Who you are determines what you do

What does your identity have to do with your goals and processes and your everyday life?

Answer: A lot! In fact, maybe everything.

In fact, who you are determines what you do. Or, at least, it should.

Identity > processes and habits > goals.

More than 50 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10% actually keep them. Why is it so hard? Is it because we don’t have the wherewithal or the stamina or the commitment? Is it because we’re weak or unintentional?

No, more likely, it’s because we have not set goals that align with their identity. It’s about knowing yourself first, then aligning your life with those passions, innate, God-given skills.

What does all this mean? Do you need to quit your job, change your goals for the year or give up certain aspirations? Not necessarily, but you should check to see if you’re aligned. Goals, processes and habits should flow from your identity. Yes, your goals should be intentional, but those goals are more than just numbers or targets like the side of the barn.

If you’re setting goals that don’t line up with your identity, you’re spitting in the wind and setting yourself up for defeat and discouragement. If you’re living a life that doesn’t align with your identity, you’ve missed the boat, and your ladder is likely leaning up against the wrong wall.

It doesn’t have to be this way. And it doesn’t simply mean you aren’t trying hard.

Who are you anyway? What makes you tick? What is your identity? Here are a few more questions that will help you uncover that identity.

Don’t just whiz by these questions. Stop what you’re doing, take some time and think about them.

  • What makes you come alive?
    • Think about that time in your life when you felt alive when everything was clicking.
    • What were you doing?
    • Who were you with?
    • What was the environment?
  • If I were to ask your family, what would they say you are very good at?
  • What do you do better than most people?
  • What feels like fun to you, but it’s work for most people?
  • What makes you lose track of time?
  • What is one thing missing from your life?
    • Why do you keep it out?

It’s not an event, and you won’t nail it down overnight, but this is the who you are part. This is the foundation that should determine what you do.

Once you’ve resolved some answers above, ask yourself this: Do my goals align with that identity? Am I swimming upstream or running against the wind? Or am I moving with the flow of my identity?

Now, when we talk about things that come easy, we’re not suggesting you take the path of least resistance. No, to be sure, the journey will have bumps and even detours along the way, but you shouldn’t lose your joy, direction, or determination. You’re more likely to reach those goals because you have more purpose, intention and you’re doing what makes you come alive.

Indeed, there are some goals or some processes that we should just kill off, hire out or put on a back burner for the time being. Focus on the low-hanging fruit — things that are fun for you but work for everyone else and the thing that makes you lose track of time.

It’s not what you always hear, but play to your strengths!

Again — and perhaps most importantly — this process doesn’t give license to take the easy way out or live a life of ease. But it should give pause to consider who you are and how that identity aligns with your life and journey.

Finally, it’s our identity in Christ that defines our spiritual life, and it also gives us a safe haven, confidence and purpose. When we anchor ourselves in Christ, life becomes clearer because we take on His yoke. No, it’s not perfect, and there are struggles, but you will have confidence, certainty and purpose.

Think about this: If you are doing anything other than what God created you to do, you are cheating yourself and settling for second best.

What does your identity have to do with your goals and processes and your everyday life? Your identity is your life because who you are determines what you do.


  1. Check the sentence that begins “No, more likely”. And the one “Again-……-this process doesn’t license” One day I might have answers to those questions that is something other than “I don’t know”


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