“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.” This is the core focus of the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. He’s the creator of Jamesclear.com, where he writes on topics like, creating good habits, making great choices, how to create a better and meaningful process for yourself, and much more. And his 3-2-1 weekly newsletter has over 250 published articles. He is a motivational speaker and one of the most commendable guests at OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and the award-winning show, Marie Forleo TV.
In Atomic Habits, James explains in detail the strategies that he discovered when he was recovering from an accident many years back.
Here are 5 important lessons that we absolutely love from this book.
Getting 1% better each day
Here, James Clear explains how being consistent and making tiny improvements every single day is far more effective and efficient than taking a giant leap. He says, “Habits are a compound interest of self-improvement, and you are what you repeatedly do.”
He shares his thoughts on how focusing your attention on the big goals can actually turn out to be counterproductive. “Forget about the goals, focus on the system instead.” By this, he means that though it is important to have a vision in mind it is of little use until you make it a habit of achieving it every single day.
Improving 1% everyday can have dramatic results.
Leveraging the power of affirmations
This is the fundamental of using the power of affirmations and attracting what you want in your life. Using this technique is all about focusing all the positive energy on your present self rather than your future self. In simple words, it’s creating the shift from “I want to…” to “I am…” and making this shift makes all the difference in the world.
James explains the model of, Outcome-Process-Identity, you desire an outcome, you set a path to achieve it, you achieve it. He flips this model around to, Identity-Process-Outcome, which prompts us to believe that we already are what we want to be. Believing in this provides the psychological edge and helps us be more focused on the process instead of the outcome, which will eventually come.
The law of behaviour change
Forming a behaviour or habit takes four steps, cue, craving, response, and reward, this completes the “habit loop”. There are many possible cues and cravings that might trigger you to behave a certain way. The cue and craving are the problems, and the response and reward are the solutions.
In the book, James explains each step in great detail. He further goes on to explain why harmful habits are easily formed and why it’s difficult to break that cycle and form a new, more healthy habit loop. The basis for this is the idea of delayed and instant gratification. Harmful habits almost always provide instant rewards, whereas, on the other hand, healthy habits take time to reap the fruit. James provides simple yet effective ways to form healthy habit loops.
Measuring your progress
Here he shares the importance of marking your progress in a tangible, accessible format and the need for having an accountability partner. Keeping a journal or making your day-to-day progress on the calendar will give you a boost.
In the beginning, it might seem easy and very tempting to stop, but after twenty-odd days you will think twice before breaking your own streak.
Share your goals with your accountability partner, it can be anyone, your friend, spouse, parents, as long as they are there to help you keep an eye on your progress. Whenever you miss a day or task give yourself a penalty or pay your partner a fine. This will keep you on track.
Build over an existing habit
Sometimes breaking a habit loop can be difficult and might consume a lot of your time and energy that you could rather use to build something new and better. You can use the skill of masking your existing habit with another new and healthier habit.
This is not about ignoring the existing habit loop but about creating a new more powerful habit loop that overshadows the existing one. This saves your time and effort to quit something and that itself becomes a major motivation to create the new habit. Over time, the new habit becomes part of you and the old habit is forgotten, so it’s a win-win.
Who is this book for?
This book is for anyone who can’t seem to kick those harmful habits out and kick start with new, healthy habits. It is for those who envision achieving financial freedom, great relationships, and a good life in general. There is no specific age group for reading this book, anyone who wants to change their lifestyle for the better must pick it up.
It is a must-read for all those budding visionaries out there.
Where can you get it?
Atomic Habits is available in all the major bookstores offline, online and on kindle. The audiobook version of the book narrated by the author himself is also available on audible.
Book Title: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Publication: Penguin Books Ltd.
Which habits do you want to change with these mantras?