This New Year build good habits & break bad ones

It’s that time of the year again… when we set resolutions and break them!

We all aim to make it happen but we know that it’s not so easy, after the first few days of excitement on working on our resolution we go back to the rut of indiscipline and disinterest. What we lack is focus or direction to get back into action. However, there is always a way to reset our goals and start afresh…but with some method to the madness. Make marginal changes, see small wins and acknowledge the progress. ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear is one such book that will give you clear steps and recommendations to work towards your goal and ensure that you see your commitment happen.

What does the book cover?

The book talks about four laws of behaviour change for good habits –make it obvious (Cue), make it attractive (Craving), make it easy (Response) and make it satisfying (Reward) and vice a versa for breaking bad habits –Make it invisible (Cue), Make it unattractive (Craving), Make it difficult (Response), Make it unsatisfying (Reward). The author offers you all the tools and strategies to build or break that habit. Like the author says “The process is continuous and there is no finish line”. You need to use the Four Laws of Behaviour Change whenever you want to work on something. But seek that ‘One percent’ change – Don’t Stop – Don’t Give Up.

Each law is detailed out well with lots of examples and solutions. The book offers lots of stories of top performers such as Olympic gold medallists, business leaders, comedians, artists, and physicians. Everyone’s story is different but with one common factor – that is – focusing on tiny sustainable improvements without giving up.

Three takeaways

  • The most effective form of learning is by practicing than planning. Focus on taking action – become One percent better each day. Small changes make all the difference. There is no option of giving up here.
  • Importance of Habit Trackers. It gives you clear proof of your progress. Which encourages you to do better. And if you miss, you can always get back on track. However, tracking is important but it’s not the end of the world. But it definitely makes your journey measurable hence satisfying.
  • Reflection and review are imperative for long-term improvement. Constant reviews give you a direction to course correct when you go wrong or do mistakes. We tend to give reasons, excuses for things not working out rather than finding an alternate solution to perform better.

What’s in it for me?

I read one page a day, made notes, and highlighted a few important pointers. The book is so well structured that it made me follow certain habits as I kept reading it. What stands out for me is the fact that we don’t need to look at the big picture but focus on the tiny changes and the rest will fall in place.

My recommendation

If you want a head-start on your New Year’s resolution then this book is for you. It doesn’t overwhelm you at all.  Reading Atomic Habits with The Psychology of Money (I reviewed this book last month) will definitely give you a better start to the New Year in comparison to someone who has just binged and chilled otherwise and wished for better things to happen without putting in adequate effort.

New year… new beginnings…

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience . She is currently working with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience.

Previously she was employed at Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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