Atomic Habits

James Clear author of Atomic Habits

My thoughts

I’ll be highlighting three key messages from this book. Atomic Habits provides a plethora of strategies that can be used to establish good habits and redefine bad ones. The book also highlights the compounding element of making small changes to your behaviour for a long time can result in desired outcomes. The Atomic habit planner, as I like to call it, provides an excellent way to start making those changes.

1. The behaviour model of change

The behaviour model of change is based on four elements: cue, craving, response and reward.

  1. Cue – the idea of making a habit obvious.
  2. Crave – the motivation to complete that habit.
  3. Response – to perform a habit through action or thought.
  4. Reward – if a habit is attractive, it is worth remembering and hence it acts as a feedback loop.
The Behaviour model of Change also known as the backbone to establishing habits

So, while considering new habits or working to refine your bad ones, consider the following questions:

  1. How can I make it obvious?
  2. How can I make it attractive?
  3. How can I make it easy?
  4. How can I make it satisfying?

2. Temptation bundling

Temptation bundling works by linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.

This strategy can be used inline with the Premack’s principle. A principle of reinforcement which states that an opportunity to engage in more probable activity will reinforce the less probable activity. For example, I have applied this principle every time I use my phone to check my social media. I would complete 10 reps of push-ups and then only I would check my social media. I’ve found this to be an effective way of creating an additional layer of friction.

3. Reflection and Review

The book further highlights the element of establishing a system of reflection or review. My initial thought was how do I avoid this because my sporadic attempts to journaling were always inconsistent and I failed to stick with the habit. So recently, I changed my system and created a reflection or review question set that I follow each day. 

  1. What is the daily highlight of my day? 
  2. What are my affirmations?
  3. What is the story-worthy element to my day? This truly allows me to reflect on my day and enables me to write a story that is only a few sentences short.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

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I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.

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