You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. James Clear
All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. James Clear
Always look for the next way to get 1% better. James Clear
Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. James Clear
Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. James Clear
Your actions reveal how badly you want something. If you keep saying something is a priority but you never act on it, then you don’t really want it. It’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Your actions reveal your true motivations. James Clear
‘Disciplined’ people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control. In other words, they spend less time in tempting situations. James Clear Quotes
If you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. James Clear
Emotions drive behavior. Every decision is an emotional decision at some level. Whatever your logical reasons are for taking action, you only feel compelled to act on them because of emotion. James Clear
The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. If you’re willing to wait for the rewards, you’ll face less competition and often get a bigger payoff. As the saying goes, the last mile is always the least crowded. James Clear
One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking. James Clear
Every habit produces multiple outcomes across time. Unfortunately, these outcomes are often misaligned. With our bad habits, the immediate outcome usually feels good, but the ultimate outcome feels bad. With good habits, it is the reverse: the immediate outcome is unenjoyable, but the ultimate outcome feels good. James Clear
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. James Clear
Atomic habits are regular practices or routines that are not only small and easy to do, but also the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth. James Clear
Negative thoughts compound. The more you think of yourself as worthless, stupid, or ugly, the more you condition yourself to interpret life that way. You get trapped in a thought loop. James Clear
A very small shift in direction can lead to a very meaningful change in destination. James Clear
Research has shown that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief. James Clear
We optimize for what we measure. When we choose the wrong measurement, we get the wrong behavior. James Clear
It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. James Clear
James Clear Quotes on Habits
Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action. James Clear
Habits reduce cognitive load and free up mental capacity, so you can allocate your attention to other tasks. James Clear
Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy. James Clear
With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you wish to become. James Clear
We don’t choose our earliest habits, we imitate them. James Clear
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. James Clear
Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. James Clear Quotes
When we repeat 1 percent errors, day after day, by replicating poor decisions, duplicating tiny mistakes, and rationalizing little excuses, our small choices compound into toxic results. It’s the accumulation of many missteps—a 1 percent decline here and there—that eventually leads to a problem. James Clear
Habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance. You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed. James Clear
The breaking of a habit doesn’t matter if the reclaiming of it is fast. James Clear
Over the long run, however, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. James Clear
To Break a Bad Habit: Make it invisible. Make it unattractive. Make it difficult. Make it unsatisfying. James Clear
Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat. James Clear Quotes
Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face; they are just the methods you learned to use. James Clear
How can I make it obvious? How can I make it attractive? How can I make it easy? How can I make it satisfying? James Clear
Your culture sets your expectation for what is ‘normal.’ Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. James Clear
The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty. James Clear
The tendency for one purchase to lead to another one has a name: the Diderot Effect. The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption. James Clear
We all deal with setbacks but in the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits. James Clear
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent. James Clear
Habit formation is incredibly useful because the conscious mind is the bottleneck of the brain. It can only pay attention to one problem at a time Habits reduce cognitive load and free up mental capacity, so you can allocate your attention other tasks. James Clear
A habit must be established before it can be improved. You have to standardize before you can optimize. James Clear
You do it because it’s who you are and it feels good to be you. The more a habit becomes part of your life, the less you need outside encouragement to follow through. Incentives can start a habit. Identity sustains a habit. James Clear
The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time. James Clear
The greater the friction, the less likely the habit. James Clear
Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit. This is a distinguishing feature between winners and losers. James Clear
It’s only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity. James Clear
The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this. James Clear
The costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future. James Clear
You don’t have to build the habits everyone tells you to build. Choose the habit that best suits you, not the one that is most popular. James Clear
The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits. James Clear
James Clear Quotes on Systems
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. James Clear
When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. James Clear
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. James Clear
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. James Clear
If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. James Clear
In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves. James Clear
Becoming the type of person you want to become — someone who lives by a stronger standard, someone who believes in themselves, someone who can be counted on by the people that matter to them — is about the daily process you follow and not the ultimate product you achieve. James Clear
James Clear Quotes About Change
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. James Clear
It is easy to get bogged down trying to find the optimal plan for change: We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. James Clear
Whenever you want to change your behavior, you can simply ask yourself: How can I make it obvious? How can I make it attractive? How can I make it easy? How can I make it satisfying? James Clear
