Creating Your Identity

Designing your life with goals and visioning is often actioned at the beginning of the year with New Year Resolutions. Of course, this does not have to be a once a year activity and deciding to be the best you can be a constant activity. Once you have set your goals, it is a great idea to work on yourself and your identity.

Be – Do – Have is a phrase that I learned many years ago at a workshop. The presenter talked about who do you need to BE in order to DO what you need to do to receive what you would like to HAVE.

This is about your identity. When working towards changing a habit or toward a particular goal, it is paramount to align who you are with your goals. This takes time and often deep reflection into your beliefs.

For example, if your goal is to be wealthy and you believe rich people are mean, you are likely to sabotage your efforts toward gaining wealth, assuming you want to remain a kind person. Understanding that money amplifies a person’s personality is key for this goal. If a person is mean to start with, money is likely to create more meanness. If they are generous before coming into money, it is highly likely they will be even more generous with money. I know many wealthy people who give millions away for positive impact in the world.

If your goal is to stop smoking, your identity will play a role here too. If you tell people you have not had a cigarette for five days, your identity is one of a smoker. Changing your identity to a non-smoker is a major key to success here.

When I wanted to be healthier and more vibrant, I needed to change my identity from someone who frequently ate sweet treats and deserved them because I work hard, to someone who does not eat between meals and eats balanced and healthy meals three times a day.

Who do you need to BE to set yourself up for success?

Rowena McEvoy, co-founder of the Max College of Fitness, tells a story which goes like this.

Imagine you are at work and a detective comes into town with a mission to find out ‘who’ you are. She has a photograph of you and knows some of the local places you frequent. Armed with the photograph and a notebook, the detective visits the petrol station, supermarket, shopping mall and hairdresser you go to, and inquires about you. She writes down the words people use to describe you. What do you think they might say?

She then goes to your home. As no-one is home, she carefully breaks in. She looks around looking for clues as to who you are. Next she opens your pantry and fridge and examines the food you eat. Are the dishes left on the bench? Is there rubbish on the floor? Next she makes her way into your bedroom. Is the bed made? Are your clothes hung up? She looks under the bed, in your closet and notes down the words that describe your habits.

Whist this seems very invasive, and it is just a story, it illustrates that who we are in public may be different to who we are in private. Who is the real you? Whatever you answer to this question, stay calm. We are all a work in progress. I can personally vouch for the fact that if you came into my house unannounced, there will be dust on the coffee table, tiny cobwebs in some corners and my teens shoes and socks left on the lounge room floor!

The point is to take some time and think about who you want to be. What is your ideal identity?

There are over 600 words in the dictionary that define a person’s positive qualities. Scan a selection of these on the below.

Circle or highlight the ones you are, and the ones you would like to be.

List of Personal Qualities





Which personal assets and qualities of character would be useful to define you to assist you in achieving your goals?

Choose five (yes, you can have six if you must!) words to focus on this year.

I am…
1 _______________________________________

2 _______________________________________

3 _______________________________________

4 _______________________________________

5 _______________________________________

Write these on your diary cover, display them on the bathroom mirror, add them to your screen saver. The more you see them and are reminded of who you would like to be, the faster you can develop these qualities.

Have a great year!


  • This article is a snippet from Karen’s book ‘Creating the Life of Your Dreams.’ Find out more here

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Published on Saturday, February 29th, 2020, under Personal

Karen Tui Boyes is a champion for Life Long Learning across nations, industries and organisations. Winner of the NZ Educator of the Year 2017 and 2014 and the NZ Speaker of the Year award in 2013 & 2019, Karen is a sought after speaker who continually gets rave reviews from audiences around the world. Her dynamic style and highly informative content—which turns the latest educational research into easy-to-implement strategies and techniques — sets her apart from others in her field.

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