Atomic Habits by James Clear

by Haifa Carina

We all have habits – some good, some bad. Some we’re aware of, some we don’t realize we have. If you’re the kind of person who reads various literature becoming a better version of yourself, habits is a topic you’ve bumped into a gazillion times and for a good reason. 

Last night I finally finished the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Knowing that habits are critical for self improvement, you find ways to stick to good habits and let go of bad ones. How do you go about this? James Clear shared about the 4 Laws of Behaviors Change.

  1. Make it obvious
  2. Make it attractive
  3. Make it easy
  4. Make it satisfying

A personal example is me wanting to do full pull ups! I’ve been wall climbing for a while and yet I can only complete 1 pull up. Following the laws, here’s what I did:

  1. Obvious. I bought a pull-up bar and placed it at my bedroom door where I pass by every morning as I get out of bed, every time I get something from the room and every night as I go to sleep. Every day, I try to do one full pull up. First few weeks I can only do 1 then 2. It was a veeery sloooow progression..
  2. Attractive. Taking a bath feels good because it made me feel fresh. I take a bath each night but I chose to do that only after I finish my pull up routine. 
  3. Easy. While full pull ups are difficult for me, assisted pull ups with an exercise band are manageable. So I decided to do 8 assisted pull ups of 3 sets each night. At a minimum, I just need to complete 8 each day.
  4. Satisfying. It’s hard to stick to habits so I took note of the times I’m successful in my pull ups using an app called Productive. Having the visuals of having pull up streaks feels really good!

Few weeks later, I have progressed to 5 full pull ups! Yay to improvement! 

Note though that I formed the pull ups habit 2 months before I read the book. I’ve also thought about how the laws applied in my journey to cutting social media, diet and at work. It’s amazing how universal these laws are!

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