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Chapter 2: How your habits shape your identity (and vice versa)

The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.

The foundation of every lasting change is identity. You can change your outcomes or your processes; however, if you don’t change your identity, you will eventually come back to your old habits. For example, if you want to stop smoking, and you keep saying, “I’m trying to quit smoking,” it’s the outcome you are trying to change. Lasting change can only come through identity change. In this example, you must start saying, “I’m not a smoker.”

If good habits are in conflict with your identity, you will fail to establish them.

Actions prove your identity. It’s not enough to say, “I’m a runner.” If you run two times a week, your actions prove that you truly are a runner. The best way to change who you are is to change what you do. Your actions give proof of who you are. For example, if you write two pages every day, you are a writer.

Actions to take