Author and habits expert James Clear says if you want to make big changes, first you have to think small. His new book, “Atomic Habits,” zeroes in on the idea that small adjustments add up to larger changes over time.
Let’s define habits. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day.
Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.
What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. Everything I write about – from procrastination and productivity to strength and nutrition – starts with better habits. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life.
Listen to the full podcast interview below to learn the ways that James Clear has Mastered his Habits!
As James Clear says:
Becoming better is not simply a matter of willpower or work ethic. It’s also a matter of strategy. What people assume is a lack of willpower or an unwillingness to change is often a consequence of trying to build good habits in bad environments.
- If you are trying to read more books, don’t do it in a room filled with video games, Netflix, and a television. Move to a less distracting environment.
- If you’re very overweight, don’t try to follow a workout program for college athletes. You can get there eventually, but that’s not a battle you need to fight right now. Start with a manageable change.
- If you’re surrounded by people who tear down your goals, then work on your projects in a different location or reach out to like-minded people.
- If you’re trying to stick to a writing habit when your kids are home from school and your house is in chaos, then work on it at a different time. Switch to a time of less resistance.
Build your habits where it is easy to do so. Re-define the situation. Create a game where the odds are stacked in your favor.
It sounds simple, but how often do you find yourself fighting difficult battles and ignoring easy ones? There is plenty of time to fight the difficult battles. Win the easy battles first.
The smartest path is to improvement is the one of least resistance. Fight battles you are destined to win.