This week I was smacked right between the eyes by an aha moment. A simple statement I heard a few days ago grabbed hold of me and won’t let go. The more I chew on it, the more its spurring change, needed change, life impacting change that’s remained elusive for me until now.

The crazy thing is, I’ve actually used this idea in parts of my life with great success… but I’ve compartmentalized it and haven’t let the benefits seep into areas of my life that still need it.

So what’s this great aha? It’s a mind shift, one that might just fuel your motivation, or propel you towards personal growth with new energy. I know it’s already working for me. Here goes…

Rather than trying to change who you are by what you do, when you change who you are, it changes what you do.

It sounds so simple on the surface, doesn’t it? For me it was a “bam – there you are” moment.

Without even realizing it, I’ve applied this exact mind set to my writing in the past. When I first started, I tried to blog consistently and regularly missed the mark. Then one week I had a realization… I’m a writer. I asked myself if I’m a writer, what do writers do? They set time aside to write. They meet their deadlines. They blog. But quite simply, they write. When I thought about who I am, it naturally drove my actions. My choices on how to spend my time to achieve my writing goals came naturally with that shifted perspective.

It’s not a name it and claim it mentality but rather a perspective that looks at the values or the foundation we set at our core.

This week as I reflected on this idea, I thought about it in context to my desire to lose weight. For too long I’ve focused on if I do this, or if I do that, I’ll lose weight. To be honest, it hasn’t worked…because I’ve lost the same 10 pounds over and over again.  But, I’m now looking at the situation with a fresh perspective.

Rather than letting a list of what I need to do or not do drive my actions, I’m letting who I am drive what I do. I can say I’m a person who appreciates the value of being active and healthy so that I can enjoy life with my family and friends.

What does someone who is active and healthy do? For one, they’re physically active – so today I chose to get up extra early to take my dog for a long walk. They make healthy food choices and drink water. They gain support from friends and family – so I’ve connected with some online support forums and enlisted family to help me along the way. I’ve started making better choices not because I have a list of things I have to do, but rather because they’re choices that align with who I am. I now want to do the very things I couldn’t make myself do before!

Suddenly I’m focusing on the value of what’s important to me and it’s driving me to do things that align.

I’m using the same shift to strengthen my faith. Faith is at the very core of who I am. So I can ask myself what does someone who values their faith do? As a result, I choose to set aside time to read my Bible, read a devotion, listen to praise music, and pray. The choices aren’t driven out of a sense of obligation but out of a sense of who I am fueled by my desire to grow.

Have you ever gotten caught in the trap of thinking if you do this, or do that, it will change who you are? Has it worked? If you’re like me and it hasn’t, try turning your thinking around. Ask yourself what’s important at your core. Then ask what does someone who has that at their core do? Let that propel your actions based on who you are.

What do you think? Are you going to use this thought process to influence change in your life? I’d love to hear from you! And, I’ll keep you posted on how my weight-loss journey goes with this new mindset. So far, it’s working!