No one says it better than James Clear: “The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.” Embracing the right identity is the first step to attaining your desired results.
Extra Brownie Points for You
Take healthy eating as an example. People who are “healthy” would usually say no to a brownie. If you want to be a healthy person, you need to identify as a healthy eater. Once you identify as such, your actions will be shaped by your identity. AKA, you will say no to the brownie, getting closer to your desired results.
Trick, Without the Treat
It’s really trickery for your brain. Imagine every time someone offered you a Juul hit, you said: “I realllly want one but, I’m trying to stop.” Eventually, you would give in because, at your core, you still feel like someone who would take a hit. Instead, maybe you say “I don’t Juul, but thank you”. Point blank. You no longer debate it and the temptation is gone. You stop thinking about your craving and you move on from this mundane event. Also, it saves your friends a boring lecture about why you aren’t Juuling tonight.
One word can make all the difference. Adam Alter, author of Irresistible gives the example of someone who is trying to reduce their time on social media. Whenever the temptation arises, you can either tell yourself “I can’t use Facebook” or “I don’t use Facebook”. Remember when your parents told you that you can’t have cookies every day, or you can’t go to your friend’s house? All this does is make you want it even more. “I can’t” takes the power away from you, whereas “I don’t” gives it back to you.
When it comes down to it, it’s simple and actually saves brain power by reducing the need for decision-making. If you want to be someone who meditates, you will no longer debate whether or not you do it each morning. You can’t call yourself a meditator if you don’t meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. That word is starting to sound weird. Let’s move on.