“A habit can make or break us”. It’s a quite popular saying and it is scary when you think about it. A habit or a mere hobby of yours might change your life for the good or bad!
While we are aware of all this, are we really taking the right step to refine our daily routine for the best? Well, if you find it hard to start a new habit or break one that you think is not right for you, the book Atomic Habits by James Clear would be of great help.
The book puts forwards a very simple, yet executable rule, the 2-minute rule that would help you stop the procrastinating habit and be on track. While you may not find some new, unheard concepts, the book breaks down the existing concepts into simple techniques, which can then be adopted into our daily life.
While the book is an abundant source of motivation, here are 4 of the most powerful concepts that James Clear has detailed in the book. The 2-minute rule is the most famous one, but there are some aiding concepts in the book that will help you adopt the rule into your daily routine.
The 2-minute idea is simple and brilliant. It takes just 2 minutes to start a habit, and then it can be refined and modified to achieve the best results. When you think of a hobby or a habit, you always aim for perfection, and that concept itself puts you off. A habit is something you do on a daily basis; thus, perfection is achieved only if you make it a practice.
But what if you are repelled at the very thought of it. That’s where you can implement the 2-minute rule.
If you wish to incorporate reading into your daily routine, start by opening the book and reading a page. At first, you might not gain the momentum to turn the pages, but after two to three days, you would read more than a page. That itself signifies progress.
This theory applies to all your habits. If you wish to do something, start by doing the most primitive thing. Tie your shoes to start exercising daily. Cut out a spoon of sugar to omit sugar as a whole from your diet. The two-minute you use to start a habit can totally give the boost to keep you going.
The 2-minute rule actually works, and this is because when you start practicing something, it becomes a ritual or a part of your life. Slowly, but steadily you would see the progress and your day feels incomplete if you omit it.
Another powerful concept put forward by the book is valuing the journey you undertake to make a change in your life rather than the whole change itself. Often people start a habit, considering the destination or the final outcome. This is one of the main reasons why we procrastinate or give up the habit midway as and when we fail to notice any change or progress.
Instead of getting compelled by the results, start a habit to enjoy the process. Fall in love with the journey, and you will get to live every moment you spend. Even though the concept is pretty old, the book would help you achieve the same instead of just brushing up on the topic.
Very often we envision a result in our mind and then work forward it. The book compels us to measure what we have now and then work to improve it. Thus, instead of a fixed goal, you get to be a better version of yourself each day.
For example, if you are planning to study a certain topic, first measure your knowledge. The lagging measure of your studying habit is the knowledge you presently have. Thus, when you self-analyze your progress, you get the motivation to achieve something more than yesterday.
This alone would help you stop procrastinating, and you would surely love the journey involved.
One of the simple yet powerful messages of the book is this. A person’s habits make him and that slowly becomes your identity. The way you look after yourself and how you utilize the precious time molds you as a person and in the process, you unlock new and better versions of yourself.
The book also reminds you that an identity isn’t something that is carved on a stone. If you build habits that don’t contribute to your growing process, your identity or vibe won’t be positive. When you change your habits, you change your identity and this is certainly the most powerful message the book has to convey.
The latter three concepts when you think off actually is a continuation of the 2-minute rule envisioned by James Clear. Unless you start something, you can’t really progress in it. Once you see start seeing the progress, know that your body, mind, and soul have started accepting it as a part of you and you might even feel incomplete when you don’t do it a day.
Slowly, slowly, you get to reap the fruits of the trees you sowed, but starting the process, trusting and enjoying it is of utmost necessity. If you start an exercise routine merely for the sake of it, you are never going to accomplish what you have in mind. Enjoy the workout, trust yourself, and focus on the process. It becomes a habit and results are bound to pour in.
If you are contemplating whether to eat that tempting piece of cake in front of you as a cheat meal, remember the 2-minute rule. First, turn your head around and then walk away. It’s the small steps that matter. Small drops definitely make an ocean.