Building Great Habits with James Clear
From the Ramsey network. This is the entree leadership podcast where we help. Oh business leaders grow themselves their teams and their prophets. I'm your host Alex shed and today's guest has a plan for you to grow a plan for you to improve a plan for you to move forward award in two thousand twenty and get this. It's a plan that actually works. That's because author and thought leader. James Clear is one of the world's leading authorities on the topic of habits and he says that real lasting change in your life doesn't start with what you do it starts with who you are. You're true behavior. Changes really identity change and what I mean by that is once you start to look at yourself in a new way in in the sense that once you start to ascribe a new identity to yourself. You're not even really pursuing behavior change anymore. You're just acting in alignment with the type of person. You already see yourself to be. You know it's one thing say on the type of person who wants this but something very different on the tenth person who is this so you like the goal is not to run a marathon. Goal is to become a runner goals not to write a book. The goal is to become a writer. And once you start to believe in those identities these more deeply I'm a writer. I'm a runner. I am the type of person who doesn't Miss Workouts. I think that's ultimately what we're really trying to get to. And the reason that I think this ties so closely with your habits is that your habits are how you embody a particular identity. So whenever you make your bed you embody body the identity of someone who was clean organized. Whenever you sit down and write one sentence you embody the identity of someone who was a writer if you study biology on Tuesday night right for twenty minutes you embodied the identity of someone who is studious and the first time that you do things? It doesn't necessarily change the way that you lucky yourself but you can imagine that every action you take is like vote for the type of person you wish to become so the more that you repeat those behaviors the more you cast cast votes for being a certain type of person and so early on. Yeah writing that first sentence or doing that I push up. No that doesn't radically transform a look yourself but as the votes pile on in that body of evidence builds up now we have something to root this new identity in something to base the belief on this is very different than what people people say when it's like fake it till you make it or something like that and I don't necessarily have anything wrong with vacancy. Make it just asking to believe something positive by yourself but we have a word for beliefs. That don't have evidence right. We call a delusion like at some point. Your brain doesn't like this mismatch between I keep saying that I'm an early riser. But I press news news every day or I keep saying that. I'm healthy person but I'm not going to the gym. And so my argument is to let the behavior lead the way. Let the behavior reinforce the belief and if you cast snuff votes and show up enough times then you actually have every reason in the world to believe in this new aspect of your identity and I think that's ultimately the reason why as the year kicks off off the question to ask ourselves is not what gold I want to achieve or what needs resolution should I sat. But who's the type of person that could achieve the things that I want to achieve a common news solutions as I wanNA lose weight while you may realize the type of person that can lose. Thirty pounds is the type of person who doesn't Miss Workouts and so now this year we have some different look at actually. What we're trying to do is to build the habit of becoming the person who doesn't Miss Workouts and letting the results fall naturally and so I I think the shift is a slight one but also a very meaningful one from focusing on the outcome to focusing on your desired identity? That's almost it's a little bit counter cultural because I think it can be super exciting to start focusing on the outcome especially here in January right. Everyone is marketing desired outcomes to us so so what is the first step. Is it sitting down and writing these things down or is it talking to someone about it. What is the first step in identifying what it is that you want to become and then what what do you do after that? Yeah it's a great question. We live in a very results oriented society so we're surrounded by results all the time you know you're never gonna see a news story. That's like manny. Manny eats chicken and salad for lunch. Today it's only going to be a story when it's like man loses one hundred pounds. It's become result six months later two years later that we hear hear about it and I think whether it's because that's how the news cycle runs or that's what were inundated by on social media. We tend to overvalue results for that reason. And I don't I don't mean to dismiss it like. The world is very results driven but we tend to put the result on a pedestal and overlook the process behind it the outcomes of our actions are highly visible and easy to view and the process behind those actions is often invisible difficult to view. I think because it's often hidden we undervalue value the importance of the process but Tanzer question. Where does the start ultimately? What we're hoping to do is to live a life? That's like in alignment with our values. Use whatever that happens to mean for you and so it can be useful to ask yourself what are my principles when core values and so on but sometimes that line of questioning is difficult because is it's a very big vague question and so occasionally what I recommend is that people start just by asking all right. I'm not quite sure what the core value should be or I don't even really know. Like how my core value of growth or of Grit or of compassion connects with my daily actions. But I do know what kind of results I want. People do tend to know I want to double my income or I want to get six back apps or I want to reduce stress. And so that's fine. We can start with that ask yourself. What does the the outcome I want? And then the next line of questioning is who is the type of person that could achieve that outcome so the type of person reduces stressful. It might be the type of person who meditates weights every day The type of person who writes a bestselling book well. It might be the kind of person who writes every day and so now rather than we can kind of put the result on the shelf and focused more on reinforcing that identity. You're picking up that lifestyle and those habits that reinforce the identity of someone who could achieve those results aren't GonNa GonNa try to predict the future but we're going to focus more on. What is their daily life? Look like were those daily habits look like and less on when can I hit this ideal outcome it. It seems like you're bringing these things can be. Maybe a little bit at the`real and feel like they're out of our control because their destinations and you're bringing it more into what we we can actually control today. Is that fair to say. Yeah I think that is fair to say. Ultimately your outcomes in life are influenced by multiple factors one one of them is luck and randomness and uncertainty in the actions of other people and none of those things are under your control but the other meaningful part of the equation are or your daily habits and decisions and that is under your control. And so I think if we're focused just on what we can control first of all. It's the only reasonable approach doesn't make sense the waste a lot of time thinking about things that are outside of your circle of control but secondly it gets us to ask maybe a deeper question or a different question which is is what am I doing now that actually impacts the results that I have and what you find. Is that the way that you collaborate in your results. Their luck and randomness randomness are also collaborating in it. But the thing that you bring is that your habits are that main portion and so I think we actually could like maybe simplify this to just saying the results that you experience in life are often lagging measure of your habits so your bank accounts lagging measure of your financial habits. Your physical fitness is a lagging measure of your training and eating habits. Your knowledge is lagging measure of your reading learning abbots. Even the clutter on your desk asker in your bedroom is like a lagging measure of your cleaning habits and so I think as a shortcuts not to dismiss the role of uncertainty or chance or luck but to say that if we want to have a shortcut and focus on what we can control. I think for pretty much any domain. We could say gather results. I'm getting here. They're lagging measure the habits that I have and those are under control. And so that's what I should be focused on improving.