James Clear runs his enormously popular site (over half a million subscribers) jamesclear.com. He stumbled upon the fact that his writings around habits got great response and decided to keep exploring the ideas around formation of habits. The result is his book Atomic Habits that released to rave reviews late last year.
The book has been billed as a practical guide – but like all things personal, it needs commitment. James believes the repetition of incremental changes turns them into habits. Most of us undervalue the application of little changes to our lives and thus forgo the massive outcomes they are capable of delivering. A version of the compounding effect, so to say.
The 4 key ideas which he calls The Four Laws of behavior Change is what the book revolves around. They are :
Make it Obvious – For the brain to be able to initiate automatic action it needs clear, and if possible visual cues. Your environment must be set to deliver that cue.
Make it Attractive – Increase the attractiveness of a habit by coupling an activity “you want to do” with an activity “you need to do” – what he calls “temptation bundling.”
Make it Easy – To perform an action automatically it needs to be executed without thinking, One way to trick the brain into a new habit is to incorporate the desired activity into an already established routine. Do not stack the deck against you. If you decide to go running every morning do not plan to start at 4am.
Make it Satisfying – The brain craves that Dopamine release after a successful completion of a habitual task even if it is in small increments. Clear suggests that you choose a reward that cements the habits that fit your personality and identity. This is likely to make the activity enjoyable and provides long lasting changes and long term results.
James has spoken about the book since its release in many forums. One particular conversation I liked was with Courtland Allen host of the Indie Hackers podcast. It is in-depth and covers a lot of background that led to the book. And James was extremely open to sharing.
You should read the book if you are looking for making some changes in your daily life, but even before any of that, listen in to his chat in the link below.
Building the Habits Necessary to Succeed as a Founder with James Clear by Courtland Allen – Indie Hackers podcast https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/073-james-clear
More about James and his writings: https://jamesclear.com/