If you take a closer look, you’ll see how huge a part of your identity habits and behaviors are. But change cannot happen if you are keeping old habits and behaviors the same.
As a graphic designer, when I work with a company on creating or redefining its identity, and before any visual communication can be designed, core values must be determined. The same goes for individuals who want to make changes: They must first look at their core values, at what defines them as who they are, and what will define WHO THEY WANT TO BECOME. What does this future version of yourself do? What do they eat? How do they plan their day? How much are they willing to devote to their own well-being and their own health, on every level and in every aspect of their life? What old behaviors are they willing to let go of?
For example, if you want to grill outside, do you have to have a couple of beers too?
If you’re out with friends, do you always have to get a mixed drink, or have a few shots, or dessert after dinner?
If you go to brunch, do you have to always order the pancakes?
Do you absolutely have to have the hotdogs at the game?
Sometimes we go through life on autopilot, without knowing why we do things. Are they really necessary, do they define who we are? Do they help us on our way to a healthier lifestyle? Do other people push us to live this way, and can we push back for once? Once you decide who you really want to be, you can find ways to communicate to the people around you that you no longer want to live this way.
1. Redefine who you really are
2. Write down your core values (i.e., “I eat more whole foods than processed foods”, “I am a mindful, kind person”, “I live in a way that helps sustain the planet”, etc.)
3. Plan ahead to make sure you’re able to stay true to your values even when life throws surprises at you (for example, plan and pack your meals for the day, every day)
4. When you feel like going back to your old habits, ask yourself: “is this going to help move me towards my goals, or will it set me back?”
It is ultimately your choice.