In James Clear’s bestselling book Atomic Habits, he expertly navigates the inner workings of human nature and lays out a plan to help people see incredible results by making tiny incremental changes in their daily habits.
As we enter into the new year, many people start fitness goals, but after a few weeks or months, the motivation sometimes peters to nothing. To accomplish any goal, you need more than just motivation.
Instead, hacking your habits is the best way to change your life and reach your fitness goals. To do this, Clear offers four laws to create a good habit and stick to it: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying.
The First Law: Make It Obvious
Humans are visual creatures. If you see something, you are more likely to respond to it. If there is a sweet treat on the kitchen counter, you are more likely to eat it than if it was in a cupboard. The same principle works reversely. If you don’t set your vitamins where you can see them, you are less likely to take them.
We can use this facet of human nature to condition ourselves to stick to the habits we want. If you want to exercise first thing in the morning, make it obvious by setting out your trainers and outfit or pre-pack your gym bag.
The Second Law: Make It Attractive
You can make a habit you don’t want to do more attractive by combining it with a habit you do find attractive. If every day after work you have a habit of watching an episode on Netflix, try adding a beneficial fitness habit to the regime such as ten pushups. By the end of the week, you’ll have completed 50 pushups and that’s no small feat.
The Third Law: Make It Easy
You need to start small. You need to make the habit so easy that there’s no way you can’t accomplish it. Say you want to start a habit to do yoga every day. If you start by doing a 30-minute yoga sequence in the morning, it may work at first, but you most likely won’t stick to it. This isn’t entirely your fault- it’s human nature.
Instead, make it easy. Start by setting your yoga mat out every day for a week. Easy enough. The next week, lay out your yoga mat and then do five minutes of yoga. The next week, try ten minutes.
The next week, make it 15 minutes. Suddenly, you have built a yoga habit by doing yoga every week for a month. It’s the consistency that counts at first. The results will come if you remain consistent. Consistency comes better with ease.
The Fourth Law: Make It Satisfying
Reward yourself when you complete a milestone. It could go something like this: If I walk on the treadmill three days in a row, I can reward myself with something from my Amazon Wishlist. Or whatever it is you want your reward to be.
Creating small milestones with rewards will help motivate you enough to be consistent and eventually create amazing habits.
How to Balance It All
James Clear’s four laws make the habit-building process a bit easier, however, it’s still important to maintain a balance between exercise, work, and entertainment. It’s not about sacrificing the things you enjoy doing by any means – it’s important that you keep doing the things you enjoy.
Fortunately, most activities in the world of entertainment these days have been broken down into convenient and more accessible formats so they can work around people who live busy lives. Think about what you enjoy and remind yourself how easily you can keep it up, even in your amended schedule.
With the amount of time spent commuting, running errands and juggling other responsibilities in today’s world – it can be hard to find moments for entertainment.
But never fear! Whether you’re an avid reader or enjoy playing games online there is always something available out there.
For readers; audiobooks such as The Age of Witches and The List have made devouring stories on-the-go possible with sites like Audible providing us access to these audio gems.
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Whatever preference takes your fancy, modern life has got our back when it comes to finding quick forms and adequate enjoyment during those confined times we all experience now and again…
Creating Positive Habits
Creating better habits can be a challenge, but with these four laws and remembering the importance of balance, it is possible to be the best version of yourself while still having fun and crushing your goals.