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5 behavior change lessons I learned in reading Atomic Habits

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Five takeaways from reading Atomic Habits by a coach who was already preaching a small steps model to behavior change. ⁣

1. Changing your identity is key for achieving goals. You are not simply running a marathon, you are a runner. You are not someone who signs up for a comp, you are an athlete. You are not trying to fit in smaller jeans, you are the strong, lean person. If you adopt the identity of the person who you want to be, decision making around what you should do suddenly becomes obvious and easy. ⁣

2. Most people never adopt habits long enough to see meaningful change. The difference between you and the people that have what you want is that they didn’t stop performing their good habits even when they didn’t see tangible results. They persisted long enough to break through the plateau. ⁣

3. We imitate the habits of 3 groups in particular: the close, the many, and the powerful. The tribe sustains motivation because it transforms a personal quest into a shared one. An effective way to build better habits is to actively seek out and join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. ⁣

4. Commit to the process, not the outcome goal. Instead of saying, “I will lose 30 pounds by XX date”, try saying, “I will work out 4 times/week for XX months”, or, “I will stop mindlessly snacking while watching TV” or, “I will track my macros for the summer and see what happens with my weight.” You’re better off spending time designing an environment that encourages you to be successful than spending time dreaming up big goals. ⁣

5. Doing it imperfectly 100 times is always better than doing it perfectly 1 time. It’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work. You don’t get stronger by analyzing every movement or picking apart your technique. You perform more reps. If you want to be a better entrepreneur, you don’t scheme and perfect a business idea. You pursue more customers, more failures, more experiments.