Why Identity-Based Habits Trump Outcome Based Habits
By: Ben S. Fogel
I’ve got something for you to ponder – It is already week number 2/52. How are you doing with those New Years resolutions? Are your new behaviors matching up with the person that you want to become (your identity?).
If not, it may be because you set up your “goals” to be outcome based, and not identity based.
Here’s what I mean:
When most people think about the habits they want to build, or goals they want to accomplish, they naturally start by considering only the OUTCOMES they want to achieve. “I want to lose weight.” Or, “I want to stop smoking.”
The alternative is to start by focusing on who we want to become, not what we want to achieve.
Instead of having a goal of “I want to lose weight” you can say “I am the type of person who makes healthy choices.”
Feel how your identity starts to shift as you say that.
Or, instead of saying “I want to stop smoking” you may start to say to yourself “I am not a smoker” and these words will start to build your identity of who you are going to become.
It’s one thing to say “I’m the type of person who wants this.”
It’s something very different to say “I’m the type of person who IS this.”
Another way to think about it is to ask the question “Who is the kind of person that would get the kind of outcome I want to get?”
Like when you are about to drive through a fast food line, you could ask yourself, “What would a healthy person do?”
Or when you are about to reach for that cigarette, you could ask, “What would someone trying to quit smoking do here?”
Remember, these are very small victories that over time will stack up in your favor.
As James Clear says in his book Atomic Habits:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
Are you ready to make some small victories, with time on your side? We would love to be in your corner to help you this year, but we have very limited space on our memberships – we are very close to implementing a waiting list to join Epic Fitness. If you are ready to take action in becoming the person you envision yourself to be, we would love to help you do that work.
Click below to learn sign up for a Discovery call, so we can learn more about how we can help you!