📖 Atomic Habits by James Clear

July 12, 2020



Heya guys!

I finally had the chance to read Atomic Habits by James Clear. It's a book that I have seen being recommended a lot online. My copy is an e-book from my library.

This book is a self-help book which "teaches you how to form good habits and break bad ones." For me, it was a great reminder on how to stay motivated and be consistent in the things I set out to do. I found the ideas simple to understand and follow, and overall found the book to be useful. I'll just be sharing some parts of the book I collected in this post! I do recommend you to read it too especially if you feel exceptionally unmotivated. My thoughts and comments in bold.

We do a little bit, and then expect too much too soon. Therefore, we reach the Valley of Disappointment and perhaps sometimes stay mired there, or even giving up completely.



But this is a good reminder. We need to be more patient because our outcomes do not come instantly - they lag behind.


Understanding the ideas behind our cravings, hacking our habits.





Upon reflection,  I found that I often seek comfort or relief from some things I do. For example: I like soft, fluffy things. Hugs. A comfortable bed. Shelter. Warmth. 

Another example: My friend seeks sweet things as a reward or comfort after a difficult day. After reading this, perhaps it is not so much that we crave the chocolate itself  but instead, we crave the idea of comfort it brings.




An idea on how you can approach changing our behaviour via three layers. The first layer is via our outcomes ie. our goals. Many of us just set goals or change them. The second layer is our process. However, it seems like the third layer, where we change our identity, is where the real change can happen. I've been giving this a try. I tell myself that I'm 'fit and stylish'.
From James Clear's website, which is more, ahem, clear in articulating this.

The first layer is changing your outcomes. This level is concerned with changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book, winning a championship. Most of the goals you set are associated with this level of change.
The second layer is changing your process. This level is concerned with changing your habits and systems: implementing a new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow, developing a meditation practice. Most of the habits you build are associated with this level.
The third and deepest layer is changing your identity. This level is concerned with changing your beliefs: your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others. Most of the beliefs, assumptions, and biases you hold are associated with this level.
Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe. When it comes to building habits that last—when it comes to building a system of 1 percent improvements—the problem is not that one level is “better” or “worse” than another. All levels of change are useful in their own way. The problem is the direction of change.
Many people begin the process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. This leads us to outcome-based habits. The alternative is to build identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on who we wish to become.

How habits can COMPOUND, for you, or against you. Beware the power of habits, and learn how to use them to your advantage.



I like this idea about how mastering skills can free up brain space for new skills!


The bit about how outrage compounds is reflective of societies today - riots and mass movements don't happen overnight- they are merely manifestations of problems that have already taken root a long time before.

Since we all have the same goals, who deserves to win? The goal is the not problem. 


Well, these are just some of the interesting ideas of the book that I collected! You should definitely read the book if you prefer more overall coherence, ideas and examples. I only provide bits and pieces of excerpts here!

Yes, it's yet another self-help book but I find that I need reminders like these to keep me on track and to motivate me. I think I can only grow if I reflect often and press on for self-improvement. There's always room to improve to be a better person, don't you think?

Till next time!
Skye

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