Benson argues habits aren’t tiny things and they actually require a complex and intricate brain structure to support them. Any sort of habit change should therefore be attacked in a way that supports the development of this complex brain structure.
That’s why he’s counting down from 1,000 in his goal to become a marathoner. He thinks any successful habit change requires a shift in his identity. He doesn’t want to just run a marathon, he wants to become a marathoner. By counting small and marginally tangentially related things he is supporting his identity change into a marathoner and not just the behavior changes that will allow him to run a marathon.
What major habit change are you working on? How do you need to shift your identity to more fully support that change?