Atomic Habits

Okay so apparently this doesn't recognize single line breaks as meaningful

The Book in 3 Sentences

To start a new habit, start as easy as possible to create a foundation to build off of.

Your habits matter because who you become and what accomplish will be a result of the collective exponential impact of what you do every day.

Changing your environment and identity to make your habits easier is more effective than trying to summon willpower and motivation.

My Top 3 Quotes:

"Every action is a vote for the type of person you want to become"

"Variable rewards or not, no habit will stay interesting forever. At some point, everyone faces the same challenge on the journey of self-improvement: you have to fall in love with boredom. We all have goals that we would like to achieve and dreams that we would like to fulfill, but it doesn’t matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when it’s convenient or exciting, then you’ll never be consistent enough to achieve remarkable results. "

"Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine. "

Who Should Read it?

  • If you've ever thought, hmm I like the idea of reading a self-help book but thinking about the kind of person who would write one makes me want to throw up.

How the Book Changed me

  • Realizing that everything I want to accomplish in life basically has to be turned into a habit
  • Better appreciation for long-term exponential growth related to myself instead of just money
  • Feel like I really don't need to read any more self improvement books because this really sums it up pretty well. I've always wondered how so many people could have so many different "secrets" to well-being/success/whatever, but I think habits is the core underlying principle of whatever that "secret" is going to be.

Impressions:

So good, just so much better and more useful than most self-help books.

The right amount of switching between narrative, science, common sense and deep thoughts.

Key Ideas

Systems are better than goals

Identity change is necessary for long-term behavior change

How to start a new habit

How to break a bad habit

Notes

The fundamentals

"habits are the compound interest of self improvement"- 1% better each day is 37 times better in a year. If you want to get better it comes down to what you do every day. Learning Being kind Productivity All compound

"Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits" Being a person with a clean room is a better way to have one than always cleaning it. If something is constantly in a condition you don't want it to be in, you probably have a habit contributing to that.

"Time magnifies the margin between success and failure" Thinking poker. You can get lucky a few times, you won't get lucky every day. Most of the returns in life come from compound interest, so over time the consistent efforts will overcome the good or bad luck.

"Small changes appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold... you need to be patient" The breakthrough moments only come from consistent effort. Even though the results may seem inconsistent The Dip. "Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it -- but all that had gone before."

Systems instead of goals Systems are better than goals This is definitely something I am focused on that works pretty well for me Always connects to the Naval's idea that you should do everything for it's own sake This is a possible goal with systems but not really for goals "Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results" "winners and losers have the same goals" "Achieving a goal is only a momentary change" "Goals restrict your happiness" "The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It's not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimate, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress" "You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems" System for improving my writing and reaching FI? posting an article once every week, tweeting every evergreen note, working on my website every day. there ya go Skateboarding I've gotten way more out of practicing each trick 10 times and more fun than I'm going to learn to kickflip

Identity change precedes behavior change. Identity change is necessary for long-term behavior change I see, it's not that I want to be financial independent. It's I am the kind of person who does what he wants to do, not being financial independent doesn't allow me to do that. I am the kind of person who values personal freedom. I am not going towards an outcomes, I am trying to live my life as I want to. I do what I want to do. I only eat meat from restaurants, or when it's given to me, I don't make meat meals for myself or eat it when it's not given.

  • "The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It's one thing to say I'm the type of person who wants this. It's something very different to say I'm the type of person who is this." "Once your pride gets involved, you'll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits" If I really want to get this blog going or something else, I should just bet a friend 100 dollars that I can do it My goal is not to get money, it's to be financially independent. It's to do whatever I want. My goal is not to write, but to be a writer, a clear thinker. "1. decide the type of person you want to be 2. prove it to yourself with small wins" "Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite literally, you become your habits" "Every action is a vote for the type of person you want to become"

How habits work Cue, craving, response, reward | --problem-| |---solution---|

How to create a good habit

How to start a new habit Make it obvious When our habits are automatic we don't pay attention to what we do Technique -- Habits scorecard List all your throughout the day habits and whether they are positive or negative or neutral awareness must precede change Technique -- Implementation intention I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION] After I [Current Habit] I will [new Habit] "The two most common cues are time and location" Changing environment to have better + clearer cues is often more effective than changing yourself Gradually, the entire environment becomes the cue (easier to create new habits in a new environment) Make it attractive Temptation bundling After I [Habit I Need] i will [Habit I want] Anticipation of a goal inspires action Habits are formed on dopamine feedback loops Taking advantage of social norms (those around you, what's mainstream, what's related to status) Desire to conform is a huge asset if you surround yourself with the right community Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit Make it Easy practice is better than planning, start getting your reps in If you have easy ready to use healthy food in your house, you will eat healthier We naturally gravitate towards the path of least resistance Reduce friction, environment where the right thing is the easy thing Scale the habit down to 2 min a day (the 2 minute rule) - the habit of showing up Then scale up with time You need to start a habit before you can improve it Huge value for one time actions that lock in good habits -> auto donations or savings (automating your habits) Playing games where the odds are in your favor Make it satisfying we are evolved to want instant gratification We learn to react to the immediate implications, but must be thoughtful about actions towards longer-term well-being. We won't learn these types of behavior automatically because we lack the necessary immediate feedback. "What is immediately rewarded is repeated. what is immediately punished is avoided" increases the chance you'll do it next time Habit tracking - because progress is satisfying can get too into the numbers instead of the actual purpose never miss two days in a row


