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Tracy Winchell

📕 Atomic Habits: Design A System to Change How You See Yourself

published13 days ago
2 min read

Hello Reader,

Thank you for the wonderful comments, questions, and recommendations you have shared throughout this 4-week series.

This is the last installment of our back-to-school book breakdown.

Next week, we begin another free email course. The topic is gratitude.

First, let's dive into this week's book.


ATOMIC HABITS: AN EASY & PROVEN WAY TO BUILD GOOD HABITS & BREAK BAD ONES

Author: James Clear

Expertise: James Clear writes about self-image, self-improvement, and designing habits that change self.


Outcomes are about what you get.
Processes are about what you do.
Identity is about what you believe.
(James Clear, Atomic Habits)

BOOK SUMMARY: OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES

  1. We change daily, even if we do not seek positive change.
  2. Goals will not change you. Your system will transform you.
  3. If the new habits you desire are not working, you're not the problem. Your system is the problem.

AUTHOR'S RESEARCH-BACKED TOOLS FOR CHANGING WHO YOU ARE

4 LAWS OF CREATING GOOD HABITS

1st Law (Cue): Make it obvious.
2nd Law (Craving): Make it attractive.
3rd Law (Response): Make it easy.
4th Law (Reward): Make it satisfying.

Invert the 4 laws when you want to break a bad habit.

HOW TO SUPPORT SOMEONE STRUGGLING TO BUILD GOOD HABITS

In your frustration with someone else, use Clear's 4 laws of creating good habits.
Let's use "taking out the trash" as our example.

Help the other person:

1. Define an obvious cue to perform the habit

My cue is an Alexa reminder every Monday @7pm)

Make it attractive:
Checking that item off my list without being reminded is oddly satisfying.

Make it easy:
1. Bags are already in the bin.

2. Cars are parked far enough apart to roll the bin outside, down the driveway, and to the street.

Make it satisfying
When I leave the trash bin at the curb, I have a small bowl of ice cream.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:

I hope this overview of Atomic Habits will help you and someone else, whether or not you read the book.

However, it's well worth your time to read because:

  1. Atomic Habits is designed as a handbook for easy reference.
  2. Clear dives deeper into the relationship between our identities and behaviors.
  3. You will learn a much more effective method of measuring self-improvement than goal-setting.

A PARADOX:

"Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself."
(James Clear, Atomic Habits)

When your deepest beliefs about yourself keep you from taking even the tiniest action, you won't shift the way you see yourself unless you set up a system for a tiny win.
Ask someone to help you do three things:

  1. Design each law of the 4 Laws of Creating Good Habits.
  2. Point out and celebrate atomic victories.
  3. Make adjustments to your system.
  4. Decide when you're ready to begin another new habit.

NEW SERIES NEXT WEEK: GRATITUDE

Gratitude is one of my favorite topics.

A gratitude challenge 9 or 10 years ago changed how I see myself, my relationships, and the universe.

The email series runs through October.

By November, you will be prepared for a gratitude challenge with a friend or in the cohort we are organizing.

-Tracy


Back-to-School Book Club Series

Week 1 Link: Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, Ethan Kross

Week 2 Link: Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking, Jon Acuff

Week 3: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, BJ Fogg

📍 Week 4: Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, James Clear