10 lessons I learned from Atomic Habits. That makes my life easier.

Overview of the atomic habits author.

James Clear, the author of “Atomic Habits,” is a prominent writer, speaker, and personal development expert. His book has become a bestseller, with over 15 million copies sold worldwide and translations into more than 50 languages.

Clear is known for his focus on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement.

He used research in all aspects of lessons to show you how you can change your habits, and he has used real-life experiences and actionable methods so that you can change your habits easily.

So here are my top 10 favorite lessons from the book Atomic Habits.

Shape your identity.

If you want to build the habit of going to the gym daily, you have to make your belief strong. The only way to make your belief strong is to be committed.

Even if it’s snowing, still go to the gym, even if you don’t feel like it. That’s how you are making your belief strong. The more you make your belief strong, the more you shape your identity. When you shape your identity, that’s how you shape your habits. Change your identity.

For example, if you want to become a writer, imagine how successful writers are living their lives, and what they are doing daily. Start doing those things. Start becoming that person. Behave like that person. If that person is writing daily, start writing daily.

Habits create freedom.

There’s a myth that if you have good habits, you will not have enough time to enjoy yourself or you will not have enough freedom, but that’s not true.

Good habits create freedom. If you have habits to be disciplined, you will not have anxiety. And if you do not have anxiety, that’s how you become a peaceful, happy person. If you do your important work daily and you have created that habit of doing it daily, in the end, it will create an easier life for you.

It’s better to regularly do important tasks because in the end, they will become significant, and they will only give you stress, not freedom. So basically, a habit is the thing that gives you freedom. If you are not good in health habits, you will always struggle with your energy.

Create mental space for free thinking, and it only happens if you have good habits of time management, a To-Do List, or when you’re stressed, you have the habit of writing in a journal.

The + – rule.

There are so many things we do without thinking because they are habitual, and we don’t even realize that it’s a bad habit. So, in order to be aware, start observing your habits.

Write a full list of things you do on a daily basis, even if it’s a habit of just one second. Then, start putting a plus if it’s a good habit and a minus if it is a bad habit. For example, if you wake up and start using your phone, it’s a bad habit, so put a minus. If you wake up and make your bed, it’s a good habit, so it’s a plus. By completing the list, you can review and see how many minus you have.

Start subtracting those habits from your life. That’s how you will make your life better and become the person you wish to be.

Decide when and where.

The author says that the people who know when and where they are going to do certain things are more likely to get the things done.

The simple way to apply this trick to your habits: is just to fill out this sentence:

“I will (behavior) at (time) in (location).”

For example, “I will meditate for one minute at 7:00 AM in my kitchen.” This is how you are clearly giving full information to your brain to decide and to make a clear goal, without confusing your mind.

So start doing this habit to improve your daily life.

Habit stacking.

In the whole book, this is my favorite habit which I am reminding myself to use on a daily basis and I am using daily. The habit stacking formula is:

After (current) habit, I will do (new habit).

For example, if you get up before doing anything else, just make a to-do list.

For example: “After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.”

For cooking, you can use it like this: “After coming from work without using the phone or resting, I will start cooking.”

Or for meditation: “After brushing my teeth, I will meditate.”

Make it obvious.

The best way to do new habits is to make it obvious.

For example, if you want to read a book and you keep it in the cupboard where you can’t see it, it’s really hard to read.

Keeping a book beside your bed or where you spend most of your time during the day makes it easier to read the book.

Similarly, if you want to eat healthy foods but keep them in the kitchen where they are harder to access, it’s harder to eat.

So, to make that habit easy, cut the fruits whenever you are cooking or doing something, and keep them in front of you so you can eat easily. Because if it is in front of you, it’s easier to eat, and it’s so obvious that you are going to eat it.

Your Environment is powerful.

Change your environment, change your behavior. If you do not want to do certain habits, like you do not want to smoke, then do not put cigarettes in your surroundings, rooms, or in pockets.

Make it harder. Make your environment, do not become the victim of the environment but become the architect of the environment.

The author suggests that you can train yourself to link a particular habit with a particular context.

The author mentions one study where scientists instructed insomniacs to get into bed only when they were tired. If they couldn’t fall asleep, they were told not to go to bed. Over time, the insomniacs found it easier to quickly fall asleep when they got into bed because their brains learned that going to bed is only for sleep.

So that’s how you can train yourself. For example, if you want to study, do not use your phone while studying, so your brain can learn that this is the time for studying, not for checking your phone.

Best way to self-control.

Look No matter how much we try to control ourselves, there are situations that make us angry, argue, or frustrated. The author suggests that the best way to self-control is to avoid these situations. Spend less time in tempting situations because it’s easier to avoid temptations instead of resisting them.

If using social media makes you feel insecure, do not use it. If you think that having your phone while studying distracts you, do not keep your phone beside you. That is simple because self-control is short-term, not long-term, and if you want to go for a long term, start practicing avoiding tempting situations, not resisting them.

Eliminate a bad habit.

You can use this method to create good habits because we do certain bad habits because of the cue that causes us. For example, personally, I do not like KFC that much, but the marketing KFC company is doing is great.

Everywhere I can see the posters of KFC and the more I see it, the more I want to eat it, not because I like it, but because I have seen so much that I got triggered to eat it.

So you can eliminate the cue which causes you to do it. For example, you do not want to smoke, but when you are with your friends, you are more likely to smoke.

So stop hanging around with them. It’s not like you have to cut them completely, but just limit yourself to hanging around with them because it’s causing you to make a habit that is not good for your health.

Temptation bundling.

No matter how much we try, there are things we know are not good for us but we still want to do them. We can’t completely eliminate them, and we can’t be 100% productive all day long.

For me, I have a habit of watching Korean dramas. The author suggests a technique called habit stacking, For example, now that you know what habit stacking is, add one more thing.

For example, after completing a current habit, add another one: “After (current) habit, I will do the habit I (need), and after the habit I need, I will do the habit I (want).”

So, for instance, after eating, I will study certain chapters. Eating is my current habit, and studying is what I need to do. Then, after studying, I allow myself to watch Korean dramas.

This way, I only going to watch the dramas if I’ve completed my study chapters. It makes the habit attractive because I associate it with something I enjoy. This method helps me complete my tasks more easily.

You can click here if you want to read a chapter summary of this book.

Thank you!

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