At some point, everyone faces the same challenge on the journey of self-improvement: you have to fall in love with boredom. James Clear
When preparation becomes a form of procrastination, you need to change something. You don’t want to merely be planning. You want to be practicing. James Clear
It’s hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led to your past behavior. You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven’t changed who you are changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years. James Clear
Whenever you’re looking to improve, you can rotate through the Four Laws of Behavior Change until you find the next bottleneck. Make it obvious. Make it attractive. Make it easy. Make it satisfying. James Clear Quotes
There will never be a perfect time to do something that stretches you. If you were ready for it, it wouldn’t be growth. James Clear
James Clear Quotes on Goals
As a general rule, the more immediate pleasure you get from an action, the more strongly you should question whether it aligns with your long-term goals. James Clear
Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees. Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two degrees. James Clear
True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress. James Clear
The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: ‘Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.’ The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. James Clear Quotes
Inspirational James Clear Quotes
Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it. James Clear
When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different. James Clear
You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it. James Clear
The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom. James Clear
Ask yourself ‘What comes naturally to me?’ For just a moment, ignore what you have been taught. Ignore what society has told you. Ignore what others expect of you. Look inside yourself and ask, ‘What feels natural to me? When have I felt alive? When have I felt like the real me?’ No internal judgments or people-pleasing. No second-guessing or self-criticism. Just feelings of engagement and enjoyment. Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction. James Clear
Happiness is simply the absence of desire. When you observe a cue, but do not desire to change your state, you are content with the current situation. Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure, but about the lack of desire. It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state. James Clear
Anyone can have a bad performance, a bad workout, or a bad day at work. But when successful people fail, they rebound quickly. James Clear Quotes
People get so caught up in the fact that they have limits that they rarely exert the effort required to get close to them. James Clear
Focus on whether you are fulfilling your own potential than comparing yourself to someone else. James Clear
Everyone is consumed by the end goal. But one push-up is better than not exercising. One minute of reading is better than never picking up a book. It’s better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all. James Clear
Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference. James Clear
The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. James Clear
Too often, we fall into an all-or-nothing cycle with our habits. The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you can’t do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all. You get what you repeat. James Clear
Being specific about what you want and how you will achieve it helps you say no to things that derail progress, distract your attention, and pull you off course. James Clear
Perseverance, grit, and willpower are essential to success, but the way to improve these qualities is not by wishing you were a more disciplined person, but by creating a more disciplined environment. James Clear
The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right. James Clear
Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. James Clear
It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the exact journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success. James Clear
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure. James Clear
Maximum motivation occurs when facing a challenge of just manageable difficulty. The optimal level of arousal as the midpoint between boredom and anxiety. James Clear
Each book you read not only teaches you something new, but also opens up different ways of thinking about old ideas. James Clear
The mere act of tracking a behavior can spark the urge to change it. James Clear
When you cling too tightly to one identity, you become brittle. Lose that one thing and you lose yourself. James Clear
We imitate the habits of three groups in particular: The close. The many. The powerful. James Clear
James Clear was born and raised in Hamiliton Ohio. He graduated from Dennison University in 2008. He won four letters on the baseball team. He majored in biomechanics (which he individually designed.) At the end of his senior baseball season, he was selected as an Academic All-American.
He is best known as a writer, author, and speaker. He wrote the New York Times #1 Best Seller Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.
That book is one of the best books I have read in the field of Personal Growth and Development. I highly recommend that anyone who wants to make significant improvement in your life (over time) read the book
Some of my most sigificant takeaways from the book are:
Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
Winners and losers have the same goals.
Achieving a goal is only a momentary change.
Goals restrict your happiness.
Goals are at odds with long-term progress.
Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons:
We try to change the wrong thing.
We try to change our habits in the wrong way.
Three Layers of Behavior Change:
The first layer is changing your outcomes. This level is concerned with changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book, winning a championship. Most of the goals you set are associated with this level of change.
The second layer is changing your process. This level is concerned with changing your habits and systems: implementing a new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow, developing a meditation practice. Most of the habits you build are associated with this level.
The third and deepest layer is changing your identity. This level is concerned with changing your beliefs: your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others. Most of the beliefs, assumptions, and biases you hold are associated with this level.
The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps:
You do not crave smoking a cigarette, you crave the feeling of relief it provides. You are not motivated by brushing your teeth but rather by the feeling of a clean mouth. You do not want to turn on the television, you want to be entertained.
Behavior that is incongruent with the self will not last. You may want more money, but if your identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning.