Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits

The team tested various fabrics in a wind tunnel and had their outdoor riders switch to indoor racing suits, which proved to be lighter and more aerodynamic. But they didn’t stop there. Brailsford and his team continued to find 1 percent improvements in overlooked and unexpected areas. They tested different types of massage gels to see which one led to the fastest muscle recovery. They hired a surgeon to teach each rider the best way to wash their hands to reduce the chances of catching a cold. They determined the type of pillow and mattress that led to the best night’s sleep for each rider. They even painted the inside of the team truck white, which helped them spot little bits of dust that would normally slip by unnoticed but could (Location 226)

degrade the performance of the finely tuned bikes. (Location 231)

As these and hundreds of other small improvements accumulated, the results came faster than anyone could have imagined. (Location 232)

It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. (Location 247)

Making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over the span of moments that make up a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be. (Location 277)

Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat. (Location 286)

You think, “I’ve been running every day for a month, so why can’t I see any change in my body?” Once this kind of thinking takes over, it’s easy to let good habits fall by the wayside. But in order to make a meaningful difference, habits need to persist long enough to break through this plateau—what I call the Plateau of Latent Potential. (Location 329)

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.19 Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, (Location 341)

If you’re a musician, your goal might be to play a new piece. Your system is how often you practice, how you break down and tackle difficult measures, and your method for receiving feedback from your instructor. (Location 372)

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still succeed? (Location 375)

Habits like exercise, meditation, journaling, and cooking are reasonable for a day or two and then become a hassle. However, once your habits are established, they seem to stick around forever—especially the unwanted ones. (Location 445)

Imagine two people resisting a cigarette. When offered a smoke, the first person says, “No thanks. I’m trying to quit.” It sounds like a reasonable response, but this person still believes they are a smoker who is trying to be something else. They are hoping their behavior will change while carrying around the same beliefs. The second person declines by saying, “No thanks. I’m not a smoker.” It’s a small difference, but this statement signals a shift in identity. Smoking was part of their former life, not their current one. They no longer identify as someone who smokes. (Location 470)

Behind every system of actions are a system of beliefs. (Location 478)

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this. (Location 497)

Research has shown that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief. (Location 512)

Many people walk through life in a cognitive slumber, blindly following the norms attached to their identity. ■ “I’m terrible with directions.” ■ “I’m not a morning person.” ■ “I’m bad at remembering people’s names.” ■ “I’m always late.” ■ “I’m not good with technology.” ■ “I’m horrible at math.” … (Location 520)

When you have repeated a story to yourself for years, it is easy to slide into these mental grooves and accept them as a fact. In time, you begin to resist certain actions because “that’s not who I am.” (Location 528)

There is internal pressure to maintain your self-image and behave in a way that is consistent with your beliefs.4 You find whatever way you can to avoid contradicting yourself. (Location 529)

The biggest barrier to positive change at any level—individual, team, society—is identity conflict. Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action. (Location 533)

This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity. (Location 537)

Progress requires unlearning. (Location 537)

Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. (Location 537)

When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity of an organized person. When you write each day, you embody the identity of a creative person. When you train each day, you embody the identity of an athletic person. (Location 545)

Each habit is like a suggestion: “Hey, maybe this is who I am.” (Location 564)

Every time you choose to perform a bad habit, it’s a vote for that identity. The good news is that you don’t need to be perfect. In any election, there are going to be votes for both sides. You don’t need a unanimous vote to win an election; you just need a majority. (Location 578)

Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. (Location 624)

A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic. (Location 649)

Your habits are just a series of automatic solutions that solve the problems and stresses you face regularly. (Location 662)

The 1st law (Cue) Make it obvious. The 2nd law (Craving) Make it attractive. The 3rd law (Response) Make it easy. The 4th law (Reward) Make it satisfying. (Location 762)

Inversion of the 1st law (Cue) Make it invisible. Inversion of the 2nd law (Craving) Make it unattractive. Inversion of the 3rd law (Response) Make it difficult. Inversion of the 4th law (Reward) Make it unsatisfying. (Location 768)

We underestimate how much our brains and bodies can do without thinking. You do not tell your hair to grow, your heart to pump, your lungs to breathe, or your stomach to digest. And yet your body handles all this and more on autopilot. You are much more than your conscious self. (Location 820)

As the train pulls into and out of each station, the operator will point at the speedometer and call out the exact speed. When it’s time to leave, the operator will point at the timetable and state the time. (Location 851)

This process, known as Pointing-and-Calling, is a safety system designed to reduce mistakes. (Location 855)

Because the train operators must use their eyes, hands, mouth, and ears, they are more likely to notice problems before something goes wrong. (Location 860)

people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. (Location 957)

We tell ourselves, “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to write more,” but we never say when and where these habits are going to happen. (Location 959)

The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]. (Location 967)

Meditation. I will meditate for one minute at 7 a.m. in my kitchen. (Location 969)

Studying. I will study Spanish for twenty minutes at 6 p.m. in my bedroom. ■ Exercise. I will exercise for one hour at 5 p.m. in my local gym. ■ Marriage. I will make my partner a cup of tea at 8 a.m. in the kitchen. (Location 970)

The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption that leads to additional purchases.14 (Location 1001)

When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behavior to your advantage. (Location 1009)

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking. (Location 1010)

The habit stacking formula is: “After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].” (Location 1015)

Meditation. After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute. ■ Exercise. After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes. (Location 1017)

Marriage. After I get into bed at night, I will give my partner a kiss. ■ Safety. After I put on my running shoes, I will text a friend or family member where I am running and how long it will take. (Location 1021)

Your morning routine habit stack might look like this: After I pour my morning cup of coffee, I will meditate for sixty seconds. After I meditate for sixty seconds, I will write my to-do list for the day. After I write my to-do list for the day, I will immediately begin my first task. (Location 1031)

You can expand your habit stack and try something like: Wake up > Make my bed > Place a book on my pillow > Take a shower. Now, when you climb into bed each night, a book will be sitting there waiting for you to enjoy. (Location 1039)

Finances. When I want to buy something over $100, I will wait twenty-four hours before purchasing. (Location 1046)

Healthy eating. When I serve myself a meal, I will always put veggies on my plate first. ■ Minimalism. When I buy a new item, I will give something away. (“One in, one out.”16) (Location 1048)

Mood. When the phone rings, I will take one deep breath and smile before answering. ■ Forgetfulness. When I leave a public place, I will check the table and chairs to make sure I don’t leave anything behind. (Location 1051)

The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]. (Location 1098)

Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. Despite our unique personalities, certain behaviors tend to arise again and again under certain environmental conditions. In church, people tend to talk in whispers. On a dark street, people act wary and guarded. In this way, the most common form of change is not internal, but external: we are changed by the world around us. Every habit is context dependent. (Location 1123)

If you’re spending too much money on electronics, quit reading reviews of the latest tech gear. (Location 1312)

If you’re playing too many video games, unplug the console and put it in a closet after each use. (Location 1313)