Do you want to know the secret to building lasting health and fitness habits?
Be a healthy, fit person.
Ha ha…very funny right?! But it’s true.
In his NEW book Atomic Habits James Clear talks about the power of identity. He uses the example of smoking and I think it’s a brilliant example. If a smoker is trying to quit and is offered a cigarette if he’s not really committed his answer might be “no thanks, I’m trying to quit.” If a smoker is committed his response would be “no thanks, I’m not a smoker.” The second person is identifying as a non-smoker, not a smoker trying to quit.
Feel the difference?
In my book The Elephant in the Gym I talk about this as well – especially when it comes to exploring your vision.
Let me give you another example.
If your vision around your health and fitness includes running. Someone who is trying on the habit might say “I’m going to run more this year,” or “I’m going to run a 5k.” A person who is “all in” and identifying as a runner will say “I am a runner!”
By using an “I am…” statement you instantly become more invested in the identity. And this translates into action.
- When the alarm goes off, you get up. Because that’s what runners do!
- When it’s raining, and you don’t wanna…you go anyway. Because that’s what runners do.
- When it comes time to sign up for a run clinic or race…you go for it. Because that’s what runners do.
Running not quite your style? No problem!
As you explore your vision for your health and fitness this year, try this on.
- Identity: I am a healthy, fit person.
- Every time you make a choice use this question as a filter: What choice would a healthy, fit person make?
Identifying as a healthy, fit person is going to look differently in practice for every person, but at the core the question offers you a way to tap into your identity as a healthy, fit individual.
No rules to follow or strict guidelines. Just one simple question…so you can #besuperyou
Try this out and let me know how it goes!