We try to achieve different goals pressuring ourselves to make earth-shattering improvements that everyone will talk about. We tend to assume that massive success requires massive action. But did you know that adding a tiny improvement to your daily life every single day helps you achieve these massive goals? According to the popular book ‘Atomic habits’ written by James Clear, an atomic habit is a little habit that is a part of a larger system that ultimately leads you to remarkable results. Let’s talk about how becoming one percent better each day can make you thirty-seven times better by the time you are done.
Most of us have savings accounts in the bank where we save our money and return interest depending on the amount that we deposited. Similarly, habits that we follow daily are the compound interest for self-improvement. Habits will multiply just like how money multiplies with compound interest. The differences might seem to be little at first but with time when years pass the outcomes of the good and bad habits you build will be clearly visible.
So let’s discuss the 10 tips on becoming 1% better every day using the power of atomic habits.
#1 Stick with the good habits until you make a difference 💪
You might eat some healthy food today and go to the gym for a week but still couldn’t get the body you desire. You might have followed a course or two on a new language you wanted to learn but still couldn’t improve. When these small changes don’t seem to give results quickly, we tend to give up and fall back into the same old routine again. Unknowingly this might lead us to continue our bad habits and repeating these habits one percent every single day by justifying our choices eventually leads to a massive problem.
The below image depicts ‘The plateau of latent potential’. You might work hard every single day but don’t seem to get results because you think the progress is linear. But in reality, It takes months or years until the full value of previous efforts is revealed. This can result in a “valley of disappointment” where you feel discouraged without experiencing any results.
#2 Forget about goals, focus on a system of atomic habits 💡
You might face problems when you only focus on goals rather than designing a system to achieve them which leads you towards that goal. Firstly, you and your competitor might have the same goal. But only one person wins. Secondly, setting a goal means you only work for it once, which means it changes your life for a moment. This only help to solve your problems temporarily. Thirdly, goals tend to have only 2 outputs, either you successfully achieved them making you happy, or failed them which leads you to disappointment. Therefore if you actually want to achieve better results, focus on a system of atomic habits.
#3 Change your behavior to build identity-based habits 🤔
Start building habits focusing on who you wish to become rather than focusing on what you want to achieve. Ask yourself, ‘who do I wish to become?”. Becoming the best version of yourself may require you to continuously change your beliefs and expand your identity. Habits help you to get better results but what actually matters is that habits can change your beliefs about yourself.
#4 Create your habits scorecard 📖
It is very challenging to change our habits all at once. To change we need to maintain awareness of what we are actually doing. To do this you can simply create a list of daily habits to become more aware of your behavior. Once you make the full list, go through each habit and ask yourself ‘Is this a good habit or a bad one’. Even bad habits might sometimes lead to good results. Therefore, the actual question to ask is ‘does this habit help me become the person I wish to be?’. This is to simply notice what is actually going on, but not to praise or blame your current habits.
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#5 Stack your habits 🧱
Rather than saying ‘I want to finish reading the book soon’ transform your intention to something like ‘I will finish reading the book at night before going to bed’. This method is called implementation intentions. You are more likely to follow your good habits when you have a specific plan on where and when you will perform the habit. Habit stacking is a special form of implementation intention where you pair your new habits with the existing habits. As an example, ‘After I brush my teeth, I will finish reading the book’.
#6 Design your environment 🏠
We tend to assign our habits to the locations in which they occur. Each location is connected to certain habits. Alter the spaces where you live and work to increase your exposure to good cues.
#7 Make your habits irresistible 🤯
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our body responsible for allowing us to feel pleasure and motivation. When your brain identifies that a certain habit is rewarding, your level of dopamine spike increases. This can also happen when you anticipate a reward. What motivates you is expecting a rewarding experience therefore don’t forget to make your habits attractive. Temptation bundling is a strategy where you pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
#8 Take actions ⌛
You might watch a few tutorials on how to cook. That is motion. This means you are planning, strategizing, and learning. To actually get a result or outcome you need to start acting on it. That means you need to actually cook and see. This is an action, which delivers an outcome. Therefore, always focus on action, not being in motion.
#9 Follow the two-minute rule 🤔
When starting a new habit, make it less than two minutes to do. Rather than saying ‘I will finish reading the book today’ say ‘I will read the first page of the book’. This makes it easier to start the habit and optimize it with time.
#10 Make your habits satisfying 👏
The immediate outcomes of bad habits often feel good, which is why we continue doing them. But following good habits might seem a bit harder because you won’t experience instant outcomes. Continuously keeping track of your progress and your habits will motivate you to stick with them.
The person you are right now is not what matters but what really matters is whether the habits that you follow daily lead you towards the path of success. ✨
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