21 days to make a new habit, I’ve read….hmmm, I’m not so sure. In my experience, it takes almost double that before I start identifying a new habit as a part of my routine, a part of me. Ahh, but therein lies the opportunity for a slight reframe.
Would it be faster if the new habits I desired were first aligned with a new desired IDENTITY?
I’ll give you an example.
Part of my internal story was that I had spent a lifetime struggling with making exercise a daily habit, even though I’m a very active and physically capable person. Or at least I thought so until I looked at myself through the lens of an athletically capable person and a daily exerciser – rather than just a bookworm trying to exercise – and I realized it was more of a habit already than I thought and it was just the matter of a tweak not an overhaul to create the next level habit.
I had already run several half marathons and a couple full ones….I just needed to own my IDENTITY as an athletic individual, a runner even – and then I would naturally run more, because that is what runners do.
I’ve been able to run about 30% more often since I changed my identity around running.
Now I’m doing it with writing – I’ve had difficulty sticking to a daily writing routine. But I realized I didn’t identify myself as a writer fully, even though I have written a couple books. Crazy, right? I began owning my identity as a writer and it allowed me to entitle myself differently to writing time. A can see a similar 30% increase in writing time unfolding in front of me already with this subtle shift…
Maybe the habits would be easier if the identity was truly aligned with our desired identity. Ask yourself, what would a successful entrepreneur look like? What would they do? What would they dress like and what kind of language would they use? Would they be “trying to…” make sales or would they just be selling?
Maybe habits you are “trying” to establish are identity hurdles and not discipline hurdles after all. Address the identity question and watch the habits fall into place more easily.