when I shared that I clearly don’t know what my purpose is these days. I don’t know what direction I want to go. I don’t feel accomplished. Blah, blah, blah…
There are so many self-help books on the market and finding one that works ironically requires the reading of a self-help book. I’m two chapters into Atomic Habits and I’m already liking the writer’s concept of making the effort to get 1% better every day—“tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.” Doing just 1% every day doesn’t feel overwhelming. It’s creating a system, not a goal. When we have a goal and we accomplish it, then what? That’s right, we’re done. However if we create a system, we are consistently getting better—even if results feel slow.
The same can be said for being 1% worse every day, however that consistency is a habit that maintains itself. What I’ve learned (but, deep down probably already knew) is that the change has to be made within our identity. This is our self-image, judgements, and biases—what we believe. We need to build identity-based habits on “who we wish to become.”
He used the example of two people who want to stop smoking and they are offered a cigarette. One says, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.” The other says, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.”
See what he did there?
The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to be become a musician.
The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to be a runner.
He states it’s a two-step process to change your identity:
1) Decide the type of person you want to be. 2) Prove it to yourself with small wins.
We all do the same thing convincing ourselves who we are and the book lays it all out:
“I’m terrible with directions.”
“I’m not a morning person.”
“I’m always late.”
“I’m not good with technology.”
By repeating these negative things, it becomes who we are. Our inclination to change is non-existent if we believe we are incapable. Just remember it take just 1% improvement each time—baby steps, people. We know that feeling, the warm-fuzzy sensation when we have a win. I’m thinking I’d like that feeling every single day, even for the little things. I am a winner (oh, yea).
So, I’m working on my identity and bringing you all along with me. Hopefully, you’ll join me as sometimes it does take a village to bring on change. We will all focus on not necessarily what we want to change, but who we want to become. Think about it this way, every 1% we give toward changing into who we want to be will accumulate. This will direct us toward changing our beliefs in who we are.
I’m not simply writing this blog, people—I am a blogger.