Atomic Habits of James Clear is one of the highly suggested self-improvement books that talk about how small habits can attribute a significant change in the long run. As you start reading this book, for sure, you will not allow a day to slip by without reading a chapter of it.

Improving one’s productivity has been a concern for most. Yet, there are a lot of resources suggest on how to improve productivity but a few only discuss the bottom-line of the factors that significantly affect it.

Moreover, James Clear discussed essential things about how good habits can be established and how to eliminate bad ones. In this article, five lessons from Atomic Habits will be discussed.

1.Focus on the system, not on the outcomes

According to James Clear, if you failed to change your habits, the problem is not you but the system you have implied. There are unrealized problems when you set on goals rather than the process:

  1. Winners and losers have the same goals
  2. Reaching a goal is only a momentary change
  3. The goal restricts your level of happiness
  4. The goal is at odds with long-term progress

Keep in mind that goals prime your mind for you to determine your directions and be motivated but it is your system that will dictate your progress.

2. Environment shapes one’s behavior

In the book, the author emphasized how your minds were being influenced in supermarkets and malls. Little do you know that you buy things not of what they are but where they are placed. This the explanation behind why people became impulsive buyers when there are sale items.

The best way to build your habits is to make it obvious. To effectively do it, you can associate a habit to one place.

If you want to form and keep your habits effectively, you also need an environment that is favorable for you to achieve your goals.

3. Adopt the 2-minute rule to establish difficult to do habits

The 2-minute rule is a great kick start in doing difficult habits. If you are having a difficult time establishing a reading habit, read for two minutes. Funny isn’t it? But what the author is trying to convey here is how the two-minute rule can conquer the difficulty of showing up. Once you started showing up, you will more likely to be motivated to continue it.

4. Standardize before you optimize

This is still connected with the 3rd takeaway. You could not improve your habits when these do not exist. The point of starting a habit is casting for the person you want to be. As you establish the habit of writing, you can be a writer.

With this takeaway, Clear reminded the readers that you can’t master things when you can’t learn the basics.

5. Success is a system to improve, an endless process to refine

As mentioned earlier, if you failed in executing good habits, the problem is not you but the system for change.

“Habits are backbone of any pursuit of excellence,” Clear stated in the book. However, habits obtain a downside. When you get used of doing your new habits, you can do these without thinking about it. As a result, your outcome is being compromised. To avoid it, you need to deliberate practice as well. Through reflection and review, you will remain conscious of what you are doing. You can examine if you are having progress or not.

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