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My Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits

Around 2 months ago I read, James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which is a book renowned for it’s ‘remarkable results’. Essentially, James Clear puts forward a methodology or as he terms it ‘Laws of Behaviour Change’. Which, when followed gives you, the reader, a better success rate at getting rid of those horrible habits and sticking strong to a new good habit.

One point which I really took an interest in when first reading was the information regarding easy habits to help progress from the habit forming stage to the habit adopted stage. We all know that feeling when you tell yourself you are going to eat healthier, stop smoking, work out at the gym and start waking up sixty minutes earlier each morning. However, I’d hazard a guess that the majority of us don’t truly stick to our new plans or routines, quickly falling back into our old ways.

Atomic Habits

This is where James Clear mentions the namesake of the book: Atomic Habits. An Atomic Habit as put clearly in the book is a extremely smaller version of a habit you would normally set yourself. For instance, let’s say you wanted to read more books throughout the year. Usually you would set yourself the task of: “I need to read x amounts of books by y”. Which you could do, an you may also stick to it – props to you if you do! However it’s likely that you aren’t. Maybe you fall behind in your reading schedule and now you’ve lost motivation altogether. Slowly you forget about your habit as it wasn’t making you feel any better.

Instead James Clear suggests setting an Atomic Habit, so using the example above instead of “I need to read x amounts of books by y” we could say “I will read 1 page a day”. This in itself will be an easier goal to achieve, therefore making it less likely for you to fail or put it off. After a number of weeks you’ll have realised you are reading a small amount each day, now you have formed that habit of picking up that book.

From then on you have essentially formed your habit, you can start to push your levels with it now to gain and get to those bigger goals. For instance when you’ve read that page for the day, you are more likely to be caught in the story you are reading, therefore reading more pages than just the counted 1 you need to check off your to-do list.

So, why am I talking about James Clear’s book Atomic Habits for? I’m talking about it because after finishing the book I set myself a few of these Atomic Habits myself. I wanted to share them with you along with the progress I have made or have not made.

Atomic Habit #1

“I have written two pages in my book today.”

At the start of this year I had told myself that I would write more, meaning, write more for my blog and also write more for my fiction novel I am working on. Results weren’t going well before I started reading Atomic Habits.

Intermittently, I found myself writing but wasn’t ever able to keep going and finish a book or get to that next chapter. So this was first on my list of small, Atomic Habits that I was going to set for myself.

Wrote in the way as which I have already achieved my goal I state: “I have written two pages in my book today.”. All my lazy brain is aiming to do, is complete the two pages worth, rather than focusing and over-stressing regarding parts or sections within the book I’ve not even got to yet.

Aiming to achieve two pages helped elevate personal anxiety that I would fail to write a book, instead I was focused on my attainable goal for the day. I’ve found great success since setting this Atomic Habit, I hope in the future to up the amount of pages but for now I’m content with engraving the habit further.

Atomic Habit #2

“I have read one chapter in my book today.”

I’ve always loved reading so it’s not really hard for me to finish books and pick up new ones. However, this year I did want to beat my record for total books read in a single year.

In order to achieve my goal, which I’m still working towards I wanted to make sure that I was reading at least once a day, rather than in large spells randomly throughout the week.

Another item which is discussed in Atomic Habits, is something called Habit Tracking. Habit Tracking, as states is where you track your habits. Meaning every time you complete, skip or schedule a habit in your daily life, you should record this. You can record them in either a notebook, specific habit tracking app or website or as James Clear recommends, you can try he’s Habit Tracking template by going to Atomic Habits website.

In relation to this, I wanted to start tracking the books I read and get a better understanding of what my reading habits are currently like. To do this I enlisted the help of an application called Reading List (iOS), where I can track what books I’m reading down to the page number, normally giving me a handy percentage meter for how far I’ve progressed in a book.

All in all, this has allowed me to make better progress in reading through books more regularly, hopefully to reach my goal at the end of the year!

Atomic Habit #3

“I have meditated for five minutes today.”

One thing I’ve always thought I needed to really do more often in my life was meditate. Endless amounts of people have raved about the benefits and I, myself have meditated before and found great benefits. However keeping the habit going was very difficult.

Mainly, I think the difficultly came in the times I’d set for my meditations, making them far too long at the beginning. Meaning, I was taking up far too much time, making my brain feel like it was putting in more effort than the reward it was getting back from it.

After setting my daily Atomic Habit of: “I have meditated for five minutes today.” I know I can at least accomplish five minutes everyday to sitting down and being mindful, mediating.

So far I’ve been keeping this Atomic Habit going and really feeling better for it. I’ve also signed up for a free trial with Apple Fitness+, taking advantage of some of the great meditation, yoga and other fitness videos and guides.

Atomic Habits Conclusion

Overall, setting myself smaller habits (Atomic Habits), which are more completable and making one lazy brain feel slightly more productive. Tracking my habits using a Reading Tracker has helped me understand my current habits and using Apple Fitness+ has enabled me to track my fitness, from yoga to meditation.

If you are looking to get rid of some bad habits, or set some great ones for the future then I seriously recommend taking a look at James Clear’s Atomic Habits.

Interested in other Recommendations and/or Reviews?

If you are interested in looking over any other book recommendations and reviews I may have you can look over this category right here.

Interested in Atomic Habits?

You can check out Atomic Habits on Amazon using the link below.

Atomic Habits

View Atomic Habits, on Amazon UK

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