Have you ever failed to keep a habit? You wanted to make a routine of doing something, yet every time you tried to implement it you fell short. This hits home for all of us around the new year. We are so jazzed about an opportunity for a fresh start & we’re determined to join hands with you to make sure we ALL create new, fruitful habits within your life.
Your plan might sound something like this: “On January 1 I will start the year off by eating healthy, reading a new book every week and putting 50% of my paychecks into my savings.” Apparently, you’re really ambitious! Jokes aside, we ALL do this. We want new habits. I would even go as far to say we crave habits that will bring stability and success into our lives. Oftentimes the desire to change parts of our life comes from watching other successful people have these habits and see the benefits from them.
Let’s take a very simple habit that many people struggle to incorporate into their life. Ready for it?
Getting up early.
Does that one hit home for you? If not, throw in another habit that is hard for you to stick with.
Now let’s get down to business. We’re here today to determine the first step in creating the habits we so desperately want to adopt. I’ll give you a hint, it doesn’t start by performing the habit the next day. It starts with our identity. Often we struggle to adopt habits because we tell ourselves there is no way we can do it. For our example in particular, you may have found yourself saying things like “I’m not a morning person” or “I just can’t function before 9am.”
We tell ourselves these stories and we speak these things so long that we start actually believing them. We start identifying with the notion that we can’t actually wake up early… that it’s not in us. We create an internal pressure to maintain this identity of not being a morning person– so much so that we resist the act of even trying it and pushing through the tiredness. You’ll find the deeper you engrain the thought into your mind that you can’t do something the less you’ll try to stick with it. It’s hard to change your habits if you don’t change your underlying beliefs.
So though you don’t enjoy waking up early, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to start.
One of the biggest barriers to change is how we identify with it. This is why it is so important to not place our identity in fleeting things, or concepts. You fail to put habits into action because you don’t think you can be that kind of person that:
Eats healthy food
Budgets your money
Or.. wakes up early
Author James Clear says it this way, “Good habits make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action.”
Shifting our thoughts to identify with habits we are trying to achieve will make all the difference. You ARE a morning person. Now start acting like it.
Over the next few days take time to ask yourself these questions:
You CAN BE that person you want to be. You CAN achieve that habit you want to achieve. Act like it.