James Clear is one of my favorite habit bloggers. I came across him sometime last year. I am reading his blog ever since. It changed me for the better. I love his content, consistency, and writing style. His work has been immensely helpful to me while I was forming my habit philosophies.
Until last week he published two high-quality articles every week on his blog JamesClear.com. From this week he is only going to publish only one. I welcome this change, wish him all the best, and look forward to continuing to read his posts.
I can go on talking about the lessons learned by reading his blog. But if I were to pick only one, it is this post titled Identity-Based Habits. And this image in that post sums it up.
“Decide the person you want to be and prove it to yourself with small wins”, he prescribes. This idea has helped set up my exercising habit.
I told myself exactly what’s in that image. I have been consistently showing up three times a week to exercise. I can’t do 100 pushups in a row yet but I did 30 this evening on my toes; my highest ever in a row. I have proved to myself that I can do pushups on my toes, over the last 128 days. I have no plans to stop; so I may be able to do 100 pushups in a row someday. I lost a bit of weight by the looks. Nevertheless, performance and appearance are external and don’t matter as much as my identity. I don’t pretend that performance and appearance are not important. They are. But focusing on them isn’t going to take me far. What if people don’t say anything about my performance? Does that mean I am not performing? Instead, I focus on my identity and see performance and appearance as offshoots.
I have few other identities that I would like to keep to myself at this stage. But the point is, identity is a powerful concept. Once you find who you want to be, it is difficult not to prove your identity to yourself. Do it often times and it becomes your reality.
I have no affiliation with James. I have only emailed him once to thank him for his great work and he thanked me back. But I always like to spread the good work and endorse its creators as much as I can. So go to his newsletter page, scroll down a bit and give your email id. You will learn a thing or two.