Atomic Habitsby James Clear quickly became one of the Menlo Group team’s favorite books. As we read together, we applied the author’s principles to develop new habits and break old ones. Some habits we’ve been working on include:
Organizing our desks
Drinking more water
Waking up at the first alarm instead of hitting
Spending less time on social media
Drinking less soda
Following a budget
The book is full of ideas on developing habits, and we’ll share a few that stood out to us.
Small actions lead to big results.
Too often we struggle to develop habits because we set lofty
goals. For this reason, the author encourages us to start simple. To develop a
habit of exercise, we should begin by going to the gym for only five minutes at
a time. Another way to remember to exercise would be to associate it with a
current habit (e.g. every time we change out of work clothes, we should immediately
put on exercise attire). Tracking each exercise may also help us stay motivated
to continue the habit.
Our environment impacts our habits.
Our environment can help or hinder our ability to develop
habits. The book outlines the importance of designating areas for certain
habits. To draw more, we should have a specific area of the house to act as our
studio. We can also prepare our environment by setting out our sketchpad each
night before we go to bed.
If we strive to eat healthy, we’ll want to place apples
instead of cookies on the counter. We may also want to shop at a different
grocery store or sign up for a meal kit delivery service. We should also
surround ourselves with people who have healthy eating habits.
Habits are more than actions but rather a part of our identity.
The author encourages readers to focus not on what they want
to achieve but rather who they want to become. We are more likely to continue
habits that align with our self-image and discontinue those that don’t. If we
want to write daily, we should think of ourselves as writers. If we want to
quit smoking, we should quit thinking of ourselves as smokers.
Our habits shape who we are and the lives we lead. We look forward to continuing to apply James Clear’s advice to develop atomic habits.