“The only thing permanent is change.”
There is a reason why such a quote is cliché, yet we still aren’t well-acquainted with how it works, especially when starting new habits and developing new routines.
I’ve read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, and only after I had read it several times that I realized how a change of perception can make the necessary changes to improve your life. That said, here are my key takeaways to help you build better habits and break inefficient ones.
One Step at a Time – Consistently, Persistently, Patiently
We may think that all we have to do is stick to it until it “sticks,” right? Well, James Clear pointed out how our habits are actually the compound interest of self-improvement. These small changes are almost invisible. This is why people stop halfway, thinking that there’s no point and they’re wasting their time. If you’re at this stage of building routines, remember that the most powerful outcomes are delayed and almost make no difference until you reach a critical threshold in your life.
Systems > Goals
As it is aptly titled, the book focuses on a habit of being atomic – akin to an atom working within a complex system. So, when forming habits and routines, it can be most effective when it is in service of a more extensive system. If you ever wondered why you simply can stick to a goal, it may be because it is not in alignment with who you are and what you believe in.
The right approach should start with assessing what you genuinely want and accepting your own truth.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
Maybe, it’s time you stop struggling to lose those extra few pounds and start working on appreciating your beauty more. With the right mindset, you may find a stronger determination to work out and eat healthy, not because you want to impress others, but because you deserve to feel better about yourself.
A Journey Inward
Given that our habits are primarily just the things we get used to doing over and over again, a large chunk of change implies an effect on our identity. That means that if you want to change for the better, you should focus on who you want to become – not necessarily what you want to achieve. It’s one thing to want to stop smoking or drinking alcohol. It’s another to adopt a healthier lifestyle because your addictions turn you into something you’re not.
Moreover, becoming the best version of yourself isn’t a linear process. It will require you to relearn and unlearn as you go, so you have to be patient with yourself.
Four Laws of Behavior Change
To cap it all off, I would like to share this set of rules to simplify the whole habit-developing and routine-building process. It only involves the following:
- Make it Obvious
- Make it Attractive
- Make it Easy
- Make it Satisfying
Atomic Habits by James Clear goes more into detail about how the Four Laws of Behavior Change can usher in confidence to build a better system. That being said, I highly recommend this book to anyone aiming to initiate a change in their habits and routines. Remember, anytime is a good time to be better, so start today.