Feel Good Nakd

first step toward self improvement

Episode: 273


The Often Overlooked First Step toward Self-Improvement

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Let’s talk about the first step toward self-improvement (hint… you usually skip it)


Why is change SO hard?!!! You can read all the books, try the hacks, and journal a full novel, yet STILL feel miles away from the transformation you crave. The truth is, you’re missing one fundamental first step. It’s something tiny yet incredibly powerful, a step that can skyrocket your personal growth.

I’ll be honest with you—it’s not glamorous or easy. It doesn’t come with a catchy hook. It requires serious work. But if you commit to this step fully, you WILL see the changes that have seemed impossible for weeks, months, or even years.

In this solo episode, I’m diving into all the details and the behavioral science behind why this step works so well, and why other strategies (like willpower and motivation) often fall short.


In this mindset episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why willpower is NOT a good first step toward self-improvement
  • The myth of habit making
  • How to leverage what you’re already good at to boost where you struggle


Listen for a personal growth secret that’s stronger than any motivation!



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“The most powerful step that we often forget when it comes to change and habits is self-integrity or aligning your actions with your values and accountability.” – Chardét Ryel


Have you ever found yourself wondering why sticking to new habits can be so challenging? It often feels like climbing a never-ending ladder, doesn’t it? But what if I told you there’s a more effective approach that can make personal growth feel almost effortless? Yes, there IS a lot of work in the beginning but it becomes second-nature.


Why Willpower Isn’t the First Step

First off, let’s talk about willpower. We’ve all tried to rely on it at some point, whether it’s for dieting, exercising, or any other self-improvement goal. But here’s the thing: willpower is a finite resource. Think of it like climbing a high ladder; it takes continuous effort, and eventually, you get exhausted. This is because willpower runs out, especially when life throws challenges your way.

So, if willpower isn’t the answer, what is? This is where identity-based behavior change comes into play. Instead of relying on the shaky foundation of willpower, we shift our focus to something much more stable: our identity.

Imagine this: instead of climbing that exhausting ladder, you simply press a button and rise effortlessly. This is the power of identity-based behavior change. When your actions are aligned with your identity, they become natural extensions of who you are. For example, if you see yourself as a runner, running isn’t just an activity; it’s part of your identity. This shift is crucial for sustainable personal growth.

Why does this work? When your habits are tied to your identity, not following through creates mental discomfort. This discomfort, known as cognitive dissonance, can be a powerful motivator to stay on track. On the other hand, changing habits that clash with your current identity is tough because they are deeply ingrained in how you see yourself.


Self-Integrity: The First Step Toward Sustainable Self Improvement

Self-integrity is all about the alignment between your values and your actions. It’s about keeping promises to yourself and building trust in your ability to follow through.

Think about it: when you keep promises to yourself, you build self-efficacy. This means you start believing in your ability to achieve your goals, making it easier to adopt new habits and resist external discouragement. This is why self-integrity is the first step toward self-improvement.

Mental discomfort arises when your beliefs and actions are contradictory. For example, if you value health but consistently skip workouts, you’ll feel this dissonance. Aligning your actions with your core values reduces this discomfort and strengthens your resolve, propelling you toward personal growth.

To put it simply, if you value fitness, acting in ways that support this value becomes crucial. This alignment not only reduces cognitive dissonance but also reinforces your identity as someone who values health and fitness.


Leveraging Strengths: A Smart Approach to Personal Growth

Think about something you’re already great at. How did you become so proficient? Use that same approach to develop new habits.

For instance, if planning and consistency helped you excel in academics, apply those skills to your fitness routine. This method makes daunting tasks feel more manageable and achievable. By using your strengths, you create a supportive framework for personal growth.

And if you’re wondering, “where do I even begin!?”

What promise to yourself have you been breaking? Start with that. Honor it, align your actions with your values, and watch as new habits naturally take root. Begin today by taking that crucial first step toward self improvement. Your future self will thank you.

Take a moment to reflect on your core values and the promises you’ve made to yourself. Consistent action and accountability are the keys to personal growth. Remember, the first step toward self improvement is often the hardest but the most rewarding.



7 Steps to Feel Good Naked by Chardét Ryel

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg



If you found this episode helpful, please leave a comment or review and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear about your experiences and any topics you’d like to see covered in future posts. Let’s continue to grow together!


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