If you’re interested in self-improvement, you must have come across the term “habits.” What are habits? Specifically, what are atomic habits? Put simply, James Clear indicates that atomic habits are the tiny behavioral changes that lead to big life changes.
This post will guide you through the 4 atomic habits that you need to develop to change your life.
Laws of Atomic Habits
You’ve often heard that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. While there’s some truth to this phrase, you can make small changes in your life that will help you improve and ultimately achieve your goals.
Habits are the decisions and actions that shape your everyday life. These are the things you find simple to do. You don’t even second guess yourself when engaging in a specific habit. One aspect that makes a habit atomic is that it has a compound effect when performed consistently. Below are the laws of atomic habits.
Make it Obvious
The first and the simplest thing to do when creating new habits is to make them obvious. In other words, simplify the task. Make it easy so you won’t feel like you are sacrificing a lot just to develop the habit. We can all agree that we prefer going the easy way. Often, we do the easy and procrastinate challenging tasks. Why? Well, this is just how our brains are hardwired. Therefore, the first step to creating behaviors that can stick in the long run is by making them obvious and satisfying.
Make it Attractive
The more attractive a particular action is, the more you want to engage in it. On the contrary, if the task is challenging, there’s a good chance that you will want to avoid it. Fear creeps in and stops us in our tracks. So, consider making your new habits attractive if you want to build consistency.
Say you want to exercise in the evening. Instead of thinking about how grueling the experience might be, think about the reward at the end of it. Think about relaxing on the couch and watching your favorite show after finishing your workout. By thinking positively, you will develop a dopamine effect while anticipating the reward at the end of the challenge.
Make it Easy
If your new atomic habits are mind-boggling, there’s a small chance that you will want to engage in the activity. For instance, if you’re planning to develop a habit of exercising every day, the last thing you should do is set unrealistic goals. Setting a goal to run 30 miles on the first day is overwhelming even to think about it. But you can simplify this and get excited about the idea. Set a goal to run 1 mile in the morning and 1 mile in the evening. This is so easy, right? You won’t feel the burden of spending just a few minutes or hours to achieve your goal. So, you’re more likely to do it. Therefore, an integral aspect of developing new habits is to make them easy.
Make it Satisfying
Now, think about the reward after completing a specific task. This is the reward. We are hardwired to seek immediate rewards as opposed to delayed gratification. Perhaps this is the main reason why it’s daunting for most people to save up for an upcoming vacation. We prefer using the money for immediate rewards. But if you push yourself to save, you will feel good about it. Apart from saving for the vacation, you will feel good that you’re saving money for a future purpose.
The satisfaction derived from your actions motivates you to repeat the same actions. If you’re thinking of losing weight, reflect on how good it feels after completing a 30-minute workout. Don’t focus on the hard part or the exercising part. Instead, reflect on how satisfying it feels to complete your workout successfully. Since you’re motivated to take action toward losing weight, you’re more likely to exercise the following day or during your next workout session. Eventually, that’s how good habits develop.
Atomic Habits: Summary
Habits aren’t developed from anywhere. To develop the habits that will shape your life for good, you need to develop atomic habits. You can achieve this by making the habits simple, attractive, and satisfying. That’s how easy it is to improve your life in the long run.
How do you manage the challenge of developing healthy habits? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comment below.