top of page

Making Change Stick: The Craft Of Lifelong Self-improvement

Updated: Mar 26

life coach change James Clear Switch Heath AI artificial intellegence life coaching

In our rapidly changing world, the allure of quick transformation is intoxicating. Ads proclaiming overnight success stories abound, and the siren song of rapid change can be hard to resist. But, as many of us have experienced, the initial spark of excitement often dims, replaced by the familiar pull of old habits. So, what does it take to make change truly stick?

At Craftd, we invite you not to merely change, but to craft your life. Crafting conjures images of patience, dedication, and mastery — and it’s this slow, deliberate approach to personal development that we champion.

The Elephant, the Rider, and the Path

Before diving deep into crafting lasting change, it's essential to understand the dynamics of why change can be so elusive. Chip and Dan Heath, in their influential book Switch, draw upon the elephant-rider-path motif from Jonathan Haidt to unravel this mystery:

  • The Elephant represents our emotional self: passionate, instinctual, and powerful. It can be the driving force behind change or the biggest resistor.

  • The Rider symbolizes our rational self: analytical, planning, and often overwhelmed by the elephant's strength.

  • The Path embodies our environment: it can facilitate or obstruct the journey of the elephant and its rider.

Aligning these three — the elephant, rider, and path — is absolutely pivotal. The elephant must harbor a genuine desire for the change, the rider should have a clear and actionable plan, and the path ought to support their collaborative journey. But diving deeper, we realize that each component is a universe in itself. Unpacking the complexities of our emotional self might be a years-long process. In our article, 3. Crafting Your Path: Distinguishing Between Mental Health Counseling and Life Coaching, we touch upon the delicate dance between recognizing our emotional landscape and actively steering it. Meanwhile, while we like to view our rational self as our trusty compass, our actions sometimes showcase its limitations. We're not always the logical entities we envision ourselves to be.

Then there's the path. The metaphor might make it seem straightforward, but think of an elephant's journey through diverse terrains — from dense jungles to expansive savannahs, facing challenges like predators, drought, and fatigue. Does that ever describe your life? You possess the potential to navigate your life's course with the tenacity of an elephant and the strategic acumen of the rider. The key? Begin with self-awareness, embrace gradual evolution, and strive to harmonize these elements.

There's a comforting reality we often overlook: not every element needs an overhaul at once. Sometimes, the elephant might be veering off due to a 'path' issue. A small tweak in your environment or routine could set things right. On other occasions, the rider, with strategic insight, can coax the elephant away from temptations. And don't forget the inherent power of the elephant — that raw, emotional drive. When channeled positively, it's the force that powers through challenges and fuels lasting passion.

Your journey doesn't demand perfection from the get-go. It's about recognizing which piece of the puzzle to adjust at a given time. Small, thoughtful recalibrations can lead to profound shifts. You have the tools, insights, and strengths at your disposal. All it takes is the wisdom to use them effectively. Embrace the dance of balance, and witness the art of crafting life unfold.

The Power of Systems in Crafting Lasting Change

James Clear's Atomic Habits introduces a groundbreaking idea: "We don't rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems." Goals might set the direction, but it's the daily systems and habits that determine our destination.

When we talk about crafting a life, it's these systems that we are meticulously carving, molding, and refining. And in the realm of life coaching, the emphasis is not on setting lofty, often unreachable goals but on understanding and nurturing the systems that will get you there.

But Clear delves deeper, tapping into another profound aspect of human behavior: identity-based habits. Beyond systems and to-do lists lies the power of self-perception. We tend to act in alignment with who we believe we are. For instance, a person who identifies as a non-smoker won't need willpower to refuse a cigarette. It simply isn't a part of their identity. Likewise, if you see yourself as fit person, the 6 AM workout isn’t all that hard to wake up for.

The magic of identity-based habits is that they shift the focus from what we want to achieve to who we want to become. This transformation in perspective can be the lynchpin of sustainable change. After all, when our actions are reflections of our identity, they require less effort, becoming second nature. Embracing this principle can be a game-changer in the art of crafting one's life. It's not just about building habits, but about cultivating a self-identity that aligns with our aspirations.

Crafting vs. Changing: The Deliberate Journey

The distinction between crafting and changing is profound:

  1. Intentionality: Crafting involves a conscious choice at every step. It's not about being swept away by new trends but about laying each brick of your life's edifice with purpose.

  2. Depth Over Speed: Unlike many self-help solutions that offer fast results, crafting values depth. It's a journey measured in years or decades, not days.

  3. Embracing the Process: True crafters find joy in the process. Every challenge faced and every milestone achieved is a part of the beautiful tapestry of personal growth.

How Life Coaching Facilitates the Craft

Life coaching, especially with the nuanced approach of the Craftd App, serves as a guiding hand in this crafting journey:

  1. Mirror to Your Systems: Often, we're blind to our own routines and habits. A coach helps highlight these, making you aware of the systems you've built, intentionally or otherwise.

  2. Strategy Over Motivation: While motivation is a great starter, strategy is the main course. Coaching equips you with the tools to craft effective, sustainable strategies for growth.

  3. Accountability: One of the pillars of lasting change is accountability. Regular check-ins, reflections, and recalibrations ensure that you stay on the path of crafting your best life.

In Conclusion: The Lifelong Commitment to Your Craft

The journey of self-improvement isn't a linear one, and it doesn't come with shortcuts. Building a healthy, meaningful life as a human involves learning to harness the dynamics of our inner elephant and rider. Only then can we emerge with well-formed identities and construct effective systems. Remember, the art of crafting isn't about rapid results; it's about steadfast commitment, purposeful action, and unwavering patience. Embrace the journey, for in the meticulous process lies the true beauty of lasting growth.

Here's to the crafters, who, with patience, resilience, and foresight, sculpt a life of meaning, purpose, and enduring change.

38 views0 comments


bottom of page