Focus Less on Goals and More on Habits
I’ve always been a goal-setter, especially at the beginning of a new year. I love to make a list of lofty but achievable goals that inspire and motivate me.
The problem is, I never take the time to establish a system of daily, repeatable habits that will help me to actually achieve my goals. I simply hope the goals themselves will be enough motivation to cause me to take action every day. That never works.
So, when I stumbled upon Atomic Habits by James Clear, I was excited to get this book and dive in. And man am I glad that I did! This book is filled with so many great ideas, insights, and tips to help you develop good habits and eliminate bad ones.
Clear does a masterful job of explaining his four laws for creating a good habit:
1) Make it obvious
2) Make it attractive
3) Make it easy
4) Make it satisfying
And he also inverts each law to provide additional help in breaking a bad habit:
1) Make it invisible
2) Make it unattractive
3) Make it difficult
4) Make it unsatisfying
Here are a few nuggets that really stuck with me:
- Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Try to get 1% better everyday. At the end of a year, you’ll be 37 times better!
- We don’t rise to the level of our goals; we fall to the level of our systems.
- Habits are not a finish line to be crossed; they are a lifestyle to be lived.
- Success is the product of daily habits–not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
- Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. You get what you repeat.
I also recorded a recent plug for the book that you can watch here:
If you are looking for a resource that will help you develop a system for improving your habits, go get this book. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end.
I look forward to continuing to unpack the material and dive into James’ weekly writings. I encourage you to do the same!