Atomic Habits

Post 7 of 21 of this #newhabitchallenge!

Yesterday, I mentioned I wanted to talk more about #JamesClear and his amazing book "Atomic Habits" on overwriting habits that are not relevant or useful to us. I'll be honest with you, I haven't read his book yet. It's on my reading list. One of my very best friends talked to me about it a few months ago (if not a year ago - man, does time fly), and I remember seeing the book on her dining table, marked with a thousand stickers (really, a thousand). I knew right there and then that it wasn't just an ordinary book. So I did a bit of research!

The reason it's important to talk about it is the learnings from Atomic Habits are actually a huge part of more than a few of my posts. And as I prepare for a new thread on "untangling the mind for a new beginning" (haven't really found a title yet but it'll be something like that), digging into Atomic Habits' key takeaways seem to be just what I and you need.

Plus, look at me right now, in this #newhabitchallenge! How relevant!

So... here goes a revisit of Atomic Habits' key takeaways as shared by Saurin Parikh on Medium and my friend in 9 key takeaways:

Number 1: SET A GOAL, AND BREAK IT DOWN. THEN, FOCUS ON THE METHOD WITH WHICH YOU TAKE THE SMALL STEPS, NOT THE GOAL. I kinda like to say "start small, go big". We tend to focus too much on the end-goal. We love to picture our future selves. While it's still useful to do that, it's good to move into the little steps and the impact of those steps at some point.

"Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become." - James Clear

Number 2: YOUR ACTIONS (AKA HABITS) ARE A DIRECT REFLECTION OF WHO YOU ARE. KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND IDENTIFY AS SUCH. We hear "don't say "I have to", say "I want to"". Well, James Clear takes it a step further and says: "I am". So, "I want to work out more" becomes "I am an active person".

Number 3: SET IT UP JUST LIKE FOR A THEATRE SHOW! GET RID OF THE CUES THAT LEAD TO BAD HABITS! We hear it's down to being and staying motivated. Scratch that, and turn to something you have more control over: the things that surround you. Put away the temptation to slouch, get your yoga mat and weights out there, visible and let your environment help trigger the best in you.

Number 4: REWARD YOURSELF ASSOCIATING PLEASURE WITH WORK. I find that is what works best for me. I only get to watch an episode of HIMYM after I've published on the blog or completed my 45 minute workout. I know that every pain in the a** "obligation" leads to something great. Plus, I'm happy to repeat it to get the reward and doing that actually leads to something great. It's all just great!

Number 5: TALK TO YOURSELF ABOUT THE FUTURE OPPORTUNITY FOR BETTER, NOT THE PRESENT HASSLE OF CHANGE. We hate change as human beings (we loooooove predictability). There's a lot of negative emotions tied with having to create a new habit, overwrite a bad one or simply quit it. So, don't say "I have to stop being so lazy", say "I get to be fit and active, and start a healthier life!"

Number 6: DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. NOW REPEAT. What keeps us from moving forward is waiting for it to be perfect and for it to happen in the perfect moment. That ain't happening. Do and repeat. Plus, practice makes perfect.

Number 7: DO IT, REPEAT BUT DON'T DO IT FOR TOO LONG AT A TIME. We all love to aim high, but sometimes doing that, we set ourselves up for not only failure, but disappointment, discouragement and even disgust. Your mind may forget that your body needs an adjustment period. Start small, go big.

Number 8: SKIP BUT JUST ONCE. This is the hardest. Do not skip on a habit, at least not more than once in a row. You know that skipping more than once just makes it harder to get back on track.

Number 9: IT'S OKAY TO BE BORED. DO IT ANYWAYS. "Doing something when it's boring is what separates the professionals from the amateurs", not sure whether this is James Clear or Saurin Parikh but it's gold.

So? What do you think? Are you setting yourself up for success?

Share on your experience: are you currently going through change?

Credit to Saurin for getting these down and out there! Thank you.

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