Now that I’m getting out of the hardest part of parenting with our second kid I’ve started re-reading Atomic Habits in an effort to regain some of the loss ground and get started kicking some ass. This article is going to be a summary and synthesis of the most important points of this and other books about habits.
- Habits are the compound interest of self improvement
- Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results over a long time span. Ice doesn’t melt when you increase temperature one degree from -10°C to -9°C, or one degree more, or another one, but all this effort compounds so that when you get 1°C all change happens at once. Likewise with small habits all your effort isn’t wasted. Small actions done consistently over time will produce remarkable results.
- Start with your identity
- Every habit can be broken down into four steps
- Cue: what triggers the habit (a place, an object, etc)
- Craving: what you want to do (go for a run, eat a cookie, etc)
- Action: actual doing what you want to do
- Reward: a rewarding feeling after doing the action
- If you want to build a habit you need to pay attention to all these 4 steps following the 4 laws of behavior change:
- Cue: Make it obvious
- Craving: Make it attractive
- Action: Make it easy
- Reward: Make it satisfying
- Likewise to break a undesired habit you can reverse the 4 laws of behavior change:
- Cue: Make it invisible
- Craving: Make it unattractive
- Action: Make it hard
- Reward: Make it unsatisfying
Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.