Maybe you just want to be the kind of guy who commits to something?
My friend Gabriel Tomescu
Gabe and I were part of a practice coaching session at Wave, and I asked for help on a question of whether I should go to the gym even at my advanced age, because what was the point of trying to stay in shape?
Gabe flipped the question; maybe I do want to be the kind of person who commits to things.
That’s pretty much the underlying theme of Atomic Habits; how to build habits so that you become the person you want to be;
- I should go to the gym → I am an athlete
- I should should do mindfulness → I am a calm person
- et cetera
He breaks down the parts of a habit into:
and if you can leverage these to either reinforce a good habit, or break a bad one. So far I’ve been using this (along with “habit stacking” of following one thing with a habit I want to keep) to make some progress. I’ve also used the “response” part of the cycle to make things easier or harder. For example, I deleted Twitter from my phone. Now when I have the craving, it’s difficult to respond.
The last part I found interesting: the compounding effects of small changes. He has this table.
|Very Easy||Easy||Moderate||Hard||Very Hard|
|Put on your running shoes||Walk ten minutes||Walk 10k steps||Run a 5k||Run a marathon|
|Write one sentence||Write one paragraph||Write a thousand words||Write a five-thousand word article||Write a book|
|Open your notes||Study for 10 minutes||Study for three hours||Get straight As||Earn a Ph.D|
And I’ve already managed two of the three “very hard” things!