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What We're Talking About

Any of this sound familiar?

🙄 That’s just the way I am. 

😪 Typical me. 

😠 I am X; therefore, I can’t do Y

😫 I’ll never be able to figure this out!

As humans, we tend to believe our identity is fixed - predetermined before we ever had a say. You might shy away from your dream of running marathons, or resign yourself to always being a midnight snacker because that’s “just who you are.”

But what if your identity wasn’t a foregone conclusion? What if you could become a different person through a series of small acts over an extended period of time?

No single habit, good or bad, is the culprit of any kind of behavior.

Tiny habits accumulate over time to create patterns of behavior. While it can feel like that behavior is in your DNA, that's simply not the case.

You can change who you are through what you do

Once you decide who you want to be, you can become that person through a series of small wins. 

Change happens when that habit becomes part of your identity.

You’re not just trying to run a marathon, you’re a marathon runner!

Why It Matters

Your habits are the building blocks of your identity. More specifically, your habits are how you embody your identity. If you draw each day, you embody the identity of an artist.

Identity-based habits by James Clear
Identity-based habits by James Clear. Source: jamesclear.com
How You Can Use It

The first step to change habits and behaviors is zeroing in on what you want to change or accomplish. These changes don’t have to be seismic, either. 

Let’s say you want to clean your apartment more often, but you’ve never seen yourself as a habitual cleaner. That’s okay! 

  • Write down what you want to change.
  • Keep the goal small and specific. 

Rather than, “I want to be better at cleaning,” write down, “I want to wash the dishes at the end of each meal.” 

You’ll find that small, incremental actions can—and will—lead to new habits. 

💡 Decide who you want to be. Prove you can do it with small wins.

Reflect and Learn More
  1. Reflect on what you just learned about how habits form identity.
  2. Consider how your colleagues' habits contribute to team identity.
  3. Lastly, make a list of 1-3 habits you'd like to see change. What new identity would you like the team to embody?

For example: I want my team to work smarter, not harder. I want us to be known as a reliable, efficient team that doesn’t waste anyone’s time.

Other Resources
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