Episode 29 | March 22, 2022
This is a replay of our previous recording on Atomic Habits, we will be back on March 29th with an amazing new guest interview!
I love James Clear’s statement “Few things can have a more powerful impact on your life than improving your daily habits.”
Did you know a slight change in your daily habits can have a significant impact on your future goals.
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I just finished reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits and was blown away. As I’m reading, all I keep saying to myself is “wow that makes soooo much sense”.
It’s the time of year we start thinking about our goals and what we want to achieve in the next year.
We start thinking about all the big changes we are going to make and our massive resolutions.
I’m so glad I found this book now and save myself from another year of unnecessary disappointment.
Atomic Habits is all about working towards being 1% better, taking small steps to get to that big goal.
How many things in life are a 1 and done fix, I don’t know of any. Success and accomplishments, usually come from a series of steps and actions.
Tiny consistent improvements over time can create astounding change.
The effects of your habits multiple over time.
Think back over the last year, 5 or even 10 years at your good and bad habits.
They did not develop over night, but they strengthened over time for better or worse.
A slight change in your daily habits can have a significant impact on your future goals.
I absolutely love and have adopted James Clear’s statement “Few things can have a more powerful impact on your life than improving your daily habits.”
He talks about why it’s so hard for people to create new habits.
People give up too soon.
They get discouraged with the lack of immediate results they are getting and lose sight of the end goal.
He talks about “Don’t Break The Chain”.
Be the person that always shows up and does the work.
If you committee to go to the gym everyday, go to the gym everyday. Even if you don’t feel like it.
You may not have the best workout, but you showed up, and held your commitment.
Once you miss 1 day, it’s easy to miss 2.
“Don’t Break The Chain”, don’t be the one that missed the workout.
Instead of focusing on Goals, focus on Systems.
Goals are the results you want to achieve.
Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.
If you want to lose weight.
Don’t get on the scale 3 times a day looking to see how much you lost – this is the goal.
Instead Focus on eating healthy, moving more, sleeping better, reducing stress, building a supportive environment – this is the system that will get you to your goals.
James explains why our brains build habits.
A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.
Whenever you face problems or anything new, our brains begin to automate the process of solving it.
Habits are automatic responses to recurring events in our environment.
Example: when you wake you up, you turn on the coffee pot on the way to the bathroom. You don’t even think about it, you make the motions.
The book goes into detail about how habits work. There are 4 stages to a habit.
The CUE triggers your brain to initiate a behavior.
The brain is always looking for a reward. Cues are about noticing the rewards.
The CRAVINGs are the motivational force behind every habit.
Without the motivation or desire, there is no reason to act.
You do not crave eating that dessert, you crave the feeling of relief it provides.
Cravings are about wanting the reward.
The RESPONSE: is the actual habit you perform.
It would be the act of eating your favorite dessert.
It could be an action or in the form of a thought.
Whether a response occurs depends on how motivated you are to act.
For example, if you do not buy cake & keep them in the house, it makes it more difficult to give into a craving. Let’s say you have a craving for dessert.
Are you willing to stop what you are currently doing, get in the car & drive to the store to buy cake?
The response is about obtaining the reward.
The REWARD: This is the end goal of every habit.
This four-step process is not something that happens occasionally but is a constant feedback loop that never stops.
He goes into detail about the 4 Stages and the Reasons we chase Rewards.
He talks about how our environments play a big part in Cues being initiated.
If you want to change a habit you need to change your environment. It’s very difficult to change a bad habit. You will more likely find success in creating a new habit with an altered environment.
If you want to make a habit a big part of your life, make the cue a big part of your environment.
If you are trying to create a new habit, make it easy & accessible in your environment. For example, if you want to eat more healthy foods, make them more accessible and easy to reach.
The Two Minute Rule
One huge A HA moment I had in this book was when he talks about how to stop procrastinating by using the Two Minute Rule.
The 2 minute rule is: when you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.
Nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two minute version.
Some examples he gives are:
Read before going to bed becomes read 1 page
Run three miles becomes tie my running shoes
Put the laundry away becomes put a pair of socks away.
The idea is to make your habits as easy as possible to START.
The point is to MASTER the habit of showing up.
A habit must be established before it can be improved.
If you can’t learn the basic skill of showing up, then you can not improve upon it.
“Don’t Break the Chain”, SHOW UP.
As you master the art of showing up, the first two minutes simply become the ritual at the beginning of a larger routine.
We all heard that saying “The first step is the hardest”.
Master that first step.
He talks about a client that used this to lose over 100 lbs.
His client went to the gym every day for 5 minutes, 5 minutes that’s it, every day.
Only 5 minutes, nothing more. Goes to the gym, works out for 5 minutes, when time was up he would leave.
After a few weeks, he started thinking “Since I’m here anyway I might as well start staying a little longer.
He mastered showing up and slowly expanded on it.
Ultimately he lost 100 lbs.
James believes strategies like this work because they reinforce the identity we want to build.
You’re not worried about getting into shape, you’re focused on becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts.
Once you’ve established the habit of showing up each day, you can begin Habit Shaping to scale your habit toward your ultimate goal. He goes deep into this in the book.
This Two Minute Rule has completely blown my mind.
I’m super excited about the idea, it is possible to reach your goals.
I barely touched on the concept of James’ thoughts and techniques.
This book was incredible and not just a must read, you need to put this on the top of your list.
Who doesn’t want to better understand habits.
What they are, how they form, how to change bad habits and create new ones naturally.
The book is filled with many small steps that are easy to implement and finally start working towards that life you want to live and being that person you dreamed of being.
I’ll put a link in the show notes for the book.
Share you experience with habits, breaking old ones and creating new ones. What has worked for you and what hasn’t let us know.