Learning Strategies Blog

See Yourself as a Doer

by Pete Bissonette

Want to eat healthier?

Imagine you already do, suggest researchers Amanda Brouwer and Katie Mosack in a study published in the journal Self & Identity.

Envisioning the concept of “self as doer”—labeling yourself as a vegetable eater, water drinker, or sugar evader, for example—can merge the healthy behaviors you want to adopt into your identity.

To test this theory, Brouwer and Mosack tried influencing the eating habits of 124 women. Each was given information on portion sizes up front and asked to keep a food journal for six weeks. They were then divided into three groups.

The first group was provided with additional nutrition information, the second received nothing else and served as a control group, and the third group was asked to create six identity statements from their healthy eating goals. A woman wanting to eat more vegetables, for example, created an identity statement of already being a “vegetable eater.”

Throughout the six weeks, women in the “self as doer” group maintained their healthy eating habits, while the same habits digressed week by week in the other two groups. Women in the “self as doer” group also averaged one more serving of healthy food per day than the other women.

Reframing your identity can significantly motivate you to stick to your goals, Brouwer and Mosack conclude.

“The more one identifies with a particular role, the more likely one is to participate in role-related behaviors,” they explain. “The very process of conceptualizing the self as a ‘healthy eater’ brings about greater identification with this role.”

To obtain goals in all areas of your life, try making affirmations part of your daily routine. Affirmations are positive tools for transforming intentions into realities. To make an affirmation, follow these steps from our New Action Generator Paraliminal:

  1. Start each statement with “I am” to bring it into the present tense.
  2. Make it a positive statement.
  3. Keep the statement brief and concise.
  4. Include at least one feeling word reflecting the emotion of having achieved the goal. For example, if you are trying to make better food decisions, say to yourself, “I am alert and energized, knowing I am eating nutritiously.”

Say your affirmations aloud each day for the next thirty days. By doing so, you acknowledge the thing you want most as if it is already complete, and you will be less likely to make self-defeating choices along the way. Soon you will discover ways to creatively include affirmations so they become second nature to you.

To help you generate a craving and willpower for making choices that support your highest good, I recommend you listen to the New Action Generator Paraliminal. It includes two sessions, one brings you clarity on which choices and actions will support you, the other helps you turn your intentions into your reality of the life you desire. Simply push play, close your eyes, relax, and listen. This closed-eye process activates your “whole mind” with a precise blend of music and words to help you get the most out of every minute.

To learn more about New Action Generator and all our other Paraliminal programs, please click here.