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Becoming Your Habits

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By: Joel Cochran

If you know anything about me or have read any of my past blogs, I am a huge advocate for creating and nurturing positive habits.  My job is about helping people reach their fitness goals and to do that I always start off with a person’s habits, both good and bad.  By diving into a person’s habits we can start breaking down both the good and the bad and make a decision on what we should keep or get rid of.  

The biggest problem that I usually face when talking about habits to others, is actually understanding what its purpose is.  Most people look at habits as a systematical approach to reach a given goal or result. “If I want to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass, I need to create the habit of going to the gym 5 days a week for 1 hour.”  But what if I told you that habits are more about your identity than a certain goal.

The most effective way to change your habits is to not focus on what you want to achieve but who you wish to be.  So instead of talking about losing weight and increasing muscle mass which is what you want to achieve, we first need to change our belief of ourselves and create the identity of “being a fit person.”  As soon as we start changing our personal identity by focusing on who we want to be, your habits will start to support that change.

Your identity emerges out of your habits.  Every action is a vote for the type of person you want to become.  Each time you go to the gym, you are “becoming that fit person”. Each time you drink water instead of a high calorie drink, you are “becoming that fit person”.  Each time you decide to have a side salad instead of french fries, you are “becoming that fit person.” So on and so forth as you continue to create small manageable habits that support the identity you are trying to become.

So if you are currently chasing a new goal, take a step back and first look at the identity of that goal and then start pinpointing all the different habits that are there supporting it.  If you can’t find the identity then it probably isn’t likely that there are solid habits in place to reach that goal.

If you feel that you are stuck and need some guidance on your current goals, contact me at Joel@doubleedgefitness.com or any of your coaches as we are always here to help you establish solid steps to get you to where you want to be!