In my continued reading of Atomic Habits, I came across another nugget. Instead of focusing on one day becoming the person you want to become, you think of yourself as already being that person and let that guide your everyday decisions.
In my case, I’ll use running as an example. I’ll often tell myself that I need to run every day in the morning and at least 3 miles with a 13 or 12-minute mile before I can call myself a runner. I want to be a runner again, and there are all these prerequisites I impose on myself to think of myself as a runner. This can be counterproductive because if I fall short on any of these measures, I am more likely to give up on the whole effort because of a failure in any one area. If, however, I first think of myself as a runner, I will make my decisions based upon this identity. Small failures are less likely to derail you because your identity is no longer dependent on those small actions.
So I need to think for a bit and think about who I want to be and start thinking of myself as that person already. In this way, I can be mindful of the types of actions I should be taking as the identity I choose to be.