I am fascinated by habits. I am curious about how we create them and more importantly, how we make them stick. My fascination started 9 years ago when I became a non-smoker and was I was given a copy of “The Power of Habit” by Charles Durhigg. This was where I first leaned about keystone habits. Keystone habits are rountines/habits that lead to other actions because of them. As an example, exercise is often a keystone habit as it can lead to a change in eating habits and sleep routines.
True behavior change is identity change.James Clear (Atomic Habits)
I have been on a quest to become healthier for a while now and to be a writer. But I suspect that therein lies the problem. “Being on a quest to”, “trying”, “attempting to” – all of these thought processes never actually get you there. I have actually cut the word “try” out of my vocabulary. There is no such thing. Either you do or you don’t. So my word for 2022 is “Action”. I act and I do. Oh and the word healthier is probably part of the problem. Either I am living a healthy lifestyle or I’m not. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.
The thing is that in order to become, you first have to be rather than become first in order to be. In other words , you have to tell yourself that you already are so that you take on the behaviour of that which you aspire to be. So in order to adopt healthy habits, I have to keep telling myself that I am a healthy person. The day after I made the decision to be the person I aimed to become, a clip of David Goggins popped up on my instagram feed talking about being the person mentally in order to adopt the habits of the person you want to become. He gave the example of a motivating yourself to run in the rain at 5am even when you have no desire to. He says you need to tell yourself: “This is who we are now”. That made perfect sense to me. So far it is working for my goal of writing every day. I have now written every day for more than 33 days straight because this is who I am now. I am a writer. I have so many other commitments every night but this is the one that I have enjoyed the most. To be honest, I am ususally dog tired when it is time to write but I do it anyway because…yip, that’s right,…this is who I am now. For the record, my last writing streak was for 7 days so this is very impressive for the old me. For the new me…this is my new normal. As for being a healthy person…well…I’m not quite there yet.
So this is my goal for 2022, to decide on what it is I want to achieve and be it. I am under no illusions that this will not always be easy but I know that if I am doing it for all the right reasons, I will definitely enjoy the journey. Watch this space and I will keep you updated on what’s worked and what hasn’t worked over the coming year.