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The psychology of goals: identity-based habits vs outcome-based habits explained

Jun 07, 20222 minute read

The Science Behind Achieving Goals

When it comes to habits, there are two different types of habits you need to understand:

  1. Outcome-based habits
  2. Identity-based habits

In James Clear’s best-selling book, Atomic Habits, he breaks the distinction between the two types down:

“With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you wish to become.”

With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you want to become. These types of habits are important for forming a clear vision of your goals and for clearly identifying who it is that you want to become in the future.

With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. These types of habits are the weekly, daily, minute-by-minute habits that can take you from where you are now to achieving whatever goal you have set for yourself.

Both habits are very important and work best when used in tandem. In fact, it actually makes things extremely difficult when you try to only use one type of habit, rather than both. The best route to achieving any goal is to have both identity-based habits and outcome-based habits working together.

Most people have identity-based habits already. But few use outcome-based habits to their advantage. Identity-based habits alone leave you with a grand vision of who you know you want to become, but no plan on how they’re going to achieve that vision for themselves.

This is where outcome-based habits come into play and why they're so crucial to achieving any lofty goal you have set for yourself. When you begin using outcome-based habits to your advantage, you’ll begin to see how quickly your identity-based habits will start to fall in line.

When you have a vision of where you want to go (using identity-based habits) alongside daily outcome-based habits, your goals will almost seem as if they’re falling into place automatically.

But again, most people already have identity-based habits in place for themselves. It’s the daily outcome-based habits that most lack.

This is exactly why challenges work so well. When you use the power of challenges in your own business, your community and customers will have their outcome-based habits automatically organized into daily checklists so they always know what to do next. Better yet, when you use Framework’s challenge platform, Framework automatically uses checklist data to show you where people are dropping off and who needs your help. It’s these simple but useful insights that make your challenge extremely powerful when it comes to driving a specific outcome for your customers.

By creating a challenge on Framework’s all-in-one challenge platform, you build a structure for daily outcome-based habits into your customers’ lives, increasing the chances of them successfully achieving their identity-based habits and goals.

Powerful stuff, right?

That’s why here at Framework we’re dedicated to building the best possible challenge platform to help you help your community reach their goals faster and more efficiently, using our science-based approach.

We pride ourselves on helping people align their identity-based habits and goals alongside the outcome-based habits they need to achieve their goals faster.

If you’re interested in learning more about Framework and challenges, please sign up for a free trial or book a demo with one of our product specialists who can walk you through the product and answer any of your questions.

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