One of my programs is called “Books & Belonging.” It’s a book group for like-hearted leaders and game changers–people who want to make a positive impact on the world and who know that change starts with our own personal growth. Here is a quick description of an upcoming book selection and why it is worth a read:
Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Book Summary: Early into Atomic Habits, James Clear gives credit to researchers who have studied human behavior and habits, and highlights Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. Rather than sharing narratives and research however, James Clear provides clear, simple strategies that anyone can use to develop new habits or break old habits.
Why It’s Recommended Reading: Anyone looking to be an impactful leader or to be more effective in leading their own lives needs to consider the role their personal habits have in their current reality. In order to align our actions with our beliefs, we need to be aware of habits that keep us out of alignment and know how to make changes that bring us into alignment. Atomic Habits makes this a clear process that makes us more likely to succeed.
A Few Takeaways from the Book:
- Our identity plays a huge role in our habits. For instance, when someone wants to quit smoking but still considers themselves a smoker, they reinforce the habit they are trying to break by identifying with smoking. Even saying you are trying to quit smoking sends signals to your brain that you are still attached to that habit. Changing our thoughts and words to align with who we want to become (I’m not a smoker), increases our ability to behave in new ways.
- There are four stages involved in habits–the cue, the craving, the response, and the reward. Building new habits requires us to address all four stages. Breaking old habits first requires us to recognize those same stages.
- While building/breaking habits often seems daunting, the benefit is that once they are formed we free up our brain’s ability to focus on other things. The strategies in this book make habit formation less daunting.
If you have a picture in your mind of who you want to be, you can start living in that identity by creating the right habits now.
Want to purchase Atomic Habits and support a local book store? Check out Bookshop.org