How to start motivation? The best tips from the book Atomic Habits

Motivational and self-development literature, led by the legendary do it all I devoured David Allen ten years ago when I was looking for advice on just about anything. Then I became a mother, which brought with it a whole new aspect of the unpredictability of life, and suddenly all the advice started to sound a bit theoretical. She started giving me a lot more psychotherapy or practical tips: like someone finally marketed homemade broths in a glass.

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So I don’t even know why I finally bought an e-book and a worldwide bestseller at the same time. Atomic Habits: How to Create Good Habits and Get Rid of Bad Ones by James Clear (Jan Melvil Publishing, 2020). I saw it in a young girl with the flu and was fascinated that Gen Z was also looking for life instructions in personal development Bibles. I was also interested in the evolution of this genre during these few years. Hasn’t anyone come up with some super universal advice that could be applied to my life or my nature? an eternal beginner who can’t stand morning or evening rituals?

One Percent Rule

When the feeling has matured in me it’s time to level life again and that some motivation would help me, I started. The book is designed for a given genre in a classic way – the individual chapters always present the stories of known and unknown personalities who have invented something that has made their lives much easier. The author himself describes the story of his life and tells how he suffered such a shell during a baseball bat that he fell into a coma, almost lost his eye and then became the star of the university team only thanks to “A long line of small wins and small reversals”.

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His theory is based on the premise that even a small change will be seen if it accumulates with repetition. “The more detailed calculation looks like this: If you move one percent every day for a year, you’ll be thirty-seven times better at the end than at the beginning.” In short, he recommends it don’t take it too soon and prefer focus on vigorously repeating the habit than the quality of its design or its length. He thus challenged one of my deeply ingrained and toxic beliefs, which I struggled against as a perfectionist since childhood: that if I don’t do it right, it doesn’t make sense.

Do not accept zero

James Clear will teach you through his book look at your future good habits through the lens of bad onesthat one commits happily or without knowing it. “The ‘good habits’ and ‘bad habits’ stickers can be slightly misleading. There are no good or bad habits. They are just effective habits – habits that effectively solve your problems. They all serve you in a way, even the bad ones. That’s why you keep repeating them.”

This explains why after work you feel like pouring a glass of wine, driving an Instagram uncontrollably or scratching your skin for a pimple – in short, it effectively helps us to get out of stress at that time. And it reminds me of what a therapist once told me about smoking; that it’s really just a deep breath in and out, which is just soothing.

James Clear quotes the writer Denis Diderot, from whose name he is supposedly named Diderot effect. The fact is that by acquiring a thing, you start a spiral of need which leads to more and more expenses. You know – when you need shoes for new clothes. This is where the reasoning might stop, but Clear took advantage of this effect and came up with a theory accumulation of habits. Just as one desire evokes another, our daily habits can work. “One of the most effective ways to create a new habit is to choose an existing daily habit and link a new one.”

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It is therefore nothing more than to combine the pleasant with the useful. For example, I love getting up very early in the morning and having a coffee in a quiet apartment. But I also wanted to improve at least a little in Hungarian and French, so I downloaded an app on my phone that offers me about seven minutes of lessons a day. I got a callback at six o’clock in the evening, but it almost never went through. But when I combined a nice morning coffee and language lessons, I had almost no downtime.

To be offered when we are unavailable. The author is strict in this regard – one failure is good, two is too much. “Plans will never bother you with the first mistake, but with a subsequent spiral of repeated mistakes. Missing one is a coincidence. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.” And that brings me back to why I still can’t form habits: I want it all or nothing. But as James Clear points out: “Even bad exercises in the gym help maintain the success bar you had on the previous good days. Even if you only do ten squats, five sprints, one click or whatever exercise, it has a lot of weight. Do not accept zero.”

The myth of self-discipline

Also, do you always say, for example at the start of a new month, that you definitely will this time? Will you eat healthy, cook at home more often, exercise at least a little, and read books instead of Twitter? The book can do it too Atomic Habits eyes open. You cannot do anything by will or by will alone. “Self-control is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one. Once or twice you resist temptation, but each time you probably can’t. yet, whenever you want to behave well, you do better by optimizing your environment. The stimuli of your good habits should be visible and the stimuli of your bad habits invisible.”

In other words, if you want to cook or walk more, uninstall Wolt from your phone, if you want to read more, buy a great chair and put the books right next to it, if you want to cut candy, at least go to the pastry shop on foot. What if, like me, you want to exercise regularly in the morning, but you can’t catch up?

The Atomic Habits Book Atomic Habits by James Clear was a bestseller shortly after its publication in 2018, and even number one on the NY Times. It offers a constructive view of human habits and bad habits and several intertwined strategies to gradually get rid of the bad ones and build the good ones. It was published in 2020 by Jan Melvil Publishing. On the website https://www.melvil.cz/kniha-atomove-navyky/ you will find, in addition to the examples from the book, also practical aids for mapping your habits.

Stuff competition must come here to help. From shabby “Get ready for sportswear in the evening” by the advice to do something pleasant before a difficult habit (it occurs to me to light a scented candle) only after having invented a reward. This is how I came to the conclusion that it will probably be necessary to exercise before morning coffee. and finally You don’t have to think about the goals you want to achievebecause the goals simply fall away from what can be done now. Instead, James Clear suggests: “You always have to focus on who you want to be, on the results you want to achieve.” So, instead of imagining losing three pounds in a few weeks, I should already feel like a girl who likes to exercise.

I confess that I have not tried this strategy yet, even though I am writing this article on March 31st. But from April, I will definitely start from April!

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