Karim Soliman

atomic habits book

Atomic Habits

By: James Clear

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About The Book

An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
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Our Takeaways

What is a Habit?

A Habit is any action/behaviour that you do repeatedly even without think about it. It could happen daily/weekly or even any action you do when you feel a specific emotion (good/bad)…it

Your current situations (financially – emotionally – Your weight/health – Your level of expertise in a specific domain) are formed form your habits… and many people when they think about “”Changing their life“” they think about that this shift/change will happen suddenly. They tought about that day that they will take the decision once and everything will change, and most probably this will not going to happen..for most of us.

This HUGE SHIFTTING/CHANGE might happen if you face a huge SHOCK (like when you lose a beloved one), or when you entire ENVIROMENT changed (like traveling to a new country)..but even if this happened, there is no guarantee that this change will last..and most probably you will back to what you used to do..and this is the idea of this book.

If you could change a very small “atomic” habits, you could change your entire life.

You don’t rise to the level of your goals You fall to the level of your systems.
You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results

James Clear

Sometimes if you reached your goal “your prefect body weight/shape” or “Reading your new released book for favorite author”, you return back to be over-weight or reading this book might be the only book you read this year.
Instead, if you concentrate on building the habit, you keep your body/health in perfect mood for your entire life, and you can gain an infinite source of knowledge that make you an expert in your field… and that will this will be your lifestyle.

Habit Loop

Any habit are consist of 4 elements

CUE

The cue is the sign that you see/hear or go through it that trigger the emotion/feeling/behaviour that you do. The cue could happened consciously or subconsciously.

The notification sound could be a cue to check your mobile/social media sites.
And, sometimes, there might be many cue to do the same habit. For example you might want to smoke if you
Get bored, become angry/happy, or if after your meal, or if you saw someone smoke from far, or smell the cigarette smoke in a place if anyone was smoking from short period or even if you went to place where you used to smoke in this place in the past… any/all of those could be a cue for you to smoke.

Craving

After you feel/see/hear the cue, there is a desire that drive you to do a specific action/habit.

Response

Response is the routine/habit “the repeated action”. Checking the mobile/social media after you get bored is the response. The smoking is the response.

Rewarding

It’s the prize you take after doing the action/behaviour “the habit”.
Like get exciting after found something interesting on the social media (this could be funny clip or an important information related to your life/work or seeing a picture for someone you love/missing)

How to build good habit and get rid of the bad habit

You can follow those 4 steps to build a positive habit, and you can use the same method to get rid of the one that hold you back.

Make it Obvious

Usually you don’t need something to remind you of doing any habit you used to do, it just happened after the cue.
Waking up or arrived at work is a cue for many people to drink tea/coffee.

So, to gain a new habit you need to make the cue very obvious…we will mention 2 options here:
1- Habit Stacking: link the cue for the new habit to an old one.
Example: if you want to do some push-ups, and you used to drink coffee.. you can link them together, so while waiting the water to be boiled/the coffee machine to finish your coffee.. you can do some push-ups.
2-Change the Environment/surrounding elements to make your cue clear
You can add a plate of fruit/vegetables on the dinning table/in front of the tv/next to your door.. so you will never forget about it.

If you want to make something obvious, you can write it in this formula:
I will do (ACTION) at (TIME) in (LOCATION).

Ex: I will do EXCERSICE at 9 AM in My ROOM.
Or if the cue is trigger, you can replace time with action
I will MEDITATION FOR 5 MIN when I get NERVOUS at THE BALACONY

And if you want to lose a habit.. you can make the cue invisible.
Specify a habit you want to change it, specify what is the cue/s for this habit, and try to make those cue invisible or hard to see/reach as much as you can.
Example: if you want to limit the time you spent on social media, you can delete the app from your phone (I know that you can check them via the browser but it’s not the same experience and this might make it less enjoyable), or you can hide the app from the home screen, or turn off the notification, or even use a tool like (UnDistracted) “avilable for chrome” to hide the Facebook Stories/Watch feed/Marketplace – Hide Twitter Trends – YouTube recommendations and more.
Sometimes you can’t hide all the cues for a specific habit, but decreasing the exposing to the cue will limit it’s effect on you.

