What it’s about…
Habits can serve us when they help us to achieve our goals. But they can also hold us back from getting where we need to get to. In Atomic Habits, the author James Clear builds on another great book about this topic (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg) and delves into what causes us to develop habits in the first place. And then most importantly he discusses what he considers the four steps to build excellent habits. Use the Action Log below to deliberately practice the key takeaways from Atomic Habits.
Some of the top actionable content covered in this episode are things like focussing on getting 1% better every day. This one makes sense because being excellent at something is not one big gesture or event but a series of steps with pitfalls and potholes. It is the definition of 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Clear also talks about the process for how habits are formed. A habit follows these 4 points below. And it is these 4 points that lead to the 4-step process to create useful habits for yourself.
- Cue – trigger to act
- Craving for state change
He gives simple and yet powerful examples of how we are all slaves to our habits. Think about your morning routine. That routine follows those 4 points above. Your alarm goes off (cue), you hit snooze (state change – beginning of waking up process), eventually you get up (action) and if you are doing it right you won’t be late for work (reward).
Being new to management or to a leadership role means that you have an opportunity to consider the type of habits you want to build. You can use this episode combined with the action log to deliberately practice the key takeaways from Atomic Habits by James Clear.
What you will learn:
1% better every day –
Kaizen approach – Constant and never ending improvement…trend in the right direction. Where will you put your 1% effort?
3 levels of change
- How will you identify yourself? as a non-smoker? as a caring and and direct leader of your team?
What would the person I want to be do in this situation? –
- What are the traits and behaviours of the person you want to be?
Habits are reliable solutions to recurring problems in our environment –
- When do you expect to encounter a recurring problem and how will you catch it before invoking a bad habit?
1st law – Make it obvious –
The most common cues are time and location. Create implementation intention: I will [BEHAVIOUR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
2nd law – Make it Attractive –
- Dopamine driven feedback loop, increase this and so does motivation to act
- Remember it is the anticipation of a reward is greater than the reward
- Temptation bundling – combine actions you want to do with actions you need to do
3rd law – Make it Easy –
Walk slowly but never backward. Best way to learn is practice, not planning Habits form when when a process becomes more automatic through repetition
4th law – Make it satisfying –
When it is immediately rewarded it is repeated. So make sure you feel successful straight away