Around this time of year a lot of people are busy trying to keep up with their New Years Resolutions, and new goals that they have set for themselves. Maybe you are too? Creating new habits, that are good for us, is not always as easy as we want it to be. So, understanding how beliefs and behavior is connected – through habits, can be very useful.
“Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity”
James Clear, the writer of Atomic Habits, says that “Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity”. Meaning that if you are in the habit of making your bed every morning, you embody the identity of an organized person. Or, if you are someone who works out every day (habit), you are a fit person (identity). These actions are a continuous vote for who you believe you are. I think that this is really something to be aware of, and to think about! Habits then, become very important as they shape our self image.
What is a habit by definition then? According to James Clear from the podcast with Rich Roll, there are three ways to define a habit.
1. A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to be performed more or less automatically.
2. When you face a problem [small or large] in life, your brain tries to find a solution to that. When you come across a recurring problem in life, you start to automate those.
3. …an automatic solution we fall into for whatever the recurring problems are that we face.
“Your original habit is not necessarily the optimal one” -James Clear
Here is a huge key in order to understand our habits and to be able to change them: “Your original habit is not necessarily the optimal one”. Once aware of that, maybe you can redesign your habit to solve that particular problem in a better way.
Here is another golden nugget from the podcast “Every behavior is driven by the desire for a change in state”. For example, when you eat some sweets, you are not after the calories in that cake or chocolate, right. You want to feel different, like maybe less anxious, or a little happier.
When you come home in the evening feeling stressed and you have a glass of wine, you want to feel more relaxed. The question then is, is this a good habit for you, and what kind of identity are you shaping with that habit?
“Good habits serve you in the long run, bad habits do not.” -James Clear
I really enjoyed this podcast with former baseball player James Clear, and wanted to share it with you. Rich Roll says on his webpage “This is a highly practical conversation that explores the psychology and neuroscience behind behavior change.” I totally agree! Check out the podcast, it’s well worth your time.
Listen to the podcast here, or check out the video below
I hope you find this podcast useful and maybe it will inspire you to take a look at your current habits, and see if they are in line with the identity of the person that you want to be.
I wish you all an atomically awesome weekend!