Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits by James Clear

40121378. sy475 I didn’t read every page of this book, but browsed through it enough to glean a lot of good information. Very organized and practical writing; it lays out all the information needed to make change in your life, and it doesn’t happen overnight. The two things I found most pertinent: your habits (good and bad) come about because of what you made into your identity and the key is not to set goals but to set systems in place to reach goals.

Using myself as an example: weight loss. I’ve been trying to undo 40 years of bad habits that led me to the weight I am now. At the ripe old age I am, this seemed at the start to be formidable. Why? Because after decades of bad eating habits, I’ve formed my identity: I like to eat bad things. Often. And although I keep setting goals, there’s always something that comes up that knocks me off track (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving & Christmas) What this book taught me is to change my identity. No, not by jumping into the nearest phone booth and turning into SUPER HEALTHY MAN (or woman, you get the idea) but by changing my way of thinking. And this leads me to the second point: don’t set goals, set systems. In other words, form the steps needed to get to the outcome I want. So, in order to ensure the best outcome (I want to be a healthier weight) I have to set in place new habits that will change me from my identity of RABID CARB CONSUMER to my desired new identity of HEALTHIER PERSON (but still consumer of carbs, but in a less rabid manner)

I’m just beginning to implement what I’ve learned (and also applying it in different ways. I’m starting to think of things as “Later Me”. Will Later Me appreciate that I washed and put away all the dishes tonight? Yes. Will Later Me be annoyed that I left my pajamas in an inside-out heap on the floor or will Later Me be happy when it’s bedtime that I took a second to fold them neatly? You get the idea. Stupidly small changes add up and change who you are.

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