Become who you want to be in your mind first

I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. It’s why I started blogging. It’s why a kept blogging when my readership didn’t grow very much. It’s why I continued blogging even when having a blog wasn’t cool anymore. I love to write, and in some moments, I feel I’m ok at it.

I recently listened to Atomic Habits by James Clear, and one of the things that he points out is that to create a habit, first you must change the way you think about yourself. For example, if you want to lose weight, you start thinking of yourself as a healthy eater. Then, as you view yourself through that lens, when you come across a massive piece of cake, you will think, “I’m a healthy eater, and a healthy eater wouldn’t eat that.” To create a habit, you have to become who you want to be in your mind first.

Here’s the thing. Writers write. Lately, I’ve been inconsistent. I’ve always wanted to publish a book and, hopefully, in doing so, make the world a slightly better place. But, I can’t do that if I’m not a writer. And, I’m not a writer, if I’m not writing.

Writers also read, to learn and expose themselves to other writing styles. I am committed to consuming a lot of books this year, but now realize that I need to spend more time physically reading them as well, not just listening.

Atomic Habits talks about starting with a new habit and committing to just two minutes per day. Two minutes is such a short time that it’s easy to do every single day, so you will always start. Two minutes is also such a short time that it’s easy to go beyond it and deepen your habit. Interestingly, two minutes is also a long enough time to get lost in something just enough to keep going as you get into a state of flow.

I’m committing to two minutes per day of writing and two minutes per day of reading. If that’s all I get, great, but I hope that two minutes will expand into a more significant, more rooted habit. And, one of these days, who knows, I may just publish that book.

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