When I started graduate school I put on unwanted weight for the first time in my life. I didn’t own a scale and I lived in an apartment with no full length mirror. As such, I didn’t even realize the weight was there until the fateful day I went swim suit shopping. This is the major downside to always buying clothes that are comfortable, they fail to send you early warning signs before you try on a bikini. I needed to work out but I didn’t know how to start or what to do. I joined a gym and I figured that going and doing something – anything – was better than sitting in my comfy clothes feeling gross about my health. Little did I know that I was employing what James Clear has labelled an, “atomic habit.” I made it a habit of showing up at the gym four to five times a week until I felt great about my fitness level for the first time in my life.
James Clear began by writing articles on his website in 2012. He had been experimenting with habits for years and started publicly sharing his ideas and in a little over a year found himself with 100,000 subscribers (color me jealous). After reading his simple strategies for changing your life one habit at a time I can see why he has become the habit guru he is today. If I had an extra $300 I would be tempted to enroll in his Habits Academy.
Mr. Clear argues that, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” And by improving yourself just 1% at a time you’re changing yourself on an atomic level. Perhaps the change isn’t detectable but eventually the fruits of your habitual labor will be tangible or visible. He backs up his theories with powerful anecdotes and lays out a clear four step method to either build up a good habit or break down a bad one. I thought the following paragraph summed up his ideology perfectly.
We rarely think about change… (in terms of the smallest action) because everyone is consumed by the end goal. But one push-up is better than not exercising. One minute of guitar practice is better than none at all. One minute of reading is better than never picking up a book. It is better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all.
After being inspired by Badass I wanted to work towards my awesome life. Atomic Habits lays down the foundation for me to make small changes that will bring that new amazing life 1% closer everyday. Or, as Mr. Clear says, “Tiny changes. Remarkable results.”
Tell me, please!
Do you think changing your habits can change your life?