It starts with the micro-decisions. Make your bed first thing in the morning or don’t. Read or don’t. Exercise or don’t. Spend time with family and friends or don’t. Each decision has an impact on …
James Clear was being interviewed recently about his book, Atomic Habits and said, “Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.”
BAM! Truth bomb.
I have been wanting to write a book for the last 18 months. I’ve sketched out the format and tinkered with the working title…“planning” and have not written a single word of content for the book. My goal isn’t to be an author. It’s to write a book about something important to me. The person I wish to become is a writer. You have to actually “write” to become a writer. Duh!
Clear tells us there are four laws to creating a good habit:
- Make it obvious
- Make it attractive
- Make it easy
- Make is satisfying
Layering in some of Clear’s additional advice—if I want to become a writer, I need to make it easy to write by setting up my writing environment and then commit to doing my newly developing habit of writing for only two minutes per day to start. I already journal longer than that each day so adding two minutes of dedicated content writing time should be easy to master. My journaling is tied to something I love—first cup of coffee in the morning—and that makes it attractive. And to make it satisfying I’ll track it on my calendar so I can see the tick marks for each day that I write and will want to avoid breaking my streak.
Suddenly writing a book is feeling less like running an ultramarathon in a day and more like couch to 5k training. It’s manageable and easy for my brain to just focus on today and writing for two minutes. I am becoming a writer.
This same habit building strategy can be used for learning to meditate, starting a new exercise program, becoming well read or starting any new positive habit. What new habit are you going to incorporate into your life? Let me know in the comments section.