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James Clear: What is an Atomic Habit?
3 Key Lessons
The 4 Laws of Fundamental Change
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James Clear: What is an Atomic Habit

James Clear

My first book, Atomic Habits, offers a proven framework for getting 1 percent better every day. It’s the ultimate guide on how to design a system where good habits emerge naturally and unwanted habits fade away.
~ James Clear

What is an Atomic Habit?

Atomic Habit: A little habit that is part of a larger system.  Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules,  atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.  
  • You do not rise to the level of your goals
  • You fall to the level of your systems

The 3 Key Lessons

1. Small habits make a big difference Focus on getting 1% better every day.
2.  Forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. Goals are about the results you want to achieve Systems are about the processes that lead to those results
3. Build identity-based habits
  • Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. Decide the type of person you want to be
  • Prove it to yourself with small wins

The 4 Laws of Fundamental Change

1st Law: Make It OBVIOUS

Implementation Intention I will [BEHAVIOUR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]

People who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.

What is Habit Stacking? Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit.

The Formula After I [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT] After I pour my tea, I will meditate for 60 seconds

Design Your Environment Make the cues of good habits obvious and visible. The key is to tie your desired behavior into something you already do each day.

2nd Law: Make It ATTRACTIVE

Use Temptation Bundling Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do
The Formula
  • After I pour my morning tea, I will meditate for 60 seconds
② After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT]
  • After I meditate for sixty seconds, I will write my to-do list
Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. Create a motivation ritual. Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit

3rd Law: Make It EASY

Use the Two-Minute Rule
When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

Reduce Friction Decrease the number of steps between you and your good habits.

Prime the Environment Prepare your environment to make future actions easier.

Master the Decisive Moment Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact.

Automate Your Habits Invest in technology and one-time purchases that lock in future behavior. For example, enroll in an automatic savings plan.

4th Law: Make it SATISFYING

The 4th law of behavior change increases the odds that a behavior will be repeated next time. We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.

Use Reinforcement
Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your habit.

Make ‘Doing Nothing’ Enjoyable When avoiding a bat habit, design a way to see the benefits.

Use a Habit Tracker Keep track of your habit streak and don’t break the chain.

Never Miss Twice When you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately.

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