Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Atomic Habits

 Good morning! Notable events from yesterday:

  • An intense LexiJ HIIT workout with Brooke and a goggle clad Mira. 
  • Cleaning up shrimp shells from all over my driveway thanks to some lucky raccoons. 
  • Ina and Cora joined the "Sassy Squad" at summer camp. I will follow up with my details as they become clear.
  • Dan helping a friend move some granite and therefore the girls and I had dinner without him. I was once again reminded that Dan does most of the "sit down" and "eat your dinner" enforcement, because without him there were more kids under the table than in their chairs and more than one toy was dipped in BBQ sauce. 
  • Dinner was simple - air fryer chicken thighs (seasoned with magic mushroom powder), roasted broccoli, and smashed potatoes (leftover from the shrimp boil, smashed on a pan, buttered, salted, and roasted). 
  • We ended the night with a Just Dance YouTube party. Gosh, I love these girls. 

Oh, and I also finished listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear. I know non-fiction, "self-help" type books can sometimes be difficult to get through, but I really enjoyed this one for many reasons. The author is a great story teller and he discusses thoughts and anecdotes is a clear and logical (to me) manner. He also follows up each thought/idea with ways to implement change through simple, actionable steps. If you are interested, here is a link to his "cheat sheet" of actionable steps.

His theory is that little (atomic) changes lead to big (atomic) results. If we get a little bit better (even 1% better) everyday, that eventually leads to huge growth. Conversely, if we get a little bit worse everyday, it doesn't take long to hit rock bottom.  

Other ideas that really stuck with me:
  • Success is more about your system than your goal. Focus on improving the system and the goal will occur naturally. 
  • A habit sticks when is just the right amount of challenging - not too hard and not too easy (the Goldilocks rule)
  • Habits have so much to do with our environment and who we surround ourselves with. 
  • Habits come from identity, change your identity and change your habits. 
  • You benefit most when you match your habits to what you are naturally good at. Go with your personality, don't fight it.
  • You have the power to change your habits. You just need to be strategic.
Even before reading this book I have successfully implemented a few habits in my life. Things I nearly never miss without giving them much thought. A few that come to mind:
  • Bible study and prayer first thing in the morning, before checking my email or social media.
  • Exercise - completing something every day.
  • Including a good source of protein and fresh vegetable in every meal.
  • Flossing, washing my face, applying sunscreen. I am sad to say this wasn't always the case.
  • Reading to the girls before bed.
Some habits I really want to implement with the strategies in this book:
  • Scientific growth - reading or learning something new in my field for at least 30 minutes per day. I currently am sporadic at best with this, despite a strong effort. 
  • Getting at least 100 oz of water per day.
  • Blogging/writing more regularly.
  • Focusing on the meeting, conversation, lecture I am in instead of letting my mind wander.
  • Reading (a book for me) before bed instead of looking at social media...and speaking of...
A habit I really want to break: social media on my phone. 

Now that I am accountable to the internet I plan to put these into action. Create a habit tracker. Stack my habits. Create cues. Make the good habits obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying while making social media invisible and difficult.  I am setting a reminder to create a post in 3 months summarizing my effort, what worked and what didn't. 

I will report back! Have a great day! <3

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