How to build strong habits – the James Clear way
The book Atomic Habits has risen through the charts to become one of the most effective, relatable, and easy-to-grasp guides to habit-building. The author, James Clear, guides one through the psychology of habits, adding lucid examples that we see around us all the time. The book talks about how difficult breaking a bad habit or building a good one may seem, but once you start working towards habit-building using the techniques mentioned in the book, it’s a piece of cake (or a slice of bread, if you’re cutting down on your cake intake :D)
This blog guides you through the process of building powerful, long-lasting habits that help pave the way to personal development, the James Clear way! To check out the book Atomic Habits, click here!
How to build solid habits
Start small. Very small.
We’ve all tried to build habits that we simply couldn’t keep up with, solely because we set huge, huge goals right from the beginning. Let us give you an example. Mark wishes to cut down on his coffee intake because the amount of coffee he drinks each day slowly affects his productivity, sleep, and physical abilities. He decides to give up on drinking coffee from the very next day. Can you predict what will happen? No points for guessing that he won’t be able to do it. Instead of violently cutting down on his caffeine intake from Day 1, he can try to reduce his intake by half a cup at the start. Once he no longer feels the itch to refill his cup by that measure, he can work on reducing another half.
This way, his body, and mind won’t be shocked into caffeine deprivation, and he’ll slowly reduce his caffeine intake to a healthy number. This formula is the key to initial success, whether it is sleeping in till noon or not working out at all. Start small.
2. The 1% increase
Simply starting small won’t help you build strong habits in the long run. Once you have a schedule in front of you with your short-term goals and vision written down, start increasing your habit by 1% every day. Sure, 1% sounds very close to 0, so why not skip this step? The trick here is to gauge where you’ll be if you do increase by 1% each day. We won’t launch into a math lesson here, but a simple 1% increase gives phenomenal results in the long run. Start small, and then continue increasing your habits by 1% each day.
3. Chunk it up
You’ve started small, you’re increasing your habit by 1% each day. Now what? This increase can lead to wonderful results, but taking a strong habit head-on can be a bit tiring at times. So how do you make sure that you don’t burn out trying to build a solid, long-lasting habit? The answer is chunking. Chunking is a very effective hack for various problems. Can’t fit something in a box? Dismantle it and fit it in 3. Can’t remember a phone number? Break it up into chunks and you’ll never forget it. In the same way, break your habit into small chunks. This chunking will help you focus on your habit more and get rid of all that extra stress!
4. Get back on track, fast
We aren’t superhumans, so slipping up once in a while is okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day or one step in a week, leading to habit building! Instead, take a breather, and get back on track without wasting any time. The more time you take to get back on track, the longer it will take to build a habit. If you fall, get up and get moving. Fast.
Building habits isn’t an overnight process and everyone takes their own time to build long-lasting ones. With these steps and the determination to succeed, you’re well on your way to sticking to awesome habits!