Tuesday, March 5, 2019

5 Take Aways from Atomic Habits

A few weeks ago, I wrote a bit about a book I was reading, Atomic Habits by James Clear. I finished reading it this weekend and I highly recommend it!

1. Identity wins - decide who you want to become then work backwards.  Instead of saying 'I want to lose 20 pounds' you'd say 'I'm the kind of person who eats well'.  Decisions and habits will flow naturally from your new identity. 

2. Perfect isn't important - every time you do something that helps cement your new identity, you're casting a vote for your new identity over the old one.  You don't have to have all the votes to win; majority rules.  When you eat an apple instead of a cookie, you're casting a vote for your new identity of 'I'm the kind of person who eats well'.  When you do eat a cookie, that doesn't destroy your new identity as long as start casting votes for your new identity.  Don't give up when you mess up.

3. Systems win - this is what I wrote about before so I wouldn't belabor the point.  Winners and losers have the same goals.  You have to have a better system.  

4. Different might be better - some of the habits we are in response to something else.  For example, when I drive long distances I drink very sugary gas station coffee and eat sour watermelons.  Not the healthiest choices.  Not the only choices either.  Clear says it this way: "Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face; they are just the methods you learned to use." The key to getting rid bad habits might be to think about other ways to solve problems.  

5. Boredom happens - everyone gets to a point where they aren't motivated to continue.  Those who keep going despite the boredom and lack of motivation are more successful. 

You can learn more about Atomic Habits by listening to this podcast (speaking of podcasts, I'll be talking about leadership podcasts tomorrow).

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