Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear is a good, practical life book to read. Mr. Clear describes, using great storytelling, how to develop and incorporate small habits in your life to increase your potential. He gives solid advice that is simple to begin to adopt in your own life.

Here are some points to work with:

  • Build systems instead of goals
  • Habits can work for or against you
  • There are 3 levels of change:
    • Outcome change
    • Process change
    • Identity change – you will become your habits
      • Focus on who you want to become

Building  a habit (When you want to change your behavior):

  • CueHow to make it obvious?
    • Time and Location – I will ____ at time and location.
    • Environment > Motivation
    • Habit stacking technique: Commit with this phrasing – “After  [current habit], I will [new habit]”
  • CravingHow can I make it attractive?
    • Re-frame habits to highlight their benefits rather than drawbacks
  • ResponseHow can I make it easy?
    • To learn new habits: Practice > Planning
    • Focus on taking action; not on being in motion
    • Time in a habit is less important than number of times performing the habit
    • Reduce friction – decrease the steps between you and your habits
    • Prime you environment – make future actions easier
    • Master the decisive moment
    • Use the 2 min rule – When you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 min to do
    • Automate your habits
  • RewardHow can I make it satisfying?
    • Use reinforcement – What is immediately rewarded is repeated
    • Make doing nothing enjoyable – see benefits when avoiding a bad habit
    • Never miss twice
    • Have an accountability partner

Application of Habit Formations:

  1. Make a list of current habits (Habit listing)
  2. Build on current habits with new habits (Habit stacking)
  3. Design environment – make cues for good habits obvious and bad habit cues invisible
  4. Automate habits

Other Points:

Standardization before  optimization 

Don’t break the chain of habits – get back on track as quickly as possible.

To increase odds of success is to choose the right field of competition. Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find one, create one using your strengths.

  • Habits are easier when they align with your natural abilities – choose those that best suit you
  • The Goldilocks Rule: Humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.
  • The greatest threat to success in habit development is boredom – not failure.
  • It’s the ability to work hard when the work is not exciting that makes a difference.
  • Professionals stick to the schedule; Amateurs let life get in the way.