Why do we doubt ourselves and our abilities so often? I feel such internal conflict at times. Pushing yourself and going outside of your comfort zone is challenging. Many times I’m left feeling inadequate and disappointed. Maybe I am setting too difficult of a goal to start with. I’m just setting myself up for failure.
Currently I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and he says in order to adopt new habits we need to link it to our identity. Instead of saying I want to run a marathon, which is an outcome, think I want to become a runner.
All habits follow the same habit loop – cue, craving, response and reward. By understanding this habit loop, you can adopt new habits and break old ones. James Clear says in order to implement a new habit the cue must be obvious, the craving must be attractive, the response must be easy to do and the reward must be satisfying.
Example: You always wanted to become a runner but you can’t seem to get into action. In order to implement this habit you have to look at your current behaviour.
Current behaviour: You usually come home from work and sit in from of the TV to destress.
Alternative option: Instead you can tell yourself after you get home you will go for a run to distress and get fresh air.
However, in order to increase the likelihood of becoming a runner you need to set up visible cues. In order to make the cue for running more visible, you might put your running shoes by the front door each morning so when you get home from work, you see it and remember to go running.
To make this habit easier to do, you can set a goal to put on your running shoes after you get home from work. Putting on your running shoes is a very easy thing to do. By putting on your shoes you are setting yourself up to go running without any drastic commitment.
In this instance your cue would be coming home from work and seeing your running shoes. The craving is to destress from work. The response is to put on your running shoes. Your reward is the satisfaction of going on a run and relaxing.
James Clear goes into a lot more details on other things, like habit stacking. Which would be combining habits you want to do with something you need to do. The example he used was riding an exercise bike while watching TV.
His book, Atomic Habits has a whole host of things worth digesting. It’s definitely a worthwhile read.
Anyway, I totally strayed from my previous point which is a good thing. I’m glad I read this book has it has a lot of practical tips I can use go become the type of person I want to be.
Hope this post wasn’t too out of the blue. I feel like I’m complaining a lot lately. I guess, I’m in the incubation process which is the messy period of change process.
This quote explains the process of change:
“All Change Is Hard At First, Messy In The Middle and Gorgeous In The End”— Robin Sharma
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Thank you for reading.