Whoever we believe we are is what we will be.

Our identity defines how we think about ourselves, in turn determining everything else in our life…health, money, people, business, success, failures, etc.

Our beliefs are the core of our identity, our identity dictates our habits, and our habits determine the quality of our life.

If we say,

I believe I am worthy and a person of integrity.

I believe in my ability to create financial [independence]…to do what I want, where I want and with whom I want.

I believe I am a citizen who takes a stand for social justice.

Then these will be the principles and values that guide every action of our lives.

Once you decide the type of person you want to be and establish your own personal guiding principles and values, it’s important to start backing these choices with small wins. This is the action you take that will define your journey to “becoming” the you you choose to be.

Your beliefs lay the groundwork to achieving the outcome you desire through the practice/process you commit to and enact.

It’s a radically different approach than how many of us usually go about achieving goals. This process starts with the “who” we choose to be rather than the typical goal oriented process starting with “what” we want.

James Clear wrote about this in his NY Times Bestselling book Atomic Habits.

He writes about the three layers of behavioral change.


The layers are defined as follows:

First Layer (the bullseye/center): Changing Your Identity – “This is your deepest layer and the starting layer which addresses your beliefs, perspectives, worldviews, biases, self image and judgements about yourself and others. It’s about what you believe.”

Second Layer: Changing Your Process – This is about your vehicle for accomplishing your goals by changing your habits and systems…the new routines you establish for exercising, growing your business, writing daily, etc. Aligning your actions with your identity.

Third Layer: Changing Your Outcomes – This is about your goals & results…losing weight, having a daily meditation practice, writing a book, creating an online course. What you get from being congruent with your self.

We want to start from the center, the bullseye, and go inside out to achieve long lasting, meaningful change.

As James Clear points out:

“When it comes to building habits that last – when it comes to building a system of improvements – the problem is not that one level is better or worse than another. All levels of change are useful in their own way.

The problem is the direction of change.”

Identity based habits shift the way we see ourselves. Shaping this perspective of who we choose to be is in direct alignment with the outcomes we want, making it a powerful and long lasting approach that won’t sabotage our efforts. It’s the ultimate form of intrinsic motivation.

As you reflect on the rest of your 2023 and all that you’d like to achieve, consider starting with your identity to help pave the way to the oucome you desire. You may just find it the most effective, enduring way to build habits and celebrate the Who That You Have Become.