Focus on your identity and not on the outcome
The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes a part of who you are, i.e., when your behaviour is congruent with your belief. For example, reframe your sentence FROM “I am trying to quit smoking” TO “I am a non-smoker”. This requires focusing on your identity and not on the outcome. Act like the person you believe yourself to be.
Your actions transform your self-image
You can also become somebody you didn’t believe you could be and all simply through your daily habits. As the evidence accumulates around your actions, your self-image changes e.g. you are an author or a researcher. So, decide whom you want to be and then move in that direction: prove it to yourself with small daily habits.
Remember this happens over time and not overnight. Our image emerges through the small things we do every day. Each time you take an action, you begin to trust yourself and hence believe in yourself. You build confidence each day as the habit starts to become a way of life – turning from conscious to unconscious.
You are human – be kind and forgiving
Remember you are not perfect. There will always be votes on both sides – the good and the bad behaviour. But you don’t need a unanimous vote, you only need a majority, so be kind and forgiving too. This is also a good habit.
“All big things come from small beginnings.
The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision.
But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger.
Roots entrench themselves and branches grow.”
James Clear Atomic Habits
Your daily habits and routine must work for you and no-one else
If you think you will get up at 05h00 each morning and go to the gym when you have been trying to do that for the past five years, forget it. Please do not try and work a routine that isn’t going to work for you. It’s got to be authentic, and it’s got to be real. It cannot be based on someone else’s routine that you may envy.
If you love drinking sweet tea, eating rusks in your gown, and reading philosophy, that’s fantastic. DO IT – each morning for one hour – if you can. This is your life – do what makes you happy and encourages and energises you to get on with your day.
Keep revising your routine
Don’t be scared to make changes to your routine every day – if you must. It’s yours, you created it, and if it’s not working and it has to change, then change it. Don’t feel stupid or guilty. The important thing is that it works – for you – to make your days as enjoyable as possible.
Consider the following habits to include in your daily routine