How Small Habits Lead to Powerful Changes

Atomic Habits

Don’t Be Tempted to Start Too Big

In the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, he discusses how even though we know we should always start small, it is always tempting to start too big. Once we dream about making a change, excitement inevitably takes up and you finish up trying to do an excessive amount of tasks. The foremost effective way to counteract this behavior is to use the two-minute rule, which states, “When you begin a replacement habit, it should take only two minutes to try it out.”

You’ll find that any habit can often be scaled down into a two-minute version:

*Read before bed each night becomes “Read one page”

*Do thirty minutes of yoga a day becomes “Take out my yoga mat”

Even 1% matters

In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, the thought is to form your habits as easily as possible to start. Anyone can meditate for one minute, read one page, or put one item of clothing away. Doing something prompts you to try something else, replacing a vicious circle with a virtuous one. Once you follow the two-minute rule, you'll find yourself performing the entire activity anyway. Improving by 1% isn’t particularly notable— sometimes, it isn’t even noticeable but it is often much more meaningful, especially at the end of the day. The difference a small improvement can make over time is simply amazing. Here’s how the math works out: If you'll get 1 percent better every day for one year, you'll find yourself 367 times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse every day for one year, you’ll decline nearly right down to 0. What starts as a little win or minor setback accumulates into something far more. (Excerpt from the book, “Atomic habits'')

With an equivalent habit, you’ll find yourself with equivalent results. But with better habits, anything is often possible. Many of us rehearse life during a cognitive slumber, blindly following the norms attached to our identity.

People think it's weird to be hyped about reading only one page or meditating for one minute. But the purpose isn't to try to do one thing, the purpose is to master the habit of exposure. The habit must be established before it is often improved.

Your Habits Define You

You have the facility to vary your beliefs about yourself. Your identity isn't set in stone. You've got a choice at every moment. You'll choose the identity you would like to strengthen today with the habits you select today. Building better habits is surely not about cluttering your day with life hacks. It isn't about flossing one tooth each night or taking a chilly shower each morning or wearing an equivalent outfit every day. As per Atomic Habits, it’s not about achieving external measures of success like earning extra money, losing weight, or reducing stress.

Habits can assist you to achieve all of those things, but fundamentally they're not about having something.  They're about becoming someone. Ultimately your habits matter because they assist you to become the sort of person you would like to be. They're the medium through which you develop your deepest credence about yourself.

The book, Atomic Habits emphasized that quite literally, you become your habits. So remember that one pushup is better than no exercise in the least. One minute of guitar practice is better than none in the least. One minute of book reading is better than never learning a book.

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