How to break a bad habit How to break a bad habit Make it invisible Reduce exposure "It's easier to avoid temptation than to resist it" "Self-control is a short-term strategy" Make it unattractive What is the deeper underlying motive of my craving? Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habit "Your habits are modern day solutions to ancient desires" Make it difficult Increase friction commitment device to restrict future choices (site-blocker) Make it unsatisfying Habit Contract Takes advantage of our sensitivity to social costs, which I think is especially high and would work well for me Immediate pain/dissatisfaction Knowing someone else is watching

advanced

Growth comes from doing it when you're not motivated

You can win by playing and defining the right games

Motion vs. Action (really @ing me) The difference between getting things done, and preparing to get things done. A method of putting off the chance of failure into the future. You want to practice instead of plan - get your reps in

Playing games where the odds are your favor - "habits need to be enjoyable if they are going to stick" Also just increases your odds of success Creating your own game Being better by being different, uniquely positioned in a way that only you can do what you do

Explore/Exploit trade-off: 80-90/20-10

What comes naturally to me? For just a moment, ignore what you have been taught. Ignore what society has told you. Ignore what others expect of you. Look inside yourself and ask, “What feels natural to me? When have I felt alive? When have I felt like the real me?” No internal judgments or people-pleasing. No second-guessing or self-criticism. Just feelings of engagement and enjoyment. Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 225, loc. 2710-13

The Goldilocks Principle -- work just past your current abilities

Can you show up even when you aren't motivated to? bored? That's what will make the difference

As Machiavelli noted, “Men desire novelty to such an extent that those who are doing well wish for a change as much as those who are doing badly.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 234, loc. 2820-21

Now is the perfect time to start: "Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work toward it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life." Even though it never feels like it is

Related to !Everything is a Martial Art - When you know the simple movements so well that you can perform them without thinking, you are free to pay attention to more advanced details. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 239, loc. 2863-64 How you make progress in basically everything, even intellectually. Also - We can't have complex ideas Annual review what went well this year? What didn't go so well this year? What did I learn? Integrity Report What are the core values that drive my life and work? How am I living and working with integrity right now? How can I set a higher standard in the future? Habits + Deliberate practice = mastery need to master each lower step to focus on the next step until the becomes so easy and fluid that it's unconscious. "Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine. "

extras

Peace occurs when you don’t turn your observations into problems. The first step in any behavior is observation. You notice a cue, a bit of information, an event. If you do not desire to act on what you observe, then you are at peace. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 260, loc. 3077-78 Similar to Naval's idea. And I agree with it. same as Equanimity. I think the real point here is that in terms of well-being. This peace is what actually counts. Like a child immersed in their environment.

Virtue based action Cultivating virtues is practical for better consequences Being curious is better than being smart. Being motivated and curious counts for more than being smart because it leads to action. Being smart will never deliver results on its own because it doesn’t get you to act. It is desire, not intelligence, that prompts behavior. As Naval Ravikant says, “The trick to doing anything is first cultivating a desire for it.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 261, loc. 3085-87

Striving is the source of both suffering and progress balance of striving and non striving: craving and desire are great for empowering our action over friction "Your actions reveal your true motivations" and our actions are based on immediate effects. When I feel I am doing something I don't want to do, really I am just seeing myself overvalue the short term impact.

Seneca’s famous quote, “Being poor is not having too little, it is wanting more.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 263, loc. 3118-19

Satisfaction = Liking - Wanting


Resources

!Habits+Cheat+Sheet.pdf

!The+Habit+Loop.pdf

!Media-atomic-habits.pdf

All Quotes

Atomic Habits, James Clear

inversion of the 4th Law: Make it immediately unsatisfying. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 206, loc. 2487

The more immediate and more costly a mistake is, the faster you will learn from it. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 206, loc. 2489-90

In general, the more local, tangible, concrete, and immediate the consequence, the more likely it is to influence individual behavior. The more global, intangible, vague, and delayed the consequence, the less likely it is to influence individual behavior. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 207, loc. 2502-3

Habits are easier to perform, and more satisfying to stick with, when they align with your natural inclinations and abilities. Like Michael Phelps in the pool or Hicham El Guerrouj on the track, you want to play a game where the odds are in your favor. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 218, loc. 2618-20

Read whatever fascinates you. * You don’t have to build the habits everyone tells you to build. Choose the habit that best suits you, not the one that is most popular. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 222, loc. 2669-71

