Atomic Habits [PORTABLE]
This series of 5 emails will walk you through the book and deliver extra content for understanding the main ideas. Each email also includes one idea for changing your habits not mentioned in the book.
Atomic Habits is the most comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. I do not believe you will find a more actionable book on the subject of habits and improvement.
Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories about Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.
James Clear is a writer and speaker focused on habits, decision making, and continuous improvement. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits. The book has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 50 languages.
To get his own baseball career back on track, he had no choice but to rely on the power of small gains. In college, he slowly accumulated good habits and eventually managed to become one of 33 players for the All-American Academic team. Wow!
You can apply these to all kinds of good habits, like running, working on a side project, spending more time with family, and so on. Conversely, do the opposite for bad habits. Make them invisible, unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying. For example, you could hide your cigarettes, add financial penalties, get rid of all lighters, and only allow yourself to smoke outside in the cold.
When it comes to changing our behavior, we all need to find out what works for us. That said, there are several scientifically proven strategies we should all try first. Atomic Habits is a complete, fun, engaging, and simple to understand compendium of those strategies. I highly recommend you make it your first stop when wanting to learn about the science of habits.
The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us. We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
To reprogram your brain to enjoy hard habits, make them more attractive by learning to associate them with a positive experience. Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.
James Clear is a writer and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. He is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Atomic Habits. The book has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 50 languages.
JC: And so basically, it just requires a little bit more of a introspection, of who is the type of person that I wish to become, and the reason that I feel like this ties so neatly, so cleanly back into habits, is that every action we take is like a vote for the type of person we wish to become.
This book helped me understand the difference between systems and goals and why the former is more important. By making small habits a part of our identity we can over time get to our goals no matter how big or small they are.
More precisely, your habits are how you embody your identity. When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity of an organised person. When you write each day, you embody the identity of a creative person. When you train each day, you embody the identity of an athletic person.
Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite literally, you become your habits.
James managed to achieve a nice balance between psychology, science, recognisable examples and practical action items, delivering the kind of book that motivates you to start changing things straight away. I found myself thinking about it throughout the day, noticing certain automatic reactions that I had not been as conscious of - like immediately searching for my phone when I go to the bathroom. I also started to see how and why I struggled in the past to keep up with new habits or resolutions. (I think we can all relate to those new year resolutions not making it past January!). All pretty common sense stuff but packaged in a way that is actionable and relatable.
Real estate is all about location, location, location. Well, habits are all about environment, environment, environment. The goal is to design your life and surroundings in a way that the cues of your good habits are visible (think of the 1st Law) and doing the right thing is the easiest option (think of the 3rd Law).
I will be moving countries soon, from Singapore to the UK, and will first spend some time at my parent's home in Belgium. My daily routines will be disrupted, so it will be an interesting experiment to apply some of the principles from the book to design my new environment and build new habits from scratch. (Obviously taking the Post-It with me).
Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.
The first step to changing bad habits is to be on the lookout for them. If you feel like you need extra help, then you can try Pointing-and-Calling in your own life. Say out loud the action that you are thinking of taking and what the outcome will be.
When it comes to habits, the key takeaway is this: dopamine is released not only when you experience pleasure, but also when you anticipate it. Gambling addicts have a dopamine spike right before they place a bet, not after they win.
Your habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires. New versions of old vices. The underlying motives behind human behavior remain the same. The specific habits we perform differ based on the period of history.
Stories like these are evidence of the Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided. You learn what to do in the future based on what you were rewarded for doing (or punished for doing) in the past. Positive emotions cultivate habits. Negative emotions destroy them.
The more immediate the pain, the less likely the behavior. If you want to prevent bad habits and eliminate unhealthy behaviors, then adding an instant cost to the action is a great way to reduce their odds.
The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.
Many people begin process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. This leads us to outcome-based habits. The alternative is to build identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on who we wish to become.
The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue. Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop that ultimately allows you to create atomic habits. This cycle is known as the habit loop.
The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. Strategies like Pointing-and-Calling and the Habit Scorecard are focused on getting you to recognize your habits and acknowledge the cues that trigger them, which makes it possible to respond in a way that benefits you.
The 1st Law of Behavior Change is to make it obvious. Strategies like implementation intentions and habit stacking are among the most practical ways to create obvious cues for you habits and design a clear plan for when and where to take action.
1. Imitating the Close. One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the tribe.
2. Imitating the Many. When changing your habits means challenging the tribe, change is unattractive. When changing your habits means fitting in with the tribe, change is very attractive.
3. Imitating the Powerful. Once we fit in, we start looking for ways to stand out. This is one reason we care so much about the habits of highly effective people. We try to copy the behavior of successful people because we desire success ourselves.
All habits follow a similar trajectory from effortful practice to automatic behavior, a process known as automaticity. Automaticity is the ability to perform a behavior without thinking about each step, which occurs when the nonconscious mind takes over.
The central idea is to create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible. Much of the battle of building better habits comes down to finding ways to reduce the friction associated with our good habits and increase the friction associated with our bad ones.
Sometimes success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard. If you find yourself continually struggling to follow through on your plans, then you can make your bad habits more difficult by creating what psychologists call a commitment device.
Clear contends that system-driven habits are those that focus on the systems, or processes, that will get you to your goal, instead of focusing on the goal itself. For example, developing a study routine is a system-driven habit because it focuses on the process of studying rather than the goal of acing a specific test or course.
Instead of focusing on goal-driven habits, Clear recommends creating identity-driven habits because these, in turn, will dictate the system- and goal-driven habits you choose. Clear contends that **the beliefs of the person you want to be dictate what systems you... 041b061a72