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How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good

Identity-based habits

The beliefs you have about yourself can drive your long-term behavior.

You could trick yourself into going to the gym or eating healthy once or twice, but if you don't shift your underlying identity, then it's hard to stick with long-term changes.

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How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good

How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good

https://jamesclear.com/identity-votes

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

Identity-based habits

The beliefs you have about yourself can drive your long-term behavior.

You could trick yourself into going to the gym or eating healthy once or twice, but if you don't shift your underlying identity, then it's hard to stick with long-term changes.

3 layers of behavior change

  • A change in your outcomes
  • A change in your processes
  • A change in your identity.

Most people start by focusing on outcome-based goals like “I want to lose 20 pounds”. But these are surface-level changes.

The root of behavior change

... and building better habits is your identity.

Each action you perform is driven by the belief that it is possible. So if you change your identity (the type of person that you believe that you are), then it’s easier to change your actions.

How to change your beliefs

Your habits are not the only actions that influence your identity, but by virtue of their frequency, they are usually the most important ones.

So the most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do.

Habits and identity

Your habits are how you embody your identity. The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.

When you write each day, you embody the identity of a creative person. When you train each day, you embody the identity of an athletic person.

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Identity-Based Habits

Building these habits means focusing on the type of person you wish to become rather than the outcome you wish to achieve.

Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your curre...

Change can occur at 3 levels
  • Outcomes: changing your results - losing weight, publishing a book, etc.
  • Process: changing your habits and systems - implementing a new routine at the gym, developing a meditation practice, etc.
  • Identity: changing your beliefs - worldview, self-image, judgments.
Changing your beliefs about yourself
  1. Decide the type of person you want to be;
  2. Prove it to yourself with small wins;

You have to become the type of person you want to be, and that starts with proving your new identity to yourself.

If you believe things about yourself like…
  • “It's hard for me to lose weight.”
  • “I'm not good with numbers.”
  • “I'm not a natural athlete.”
  • “I'm not creative.”
  • “I'm a procrastinator.”

...it...

Actions change your beliefs

It's your daily actions that will change what you believe about yourself and the person you become. 

Focus on the process. Focus on showing up,  on sticking to the schedule, on “not quitting.

Eventually, the results and the self–confidence will come anyway. 

New Year Resolutions that Stick

Whether it is a resolution to lose weight, to do more exercise, or to consume less sugar, we all have encountered hardships trying to stick with them.

Health-related New Year Resolutions are ...

One Thing At A Time

Making resolutions requires no effort, but if we decide to suddenly shift towards improving too many of our behaviors at once, it can backfire.

Focus on one thing that you want to change, at a time, and commit to it.

What You Can Control

You may not be able to change the external circumstances, stressful situations, or work environment. What you can do is control how you react to negative forces and stressful situations.

For example: If you get unhealthy food at your home, you can control how or when you eat it.

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