Atomic Habits

Author:
James Clear

Description

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from 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.

 

Learn how to:

*  make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);

*  overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;

*  design your environment to make success easier;

*  get back on track when you fall off course;

...and much more.

 

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits--whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

Notes

Our habits shape our identity. Atomic Habits by James Clear offers a step-by-step plan for building better habits for a lifetime. The backbone of the manual is composed of a four-step model which includes: cue, craving, response, and reward. The book is full of practical advice, stories from famous leaders and worldly recognized athletes. A must-have for everyone looking for a way to change his life and direct it towards greatness.

Change your habits and you’ll change your life. Humans are creatures of habits. If you teach your body and mind to do good things, consistently over time, good things will happen to you. If you’re willing to do the work, this book will teach you the essentials of habit change which will help you live a better life.

Reframe your habits: Exercising or saving money is hard. Especially if you have a track record of someone who loves to shop. Many people associate saving money with deprivation. However, this can be associated with something different: freedom. In order to change your daily actions, you need to reprogram your brain. Understand one simple truth: Living below your current means increases your future means. The money you save this month increases your purchasing power next month. The money you put aside the following months will eventually help you live the life you really want to live.

The paper clip strategy: Start each day with two jars. Fill the one with paper clips. The other should be empty. As soon as you make a sales call, send an email to a potential client, write for 25 minutes, whatever you want to do, move one paper clip from the full jar to the empty jar. You can stop doing what you should be doing once all paper clips are moved from jar number 1 to jar number 2.

The two-minute rule: We all know we should start small, but how small exactly? For some, visiting the gym once can feel like moving a mountain. The most effective way to get moving is to use the Two-Minute Rule, which states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” Instead of going to the gym, you can start with 5 pushups.

Design your environment for success: If you’re having hard times to adopt a good habit, redesign your home. Place your training gear in the living room, or somewhere else where it will be clearly visible. This visual cue will motivate you to workout. If you want to break a bad habit, hide all things that are prompting you to do “bad” stuff. Hide your phone while you work and get rid of the junk food from the fridge so you can lose weight. The more things you have laying around, the more you’ll use them. Just make sure you have useful stuff/people around. It’s that simple.

What type of person do you want to become? Don’t stress so much on what you’re doing, focus more on what type of person you want to become. Your end goal shouldn’t be to learn an instrument, your goal should be to become a musician.

Find something that makes you truly happy—like petting your dog or taking a bubble bath—and then create a short routine that you perform every time before you do the thing you love. Maybe you take three deep breaths and smile. Three deep breaths. Smile. Pet the dog. Repeat. Eventually, you’ll begin to associate this breathe-and-smile routine with being in a good mood.

If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection. You don’t need to map out every feature of a new habit. You just need to practice it. This is the first takeaway of the 3rd Law: you just need to get your reps in.

One of the most common questions I hear is, “How long does it take to build a new habit?” But what people really should be asking is, “How many does it take to form a new habit?” That is, how many repetitions are required to make a habit automatic?

Habits like scrolling on our phones, checking email, and watching television steal so much of our time because they can be performed almost without effort. They are remarkably convenient.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the friction associated with your habits is to practice environment design.

when deciding where to practice a new habit, it is best to choose a place that is already along the path of your daily routine. Habits are easier to build when they fit into the flow of your life.

Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.

Resetting the room: For instance, when he finishes watching television, he places the remote back on the TV stand, arranges the pillows on the couch, and folds the blanket.

If you find yourself watching too much television, for example, then unplug it after each use. Only plug it back in if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch.

When I hide beer in the back of the fridge where I can’t see it, I drink less. When I delete social media apps from my phone, it can be weeks before I download them again and log in.

Your options are constrained by what’s available. They are shaped by the first choice.

The Two-Minute Rule: “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”

A new habit should not feel like a challenge. The actions that follow can be challenging, but the first two minutes should be easy. What you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you down a more productive path.

Your goal might be to run a marathon, but your gateway habit is to put on your running shoes. That’s how you follow the Two-Minute Rule.

Becoming an Early Riser 

  1. Be home by 10 p.m. every night.
  2. Have all devices (TV, phone, etc.) turned off by 10 p.m. every night.
  3. Be in bed by 10 p.m. every night (reading a book, talking with your partner).
  4. Lights off by 10 p.m. every night.
  5. Wake up at 6 a.m. every day. 

In summary, a habit needs to be enjoyable for it to last. Simple bits of reinforcement—like soap that smells great or toothpaste that has a refreshing mint flavor or seeing $50 hit your savings account—can offer the immediate pleasure you need to enjoy a habit. And change is easy when it is enjoyable.

Never miss twice. The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows.

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.

As soon as actions incur an immediate consequence, behavior begins to change. Customers pay their bills on time when they are charged a late fee. Students show up to class when their grade is linked to attendance. We’ll jump through a lot of hoops to avoid a little bit of immediate pain.

Habit contract can be used to add a social cost to any behavior. It makes the costs of violating your promises public and painful.

HOW TO CREATE A GOOD HABIT 

1. Make It Obvious

  1. Fill out the Habits Scorecard. Write down your current habits to become aware of them.
  2. Use implementation intentions: “I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
  3. Use habit stacking: “After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”
  4. Design your environment. Make the cues of good habits obvious and visible.

2. Make It Attractive

  1. Use temptation bundling. Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  2. Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.
  3. Create a motivation ritual. Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

3. Make It Easy

  1. Reduce friction. Decrease the number of steps between you and your good habits.
  2. Prime the environment. Prepare your environment to make future actions easier.
  3. Master the decisive moment. Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact.
  4. Use the Two-Minute Rule. Downscale your habits until they can be done in two minutes or less.
  5. Automate your habits. Invest in technology and onetime purchases that lock in future behavior.

4. Make It Satisfying

  1. Use reinforcement. Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your habit.
  2. Make “doing nothing” enjoyable. When avoiding a bad habit, design a way to see the benefits.
  3. Use a habit tracker. Keep track of your habit streak and “don’t break the chain.”
  4. Never miss twice. When you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately.

HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT 

1. Make It Invisible

  1. Reduce exposure. Remove the cues of your bad habits from your environment.

2. Make It Unattractive

  1. Reframe your mind-set. Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits.

3. Make It Difficult

  1. Increase friction. Increase the number of steps between you and your bad habits.
  2. Use a commitment device. Restrict your future choices to the ones that benefit you.

4. Make It Unsatisfying

  1. Get an accountability partner. Ask someone to watch your behavior.
  2. Create a habit contract. Make the costs of your bad habits public and painful.

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.

You need just enough “winning” to experience satisfaction and just enough “wanting” to experience desire. This is one of the benefits of following the Goldilocks Rule. If you’re already interested in a habit, working on challenges of just manageable difficulty is a good way to keep things interesting.

I know of executives and investors who keep a “decision journal” in which they record the major decisions they make each week, why they made them, and what they expect the outcome to be. They review their choices at the end of each month or year to see where they were correct and where they went wrong.

I reflect on my progress (or lack thereof) by answering three questions: 

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

My yearly Integrity Report answers three questions: 

  1. What are the core values that drive my life and work?
  2. How am I living and working with integrity right now?
  3. How can I set a higher standard in the future?

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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