Atomic habits. A book to improve 1% each day
This is a book that I would recommend to basically … everybody. Even if you are already into the topic of habits building you can really benefit from it.
In the book, James Clear not only explains the science and reason on why and how habit building and bad habit removing works, but also share his approach to it. In the more practical aspect of it: provides a whole framework and lots of ideas on how to do it successfully.
Personally, I started using some of the ideas in the book when I was still reading it and they are working pretty well.
I can’t remember now if the book explicitly mentions the concept or not, but the way Clear talks about the idea of improving just a bit everyday goes very well in the line of Kaizen. You are not trying to do incredible changes overnight, which most probably wouldn’t last for a long time, but improving yourself by actually doing very small changes. Improving 1% each day.
Don’t try to go cold turkey and do super hero changes. Better go step by step. Yes it takes longer, but it is also more sustainable.
This idea totally captivated me.
James Clear explains that, in order to create lasting habits, you should´t focus on the outcome of the habit. The whole concept is to identify or imagine the new identity that you want for yourself; the kind of person you want to be. From there, you can start doing small wins every single day.
If you focus on losing weight you do what is needed for some time and when you get it, it is gone. But if you want to lose weight, better focus on becoming the kind of person who eats healthy (small win: 3 pieces of fruit every day), becoming the kind of person who walks (small win: walk 2km every Wednesday and Friday), becoming the kind of person who … you get the point, right?
With the identity change the outcome will come, but you work on changing who you are, so you will be the kind of person who is able to achieve this and many other goals. Actually becoming that kind of person will make you build many small habits and will help when decision making when you don’t feel so much like having a lot of willpower. Would the person who eats healthy have this cake? Would the kind of person who eats healthy go for orange juice or a chocolate smoothie? This is easier and more lasting than fighting against the habit of eating cakes, having smoothies… etc
How to do it
As I said what I liked the most, apart from the fact that I am a lover of behavioral science as a whole and habit building, is the fact that the book is absolutely practical.
You are going to find a lot of buzzwords that sound amazing asking you to change your life and a never achievable motivational speech. This book will actually give you clear ideas on habit stacking, how to work of the four steps of habit building, how to reverse the to get rid of bad habits, review your improvements yearly and many other strategies.
The book is easy to read (or you can always listen to the audiobook) and totally is absolutely worthy.