Atomic Habits by James Clear


James Clear


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Break bad habits and form good ones. 4 step process.

Habits are the repeated things you do daily, weekly or even monthly at times. They can be good, bad, or neutral. James Clear describes it as "the compound interest of self-development." Just like money is multiplied via compound interest, in the same fashion, habits multiply as and when you repeat them. 

Healthy habits are difficult to start compared to bad habits which are much easy to start and harder to break. But James Clear reveals how little, incremental, daily routines compound into impactful, positive transformation over a period of time.

To build good habits and break bad ones, it is essential to understand The Four Laws Of Behaviour Change:

1.Cue - Make it Obvious

Cues are those that trigger a certain behaviour or habit. All habits have a cue. This is what sets off the habit and its cycle. It is crucial to uncover the cues to your habit. Make the unconscious conscious.


2.Craving — Make it Attractive

When you receive a cue, you are attracted to the reward. Anticipation of this reward is what drives you to perform a habit. The cue provides a jolt of dopamine, hence the anticipation of the reward. To begin a new habit, give yourself an attractive reward that you will crave for. 


3.Response — Make it Easy

"If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection." - This pretty much sums it up. Don't complicate things. Learning new things is all about practice not planning. 


4. Reward — Make it Satisfying

Despite the harmful consequences, we continue to perform a bad habit due to the immediate gratification we receive from doing it. Producing a form of immediate gratification to the habits you want to start, will definitely increase your chances of repeating them. This step will help you maintain the habit while the other three will help you initiate it.


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Atomic Habits Book Summary

Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformation. 1% improvement daily means 37 times better in a year
You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results
Time will multiply whatever you feed it
Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results
Outcomes, processes, identity
Outcome based habits Vs identity based habits
Self image gets in the way of building good habits
Decide the type of person you want to be
Putting this all together, you can see that habits are the path to changing your identity. The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do
To identify cues, raise awareness. Pointing and calling habit of Japanese railways good example.

Key lessons
1. Identity based habits - who do you want to be
2. Feedback loops- Cue craving response reward
3. Step 1 - identify the cues
4. Manage environment. Sprinkle cues n triggers all around to increase likelihood of a habit being adopted
5. What's Ur relationship with each object on the environment. Context is critical.
6. Easier to build a new habit with a new context
7. Habits once formed are there for retrigger when the cues resurface again
8. We imitate the habits of three groups - the close, the many and the powerful
9. Start small. Two min version. Gateway habits. Master the habit of showing up.
10. Work hard on things that come easy. Find who you naturally are. Play the game where you have a serious advantage

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