Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Author(s): James Clear
Publish Date: October 2018
Difficulty Level: Easy Read
Habits are kind of like self-driving cars – they’ll quickly take you wherever they’ve been programed to go. You can hop out and walk, but it is much harder and slower… odds are you’ll end up hopping back in ending up at the predetermined destination. I’ve been so curious about how some people seem to have habits programed for healthy food choices, exercise routines, and good life decisions. And, other like me, have to wrestle with the steering wheel to keep from picking up cookies, procrastinating, and sleeping in instead of working out. Turns out, these programs are absolutely changeable and James Clear lays out the best description I’ve seen on just how to re-program your car for success in the year ahead.
In a nutshell the technique he lays out:
To create positive new habits:
- Make It Obvious
- Write down your current habits.
- Use implementation intentions: “I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
- Use habit stacking: “After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”
- Set your environment up for success — making the cues of good habits obvious and visible.
- Make It Attractive
- Use temptation bundling. Pair something you enjoy doing with something you need to do. (Ex. Only listening to your favorite podcast while running)
- Join a community where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. Know where you can find one of those?!? 🦩🦩🦩🦩🦩
- Create a motivation ritual. (This is doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.)
- Make It Easy
- Reduce friction. Minimize the steps it takes to complete your good habits (ex. Put out gym clothes the night before).
- Setup your environment to make future actions easier. (Ex. Get all the tempting food out of your house before a fast)
- Simplify your habits so that they can be done in two minutes or less.
- Automate your habits whenever possible (may include a tech solution)
- Make It Satisfying
- Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your new positive habit.
- Use a habit tracker to keep track of your streak and avoid breaking it at all costs.
- If you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately…never wait!
To rid yourself of negative habits:
- Make It Invisible
- Get rid of any bad habits cues in your environment.
- Make It Unattractive
- Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits (Ex. Remind yourself that each time you eat a cookie, you’re making it harder to resist the next one and if this cycle continues, you’ll end up with diabetes like your mom.)
- Make It Difficult
- Increase friction. (Ex. If you are going to have a cookie, you’ve got to go to the store, buy the ingredients, and make it yourself. There’s none of what you need in the house.)
- Use a commitment device.
- Make It Unsatisfying
- Get an accountability partner or ask someone to watch your behavior.
- Create a habit contract. Make the costs of your bad habits public and painful. (Ex. A check gets mailed to an organization you loathe.)
Favorite Quotes from the book:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.”
“Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”
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.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system.
Bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change but because you have the wrong system for change. This is one of the core philosophies of Atomic Habits: You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. In this book, you’ll get a proven plan that can take you to new heights.
James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, 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 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.
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, and achieve success that lasts.
- Here are a few other fasting resources you may enjoy:
- Top 5 Ways to Break Out of a False Start–Did you tell yourself you were going to start a 24 hour fast Monday or you were going to finally try your first ever 72 hour fast and then, you just didn’t? Here are 5 ways to prevent the false-start phenomenon.
- Reducing sugar in packaged foods can prevent disease in millions — ScienceDaily ScienceDaily Mass General (along with a few collaborators) published the results of a simulation they conducted in August of 2021, check it out here!
Link to purchase “Why We get fat: and what to do about it”: https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Habits-Proven-Build-Break/dp/0735211299/ref=asc_df_0735211299/
Or find it at your online library: https://www.overdrive.com/media/3994890/atomic-habits