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Change your habits in 4 simple steps : Atomic Habits

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Habits are a double-edged sword. They can work for you or against you, which is why understanding the details about the layers to behavioural change is essential.

how to change your habits. Atomic habits

In this article:

First, what are habits, and what distinguishes them as "atomic"?

In a nutshell, habits are simple choices and acts that you do regularly without giving them any thought or consideration.

Researchers found that about 45 percent of the activities people did, were performed nearly each day under almost the same circumstances. You make use of your autopilot for almost half of your waking time!

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

"Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat."

As a result of their compounding nature, habits can be "atomic," which means that the advantages of good habits (and the downside of bad habits) begin with a modest impact but rise exponentially over time.

What is an atomic habit. Graph

How can we change our habits?

Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: (1) we try to change the wrong thing and (2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way.

Let’s consider the 3 layers of behavioural change:

  1. Change in your outcomes

  2. Change in your process

  3. Change in your identity

Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.

Before we get into a few tips for creating new habits for yourself, we must remember that in order to build better habits is to ask ourselves, “who do I want to become?” – and not, “what do I want to achieve?”

At the end of the day, the real reason why habits mater is not because they can get you better results (although they do), but it is because they change your beliefs about yourself.

The 4 steps to creating better habits:

Make it clear

It is essential to make the signal exceedingly evident while establishing a new habit. The two most typical indications are the time and the place of the event. In other words, schedule a time and place for your new habit to begin. I'll go for a run around the park at 6:00 am on Saturday and 6:00 on Sunday.

Designing your surroundings to be full of hints is another effective method of making your point clear. For example, you may set your running shoes just outside your bedroom door so that you don't forget about them when you wake up.

Make it attractive

In a strange turn of events, scientists have found that individuals often experience a surge of dopamine when they have a strong desire for something (not just when they receive the reward). And the higher the dopamine rush, the more probable it is that we will take action.

Another way to phrase it, the greater the want, the more probable it is that we will act on our desire. Creating an amazing incentive is strongly related to getting started; thus, if you want to get started, design an outstanding reward.

When you get your cue from step one, you will experience a rush of dopamine as a result of the anticipation of receiving your reward. It will be simpler to go for a run after getting a dopamine rush.

Make things as simple as possible

There's nothing complicated about this one: don't make your new habit so tough that it becomes more difficult than it is worth it in the end. One of the most effective methods to do this is to concentrate on initiating the activity.

For example, try to make it a habit to go for a five-minute run every day for a few weeks (instead of 30 minutes). Consistency, not intensity, is the key to achieving results.

Make it a rewarding experience

The finest part is finally here - the payoff. It is hardwired into the human brain that instant reward is more important than delayed gratification. For example, you make a one-time transfer of money into a vacation fund every time you accomplish your new habit. Not only will this bring some immediate enjoyment, but it will also serve as a beneficial habit in the future.

Making a mark on a behaviors scorecard is another rewarding way to recognize your achievements. The simple act of ticking a box may provide a great deal of inspiration and encouragement.


Personal development is aided by the development of positive habits. You should remember that "habits are the evidence" that you are the person you want to be.

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