I’m rereading Atomic Habits. One of the main points early in the book is that habits get formed and reinforced based on who you think you are. Do you see yourself as a health nut? Then, you are more likely to create and sustain healthy habits. Do you see yourself as an academic? Then, you are more likely to create habits like reading or writing.
I’ve been thinking about who I think I am, or really, who I want to be. I want to be several versions of myself, but here are the first that come to mind.
- Great husband. All of my professional and personal bios start with “husband.” I do this because in a perfect world, this is the role I’ll be in longer than another other, and I want to do it well. This is also the role that lays the foundation for my family and my life, making it the most important.
- Great father. The next thing listed in all of my bios is “father.” I have an amazing dad and know the power of that for a person’s life. I want to be an amazing dad for my kids, setting them up for a future of possibilities with a foundation of love and support.
- Great friend. I hope people remember me as a great friend; I’m not sure there’s a greater honor. I want to support people to become the best version of themselves and spend time with people that help me become the best version of myself.
- A healthy person. I don’t want to be the guy that gets winded trying to keep up with his kids. I want to be the guy whose kids have trouble keeping up with him. To do that, I need to be healthy, eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise daily.
- An organized person. I don’t do well with messy, though I’m inclined to be that way. I want to be better organized physically, digitally, and mentally, creating habits and systems that will help me stay organized and on top of things.
- A wealthy person. This one isn’t about making money; it’s about thinking and behaving like a wealthy person. I have the fortune of knowing a few wealthy people, and they think differently, see opportunity differently, and behave differently than most of us. They make connections and see opportunities where other people see nothing. I want to have vision like that.
I may not ever fully become any of the people listed above, but I’m going to try. When I don’t want to work out daily, I need to ask myself, “what would a healthy person do in this situation?” and do that. When I’m deciding between vegging out on the couch or calling a friend to check-in, I need to ask myself, “what would a great friend do right now?” and do that.
I will never become perfect at these versions of myself, but by making these personas a part of my identity, I’ll start to move more and more in the right direction in each area. And by doing that, I’ll build habits and systems that reinforce these aspects of my character and personality.