The Power of Atomic Habits
- It’s easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making a small improvement on a daily basis.
- If you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re doneHabits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiples through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them.
- You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results
- When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level
How Habits Shape your Identity And Vice Versa
- The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.
- Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, people who don’t have habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom.
- If you ’re always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks— when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills- then you have less time for freedom. It’s only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity
The 4 Laws of Behavioral Change
1. Make it Obvious
2. Make it attractive
3. Make it easy
4. Make it satisfying
Motivation is Overrated: Environment Often Matters More
- Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior
- It’s not easy to read a book when the bookshelf is in the corner of a guest room.
- It’s not easy to take your vitamins when they are out of sight in the pantry.
- When the cues that spark a habit are subtle or hidden, they are easy to ignore
- Most people live in a world others have created for them… Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it. – Stop thinking of your environment as filled with objects.
- Start thinking about your it as filled with relationships. For one person her couch is the place where she reads for an hour each night. For someone else, the couch is where he watches television and eats a bowl of ice cream after work
The Secret to Self Control
The people will the best self-control are typically the ones who need to use it the least. It’s easier to practice self-restraint when you don’t have to use it very often. So, yes, perseverance, grit, and willpower are essential to success, but the way to improve these qualities is not by wishing you were a more disciplined person, but by creating a more disciplined environment.
The Role of Friends and Family in Shaping Our Habits
- We don’t choose our earliest habits, we imitate them. We follow the script handed down by our friends and family, our church or school, our local community and society at large.
- One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day.
Developing New Habits
- Reframing your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks is a fast and lightweight way to reprogram your mind and make a habit seem more attractive.
- If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection. You don’t need to map out every feature of a new habit. You just need to practice it.
- You could do something twice in thirty days or two hundred times. It’s the frequency that makes the difference.
The Law of Least Effort
- It’s human nature to follow the Law of Least Effort, which states that when deciding between two similar options, people will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.
- Much of the battle of building better habits, comes down to finding ways to reduce the fiction associated with our good habits and increase the friction associated with our bad ones. –
- Whenever you organize a space for its intended purpose, you are priming it to make the next action easy.
- A new habit should not feel like a challenge. The actions that follow can be challenging, but the first two minutes should be easy. What you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you down a more productive path.
- When you automate as much of your life as possible, you can spend your effort on tasks that machines cannot yet do.
The Cardinal Rule of Behavioral Change
We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying. This is entirely logical. Feelings of pleasure- even minor ones like washing your hands with soap that smell and nice lathers well- are signals that tell the brain: “This feels good. Do this again.” Pleasure teaches your brain that a behavior is worth remembering and repeating
How to Stick With Good Habits
- Making progress is satisfying and visual measure- like moving paper clips or hairpins or marbles- provide clear evidence of your progress.
- Measurement offers one way to overcome our blindness to our own behavior and notice what’s really going on each day.