Make it Attractive

People usually prefer the bad habit and avoid the good habit for a reason.
Doing a bad habit usually linked with immediately good rewarding/joy and postponing the the harm results while the opposite happened with the good habit that linked to less rewarding/joy at the moment you do, but with many benefits that will came later.
Ex 1: eating junk food might make you feel happy immediately and you will not see how harm this kind of food doing to your health/body, while eating healthy food might not be very delicious at the moment, and you will see the benefits of being in a good shape or live longer life or enjoy the rest of life with less-illness later.
While doing some sport will make your feel tired “at the begging” as your body not used to do an effort, but once you will get used to do this regularly, you will gain a benefits from the hormones “ex:endorphins” that your body produce during exercise.

Although, you can use this idea to your advantage.
If you want to build a good habit
Try to link your new good habit with something you love and do it repeatedly.
You can do some exercises while listening to your favorite podcast or watching YouTube videos that people speaking at them and you don’t need to watch them.
And/or, you can join a group of people who doing a reading book regularly, so they will encourage you to read the book with them.

And if you want to make give up a bad habit, you can make it unattractive.
Ex: if you want to give up a smoke, you can write your feeling if your son/daughter refuse to kiss you due to your mouth smell, or your manager that don’t like you or don’t involve you in the important meeting due to this reason.
Try to list as much as you can from the situation/reasons that will make you/your family/company in a bad situation due to this bad habit, and list all the situations/reasons that you will get if you left this bad habit.

Make it Easy

You need to focus on keep doing the habit first, before looking for the impact/results.
If you read a book in a week, this will be a great start for many people, but keep reading a book weekly it almost impossible if you don’t read since your childhood. So, it’s better to stick to small amount of anything (maybe reading a page daily) and keep doing it and increase & improve it over time.

A habit must be established before it can be improved

James Clear

You can do some easy steps to make it easy for yourself:
1-Decrease Friction: putting a book on your bed “or beside your bed” will make it easy to read some pages before sleeping, instead walk few steps to get the book from the shelf/table.
2- The 2 minute rule: try to stick to a 2min of anything you want to build as a habit. Going to the gym might not take a 2min, but the issue is that many people don’t go to the gym at all, the problem is not going to gym and exercise for 1 or 2 hours, the problem is hold yourself up and reach the gym, so if you think about it that it take you 2min to going to the car and start moving to the gym, that might take 2 min, and you can stick to this.
2- Use the tools/technologies: you can use any avilable tool/technology to build a cue that motivated you to take action.
A notification to stand or drink water, or a sleeping mood on your phone that will prevent all the notifications after a specific time or reduce the mobile/desktop screen brightness that help your eye rest/prepare to sleep.

And you can make it hard to do any habit you want to leave.
1-Increase the friction: put your phone on a locker or outside your bed room might make it hard for you to check it before your sleep. Use an app or desktop extension to block the a specific sites/or even a word on social media sites might help you avoid bad mood which leads you to a bad habit.
Don’t save your credit card on your mobile/laptop, that might decrease the number of online orders you make.
2-Commit with another person: you can make a commitment with another person that you want do a specific habit, and every time you do this you pay/owe him or her something.

Make it Satisfying

As we mentioned that gaining the benefits of a good habit will come later, it will be better if you setup a rewarding system for yourself to train your brain that there are immediately benefit from doing this habit… even the a smallest thing will make a different.
You might bought something sweet for yourself, or going to a place your love after you doing the good habit.
It’s also important to list all the days/times you do the good things – you can use an app or paper – to write the every time you do the good habit…to prove to yourself that you can do it.

And to avoid the bad habit.
You can commit to yourself/someone to do something you hate/don’t like every time you do the bad.
Ex: You can write in group of people you love every time you follow a bad habit that you didn’t, that will cause a bad feeling that will make you think every time before doing the bad habit.