Which do you think is more powerful?
I want to save $10,000
I am an investor
I want to lose 20Ibs
I am a person who works out and eats right and stays healthy
I am nice
I am a God-fearing Christian man
There is something to an identity. It is a very powerful force on us.
When we begin to identify as something. It becomes much harder for us to do things that we believe to be out of line with that identity. Not just from a personal perspective but also from a communal perspective. This is why once someone identifies themselves as being part of something, it is almost impossible to change their minds about those things.
If you want to change something about yourself:
It has to be rooted in your identity.
It has to be rooted in the very way we see ourselves.
It has to be rooted in the way we want to be identified by others.
So how do we then become?
It starts with the questions we ask ourselves. There is a difference between asking yourself:
"How do I lose weight?"
"How can I be a person who is healthy?"
One focuses heavily on the end goal. The other focuses heavily on you becoming.
One leads you to look for the fastest route to the goal in order to get it over with. The other forces you to ask questions about what the most sustainable route to your end destination will be.
The difference between the two is one is trying to play the game forever. While the other is trying to win this one game, at this one time.
Simon Sinek talks about the idea of the Infinite Game.
Which is a game that has no end.
Where there are no winners or losers just players who are always trying to be better and better.
In these games, there is no end game to the game.
The point of the game is to play as long as possible.
Because for every step you take to better yourself you realize there is so much more to learn and to grow in it.
If you ever talk to someone who works out, there is a mindset of my fitness is just not where it needs to be. They are always learning, asking questions, etc.
In your head, you will be asking them, "Yo, but you made it. You look so fit."
I never understood this until I started working out on a regular basis. It became less and less about how I looked and more about what I wanted to become. I would take mental notes about how I did that day in the gym and make sure to adjust for future workouts.
I no longer just wanted to lose weight but rather
I wanted to be the type of person who showed up every day.
The type of person who learned proper lifting techniques.
The person who understood there will be good days and bad days but I showed up every day.
Slowly, it became part of my lifestyle. It no longer was based on someone else's workout style but rather on what worked best for me. The type of person who did what he had to do the day before to ensure he could go to the gym. It became a part of my routine and when I missed days in the gym it felt out of character and uncomfortable.
But HOW? How do you become?
It comes down to building systems and routines. The thing with becoming is IT IS SLOW!! It is 1% improvements that are being built on day after day after day. It is doing things that can be replicated over and over and over again.
It is boring daily work.
It is asking:
what would a person who goes to the gym regularly be doing the night before to ensure he shows up the next day?
It is setting reminders on your phone to trigger you to act in a certain way.
It is building reward systems for yourself to feel the benefit of the things you are doing
It is finding ways to make it fun for you regardless of what others might think
It is asking questions to those who are ahead of you or researching passively to learn and grow
Here is the thing about building systems.
It does not always WORK the first time.
It is an iterative process of trying and failing and trying again. Which means it takes TIME.
In our culture today, NO ONE wants a slow result. We want everything yesterday, so we choose the option that appears to be the fastest route.
We chase larger weights on the first day in the gym end up sore and never return
We choose all kinds of diets rather than just finding healthy foods you enjoy eating and making those
We look for complicated tax strategies rather than just investing consistently into a 401(k) or Roth IRA
Rather than investing in index funds, we follow randoms on social who tell us about an obscure cryptocurrency that is your "ticket" to riches
Rather than doing the basics of learning about where our spending is going and adjusting and making a plan. We go extreme cut out everything get burned out, and never try again
I cannot tell you what routines, you need for yourself. You have to figure that out for yourself.
The point of this post is for you to stop focusing heavily on the end goal and ignoring the journey that gets you there. The journey is much more important because it determines how the goal is achieved and if it will last.
SO DO THE BORING THINGS!
Build Routines, Triggers, and Systems into your day.
But please DO NOT WAIT to start.
You can adjust as you go.