This was a well needed shift from my first choice of the year, Sapiens. I only made it half way through and realized my reading output had dropped by 150%. I hate not finishing something I start but realized the topic wasn’t what I needed at that moment. It’s a great book but the vibe of a long dark winter and ancient history just wasn’t a good mix. Atomic Habits is pretty much the opposite.
Quick, easy read with actionable steps that anyone can implement into their life. I was surprised how many strategies I already use. My busy mind loves control vs chaos so I’m pretty organized and track everything. I truly believe that anything I can measure, I have a great chance of improving. It also means I’m always looking for ways to improve.
I’ve been using this mantra ‘Twenty Mile March’ for learning new skills and Atomic Habits is somewhat similar. The whole idea is to improve 1% each day or make incremental gains which can have drastic results over time. I’m an avid couch potato investor so the analogy of compounding interest rung true with me. I heard the twenty mile march analogy from Jim Collins on Tim Ferris’s podcast.
If you have lofty goals or want to tweak your habit system, read this book.
Here are a few tips I really liked or at least remember as I’m writing this.
1. Habit stacking. We all have daily habits we do without thinking and the trick is to add a new habit to an already established one. For example, this is one I’ll be adding. After I put my girls to bed, I grab my clothes I’m going to wear the next day and take them down stairs where I get ready in the morning. Another easy one is stretching in the shower.
2. Give a bad habit a negative consequence or have a negative consequence for not doing something you want to do. One example I loved that James Clear used was if he missed weighing himself daily, he would have to dress up 3 days the follow week which he hated. He had a definition for ‘dress up’ and everything. Genius! My idea is that any day I don’t wake up by 6am, I pay my wife $10.
3. Don’t miss twice. Life happens to the best of us and things are going to drop. Kids, work, whatever. The key is to never miss twice. Missing once is a mistake. Missing twice is a new habit.