Atomic Habits

An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

A habit is a behaviour repeated enough times to be performed more or less automatically. According to James Clear, there are four stages of habit formation:

Noticing: To achieve a habit, we believe that we must gain motivation and develop willpower. We usually lack clarity, not motivation. We should remove the decision-making process by explicitly stating: When, Where, and How the habit should be implemented.

Wanting: One of the most overlooked drivers of habits and human behaviour is our physical environment. Our desires are influenced by our environment. Often, we want things because they are an option, they are available to us. The good news is that you can become an architect of your environment rather than a victim of it. By designing your environment, you can make good behaviour easier and bad behaviour harder.

Doing: Optimize for the starting line rather than the finish line. Make it as easy as possible to get started and get your reps in. As a result, the outcomes will naturally follow.

Liking: In order to repeat a behaviour, we have to enjoy it. We’re unlikely to stick with something if we don’t enjoy the experience. As rewards are often delayed, we need to figure out how to bring them into the present moment. As Seth Godin says:

The best way to change long-term behavior is with short-term feedback.

If you’re interested in understanding the science behind habit building and implementing those baby steps to build or break a habit, I highly recommend this book.

Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.

Leyla Nunez
Leyla Nunez
Senior Biostatistician