There is a version of every habit that can bring you joy and satisfaction. Find it. Habits need to be enjoyable if they are going to stick. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 222, loc. 2671-72

Learning to play a game where the odds are in your favor is critical for maintaining motivation and feeling successful. In theory, you can enjoy almost anything. In practice, you are more likely to enjoy the things that come easily to you. People who are talented in a particular area tend to be more competent at that task and are then praised for doing a good job. They stay energized because they are making progress where others have failed, and because they get rewarded with better pay and bigger opportunities, which not only makes them happier but also propels them to produce even higher-quality work. It’s a virtuous cycle. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 222, loc. 2675-79

In the long-run it is probably most effective to work on the strategy that seems to deliver the best results about 80 to 90 percent of the time and keep exploring with the remaining 10 to 20 percent. Google famously asks employees to spend 80 percent of the workweek on their official job and 20 percent on projects of their choice, which has led to the creation of blockbuster products like AdWords and Gmail. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 223, loc. 2691-94

What comes naturally to me? For just a moment, ignore what you have been taught. Ignore what society has told you. Ignore what others expect of you. Look inside yourself and ask, “What feels natural to me? When have I felt alive? When have I felt like the real me?” No internal judgments or people-pleasing. No second-guessing or self-criticism. Just feelings of engagement and enjoyment. Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 225, loc. 2710-13

When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. You can shortcut the need for a genetic advantage (or for years of practice) by rewriting the rules. A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that favors their strengths and avoids their weaknesses. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 225, loc. 2721-25

And yet Steve Martin faced this fear every week for eighteen years. In his words, “10 years spent learning, 4 years spent refining, and 4 years as a wild success.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 230, loc. 2771-73

one of the most consistent findings is that the way to maintain motivation and achieve peak levels of desire is to work on tasks of “just manageable difficulty.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 231, loc. 2775-77

But this coach was saying that really successful people feel the same lack of motivation as everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 234, loc. 2812-13

As Machiavelli noted, “Men desire novelty to such an extent that those who are doing well wish for a change as much as those who are doing badly.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 234, loc. 2820-21

Variable rewards or not, no habit will stay interesting forever. At some point, everyone faces the same challenge on the journey of self-improvement: you have to fall in love with boredom. We all have goals that we would like to achieve and dreams that we would like to fulfill, but it doesn’t matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when it’s convenient or exciting, then you’ll never be consistent enough to achieve remarkable results. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 235, loc. 2835-39

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work toward it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 236, loc. 2842-44

The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored. Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 237, loc. 2852-56

When you know the simple movements so well that you can perform them without thinking, you are free to pay attention to more advanced details. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 239, loc. 2863-64

Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 240, loc. 2876

“Sustaining an effort is the most important thing for any enterprise. The way to be successful is to learn how to do things right, then do them the same way every time.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 244, loc. 2925-26

What went well this year? What didn’t go so well this year? What did I learn? -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 246, loc. 2947-48

My yearly Integrity Report answers three questions: What are the core values that drive my life and work? How am I living and working with integrity right now? How can I set a higher standard in the future? -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 246, loc. 2952-55

“keep your identity small.” The more you let a single belief define you, the less capable you are of adapting when life challenges you. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 248, loc. 2975-76

Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 252, loc. 3022-23

You want to push your good habits toward the left side of the spectrum by making them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. Meanwhile, you want to cluster your bad habits toward the right side by making them invisible, unattractive, hard, and unsatisfying. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 253, loc. 3036-38

Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure (which is joy or satisfaction), but about the lack of desire. It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 260, loc. 3070-71

Peace occurs when you don’t turn your observations into problems. The first step in any behavior is observation. You notice a cue, a bit of information, an event. If you do not desire to act on what you observe, then you are at peace. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 260, loc. 3077-78

Great craving can power great action—even when friction is high. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 261, loc. 3084-85

Being curious is better than being smart. Being motivated and curious counts for more than being smart because it leads to action. Being smart will never deliver results on its own because it doesn’t get you to act. It is desire, not intelligence, that prompts behavior. As Naval Ravikant says, “The trick to doing anything is first cultivating a desire for it.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 261, loc. 3085-87

Emotions drive behavior. Every decision is an emotional decision at some level. Whatever your logical reasons are for taking action, you only feel compelled to act on them because of emotion. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 261, loc. 3087-89

Suffering drives progress. The source of all suffering is the desire for a change in state. This is also the source of all progress. The desire to change your state is what powers you to take action. It is wanting more that pushes humanity to seek improvements, develop new technologies, and reach for a higher level. With craving, we are dissatisfied but driven. Without craving, we are satisfied but lack ambition. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 262, loc. 3102-5

If you keep saying something is a priority but you never act on it, then you don’t really want it. It’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Your actions reveal your true motivations. -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 262, loc. 3105-7

Seneca’s famous quote, “Being poor is not having too little, it is wanting more.” -- James Clear, Atomic Habits, pg. 263, loc. 3118-19