Atomic Habits (chapters 4 - 6) - Week Two with Robin Saul

We are continuing to learn along the way and perfectionism is not the goal. The title ATOMIC habits is about the tiny changes made over time to eventually transform your life. James Clear uses the term Habit Shaping to explain how to work your way up to big wins. Break down your routine to a series of smaller actions that will lead to where you want to be.


After the first zoom week it became CLEAR that many of us have similar ways we want to show up in the world. Setting systems in place for: Financial planning, minimizing and organizing our stuff, good sleep hygiene, hydration, habits of meditation and gratitude, eating and snacking, and movement were mentioned by book club members.



Some general goals and questions to ponder:

Do you want to Increase your energy and mental clarity (movement and meditation)?

Make sense of conflicting nutrition information and know where to get important nutrients (intellectual), Feel confident about your life choices (who is your mentor).

Do you want to have calm, uncluttered surroundings (increase creativity)?

You are the curator of your mind and with enough practice taking in your surroundings and analyzing information, you can have outcomes without conscious thought.


Remember that it is easy to overwhelm ourselves with so many things we want to change at once. Think about which habit is negatively impacting your life the most and choose that place to start.


James Clear on How to avoid the bad habit

1) Make it invisible

2) Make it ugly

3) Hard to do it

4) Unsatisfying


Can you think about some examples of how to do this?


Chapter #4 describes how to create a scorecard to raise awareness of what we actually are doing. By listing and rating behaviors we notice, without judgment, what we do. Then, we can decide if each is inline with who we want to be. Habits are neither good nor bad but habits that reinforce who we want to be are positive.

To create your own Habits Scorecard, start by making a list of your daily habits.

Fill out the Habits Scorecard. Write down your current habits to become aware of them as this is to notice what is going on with your time. Then make a list of a segment of your routine and put a “plus” or “minus” or “equal” sign for a neutral habit.

PAGE5 64-65 in AH for this exercise.


People who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. Another exercise in AH is to implement a formula: I will (BEHAVIOR) at (TIME) in (LOCATION). Refer to PAGES 70-71.


My example: When I enter the kitchen (LOCATION) in the morning (TIME), I drink a glass of water and start making my lunch salad (BEHAVIOR).


The other formula that is so helpful is habit stacking. After I (CURRENT HABIT), I will (NEW HABIT). For me: After I put my shoes on, I will verbalize a positive affirmation of gratitude. A nutrition habit can be, when I plate a meal, at least half my plate will be non-starchy vegetables and the remainder will be a wet starch like rice or potato.


The more obvious an option is, the more likely you will choose that option. I hope we will have plenty of time to discuss how we are cued/triggered to crave what we want in our environment. Purposely setting up triggers throughout your environment can cue you to behave a certain way. Having glass containers of healthy prepared food at eye level when you open the refrigerator and a glass pitcher of cucumber water will entice you to eat and drink. Putting your hand weights on a side table near a place you walk by frequently will cue you to grab and lift some reps.


These 3 chapters are packed with information so work on one area at a time. We really aren’t in a hurry and habit changing and developing should not be something we stress about.


Clearism- “Motivation is overrated, Environment often matters more”


 

James Clear on How to implement good habits

1) Make it obvious

2) Make it Attractive

3) Make it Easy to do

4) Make it immediately satisfying



You can design your environment to cue the behavior of good habits by making them visible.

For example, if walking every morning is a behavior you want to develop, then lay out your walking clothes, shoes, and socks near your bed so you can jump right into them after waking up(obvious). You can make the habit attractive by buying your favorite comfortable walking shoes. Adding the implementation of “easy to do,” you can think ahead of how you will cope with heat, rain, or other inconveniences. To make the behavior satisfying something as simple as putting a star on a wall calendar after completing the habit may be all you need to keep it up. Or, plug into upbeat music as you walk. Also, remember that you start small in the beginning. For example walking 10 minutes daily to walking 10,000 steps to eventually walking in marathons (if that is your goal).


If you want to have a desired behavior then join a group where that behavior is the norm. Belonging to the 6D Living community aligns with certain values. If you are here and emulate and practice the behaviors aligning with this group, this will be your identity. We all have the innate desire to belong to a tribe and for me I am appreciating this tribe and the connections I have made through the whole foods plant-based community and 6D Living.


I learned recently about mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are a type of sensory-motor cell located in the brain that is activated when an individual performs an action or observes another individual performing the same action. Thus, the neurons “mirror” others' actions.(https://www.britannica.com).


There is a theory that as we watch the action of others, we are triggered to act similarly. We imitate who we observe. So if we immerse ourselves in a tribe that is behaving in a certain way, we will have similar behaviors and those behaviors become habits.


Your identity is a reflection of your habits. Having habits that fit your goals are what defines you as the type of person you want to be. For example, after honing your modified fasting behavior (if that is your goal), then you are someone who doesn’t eat certain times of the day. Remember, a goal has an end but a habit continues almost on autopilot.

Please share what you think of the first week’s post in the comments section below, thank you!


Atomically Yours,

Robin Saul



Clearism

"Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become." -James Clear


 

About the author James Clear


James Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field. He writes about habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement at jamesclear.com. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on CBS This Morning. He is a regular speaker at Fortune 500 companies and his work is used by teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


 

Robin Saul is a registered dietitian who earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and human nutrition from the University of Florida. Although not discovering the benefits of a plant-centric, no processed foods diet until 2016, she raised her four kids with an abundance of plant foods and home cooking. Robin has specialized nutrition knowledge in the areas of gastroenterology, food intolerances and allergies, gerontology and recipe development.