Atomic Habits: Who Are You?

As promised, I’m continuing to work my way through Atomic Habits. Today’s post is all about shining grains of wisdom I found in chapter 2. It turns out that a person’s habits are no more than an outward manifestation of their identity. Who you are determines what you do far more than any New Year’s resolution list. James Clear eloquently put it in his words in the following quotes. 

“It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.”

A lot of people spend their whole lives wishing to be better people someday. They like to say things like ‘I’d love to run a marathon someday’ without ever actually planning to run a marathon. Wanting it is not enough. 

“Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.”

I’ve seen this in action firsthand. It’s why I prefer to run outside. There are people around who will see if I give up halfway through and, although I don’t know any of them, my pride always eggs me on. 

“Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.”

That’s why none of my self improvement kicks ever seemed to stick. It makes sense now! They were things that I did but I never really let myself consider them as part of who I was. 

“The process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself.”

This is precisely what I’ve tried and failed time and time again to achieve. I’m well acquainted with the disappointment which comes from falling off the mental and physical fitness wagon. Toward that end, I decided to come up with my own list of identities I’m striving to take on in my life. 

When I grow up I will be…

  • A reader
  • A runner
  • A musician
  • An engineer
  • A morning person
  • A deep sleeper
  • A tea drinker
  • A writer
  • A knitter
  • A cook
  • A shooter
  • An author

There are countless others that I’m forgetting but I think my list is best summarized with this statement. I aspire to be an adventurous hobbit. Who do you want to be?


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