Thoughtful Thursday…Tiny habits for lasting change...
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
Have you ever given much thought to your habits? When we look at the definition of habit we see it is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic, writes James Clear in his new book, Tiny Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Habits can move us towards or away from what we want to accomplish and the person whom we want to become. In that context, habits can be both “good” moving us towards our target; or “bad” taking us away from what we want to obtain.
Do we need motivation to develop good habits? We do get some motivation by taking action. That action doesn’t have to be anything big and audacious. As James Clear points out,
“…a slight change in your daily habits can guide your life to a very different destination. Making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over the span of moments that make up a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be. Success is the product of daily habits - not once-in-a-lifetime transformations."
I found particularly interesting James’ discussion on intrinsic motivation and identity. We’ve probably have all identified with a particular aspect and maybe not even have realized it. When we are aware of identify it can help propel us.
“The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this…True behavior change is identify change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.”
I know from my own personal experience, that when I first saw a personal trainer and was exposed to the truth of where I thought I was (strong) to where I actually was (not so strong...), I made the decision then and there to get strong and to become a strong person. Why? Because I believed I was an athlete and athletes are strong. I matched my identity to my actions and have been training on a weekly basis for over 14 years.
Research backs that up. James goes on to write, “Research has shown that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief…Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity…”.
My identity as an athlete has evolved into being a peaceful warrior leader, improving my fitness of body, mind, and spirit; always learning, moving towards mastery of self; sharing, teaching, guiding others along their journey of self-mastery to help nourish body, mind, and spirit.
Back to you. What do you believe about your identity? Who are you today? Tomorrow?
“It’s not one little change that’s going to transform things. It’s if you have a commitment to making little changes each day or little improvements each day. ” – James Clear
Enjoy your journey,
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Did you miss last week’s newsletter on New information on dementia, ADHD, anxiety, and more ……?