For those of you who don’t really know me, I am addicted… I am addicted to self-help books. Each time a new book arrives, my daughter who knows my seeming love of half-highlighted books, reminds me that I haven’t completed the last one. So I recently joined the 21st century and found a different way to ‘self-help’ via podcasts. One of several that I’ve listened to over the past month was Rich Roll’s Podcast with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. The podcast aired several years ago but is no less relevant (I would argue the busier life becomes, the more relevant their conversation).
Something Rich summarized from their dialogue: “Every great achievement is about small habits ultimately.” James added, “It’s often the people at the peak of any particular area that have the best habits, that have like the most things automated and dialed in.” 31:20
4 laws to behavior change:
Make it obvious (that’s about the cue)
Make it attractive (that’s about the craving)
Make it easy (this is the response)
Make it satisfying (which is the reward)
You can invert these to break a bad habit: make it invisible, unattractive, difficult, satisfying.
Referenced application: FLOSSING :-) James said that for most of his life he would brush twice a day but wouldn’t floss consistently. When he analyzed the problems he realized the floss was tucked in the drawer (it wasn’t obvious) and he didn’t like the feeling of the floss wrapped around his fingers (it wasn’t attractive). So he bought a little bowl and filled it with pre-made floss picks. 5 years later… he’s still flossing daily.