One of the most important books I’ve read is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
It cemented the benefits of having a daily routine. And how important our habits are.
For example, so many people say things like:
“I want to have more money”, “I want to lose weight” or “gain some kind of result.”
The truth is your bank account is a lagging measure of your finnacial habits.
Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits.
Your fitness is a lagging measure of your exercise habits.
Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning and reading habits.
And we get it wrong when we think the thing that needs to change is the bank account, the test score or the number on the scale.
Actually the things that need to change are the habits that proceed those outcomes.
You come to realise that your habits reinforce a particular identity.
Sometimes this can be positive and sometimes it can be negative.
The story could be things like ‘Im bad at math’ or ‘I’m terrible with people’s names’. It’s an internal story that you tell yourself.
And each time you have an experience it reinforces that. The story gets solidified.
The takeaway here is that every action you take is a vote for the type of person you become.
And if you can master the right actions, if you can master the right habits
Then you start to cast votes for this new identity, the desired person you want to become.
This is why small habits matter so much, they don’t transform your life overnight.
One workout or healthy meal does not transform your body. But it does cast a vote for being the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts and eats healthy.
Over time these votes compound. And as Einstein said:
‘Compounding is the eighth wonder of the world.’
The goal is not to run a race or complete a sporting pursuit. The goal is to become an athlete.
Once you’ve adopted that identity, you’re not looking to change anymore.
You’re merely acting in alignment with the type of person you see yourself as.
True behaviour change is identity change.
Once you change that internal story it get’s easier to show up each day.
Motivation becomes irrelevant.
It’s just who you are.