James Clear

James Clear quotes on consistency

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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Most people need consistency more than they need intensity. Intensity: -run a marathon -write a book in 30 days -silent meditation retreat Consistency: -don't miss a workout for 2 years -write every week -daily silence Intensity makes a good story. Consistency makes progress.


Your 1st blog post will be bad, but your 1000th will be great. Your 1st workout will be weak, but your 1000th will be strong. Your 1st meditation will be scattered, but your 1000th will be focused. Put in your reps.


I have a suspicion that most adults (75%+) could pick any skill—excluding sports—and work their way into the top 10% in the world simply by working exclusively on it every day for two years. But almost nobody displays that degree of focus, so we will never know.


Greatness is consistency. Meditating once is common. Meditating daily is rare. Exercising today is simple. Training every week is simply remarkable. Writing one essay doesn’t mean much. Writing every day practically makes you a hero. Unheroic days can make for heroic decades.


What looks like talent is often careful preparation. What looks like skill is often persistent revision.


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. You get what you repeat.


If you don’t do it consistently, it’s not a habit. It’s a hobby.


“Your favorite authors’ first drafts are bad—no better than yours.” —Julian Shapiro Your favorite athlete's first workout was just as bad as yours. Your favorite chef's first meal was just as bad as yours. Your favorite artist’s first work was just as bad as yours. Keep going


Be radically proactive about any behavior that pays off in 10 years.


As best I can tell, to achieve exceptional results you need 4 things: (1) Quantity: You take lots of shots. (2) Quality: You take thoughtful shots. (3) Consistency: You keep shooting for a long time. (4) Luck: You get a few favorable bounces.


A 5-step process for nearly anything: (1) Explore widely. Find out what is possible. (2) Test cheaply. Run small, quick experiments. Sample things. (3) Edit ruthlessly. Focus on the best. Cut everything else. (4) Repeat what works. Don't quit on a good idea. (5) Return to 1.


Take all the energy you spend on... -worrying about the past -worrying about the future -worrying about the news -worrying about what others think -worrying about if you might fail ... and channel that energy into one useful micro-action within your control. Then repeat.


Abilities that lead to intelligence: 1. The curiosity to experiment and explore. 2. The honesty to observe the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. 3. The humility to kill your favorite ideas when you learn something new. 4. The consistency to repeat this cycle for life.


The best exercise for gaining strength is not missing workouts.


Habits will form whether you want them or not. Whatever you repeat, you reinforce.


The way to attract good luck is to be reliable in a valuable area. The more you repeatedly deliver value, the more people seek you out for that value. Your reputation is a magnet. Once you become known for something, relevant opportunities come to you with no extra work.


For years, I would force myself to write at least 25 possible titles for each article. Almost without fail, the best ideas came later in the list. The lesson: Don’t stop early. Ideas that are easy to think of are obvious. The good ideas come after the obvious ones are gone.


The most useful form of patience is persistence. Patience implies waiting for things to improve on their own. Persistence implies keeping your head down and continuing to work when things take longer than you expect.


Before you dream about the view from the summit, ask yourself if you're willing to keep your head down, focus on the path, and spend your life walking up the side of a very big hill. It takes years of walking to earn a minute at the top.


Success is often a matter of luck and randomness, but it can be encouraged by effort and strategy.


Before something can compound, it must be sustained. This includes: -Money compounding in your portfolio -Productivity compounding in your organization -Love compounding in your relationships ...and more. In the long-run, the sustainable way is the fast way.


Slow and steady often wins because it keeps you motivated. Take on manageable challenges and you'll get frequent signals of progress. Bite off more than you can chew and progress stalls. When you make progress, you want to keep going. When you break progress, you want to stop.


3 tips for getting started as a writer 1. Publish on a schedule. Consistency develops ability. 2. Share your writing publicly. Writing is a magnet. It attracts like-minded people. 3. Write about what fascinates you. You don't need to be an expert. Curiosity leads to expertise.


It’s crazy how you hear the story of The Tortoise and the Hare while growing up, and assume it’s just a nice thing to tell kids—and then you start your career and watch it actually happen. The people who stick with things for years and never stop almost always win the race.


Showing up and working hard will always be the cost of entry. But when everyone else also works hard, your strategy is what makes the difference.


The more exceptional your environment, the less exceptional you need to be. True for your physical environment. True for your digital environment. True for your social environment. Upgrade all three phases and mix in some consistent effort, and you've got a potent combination.


It’s remarkable what you can build if you just don’t stop. - It’s remarkable the business you can build if you don’t stop working. - It’s remarkable the body you can build if you don’t stop training. - It’s remarkable the knowledge you can build if you don’t stop learning.


We often describe mental toughness as something you use to get to the finish line: -finish what you start -just keep going -never give up But grit may be more powerful as something you use to get to the starting line: -never miss a workout -always show up -do it everyday


There are all kinds of cheat codes laying around, but they usually look boring. The cheat code is often the obvious thing. It's "the fundamentals" applied consistently and without distraction. There are many things people know work, but don't actually do.


Win the day and the decade falls into place.


The old gatekeepers were external: credentials, approval, access. The new gatekeepers are internal: curiosity, confidence, consistency.


Whenever you succeed with a small habit, you add a little to your general ability to stick with good habits. With each repeated success, your ability grows as does your trust and confidence in yourself. Slowly, you develop the ability to be consistent even in tough conditions.


Not enough is said about the power of thinking about one topic for a long period of time. If you revisit a topic continually for a few years, most problems (and many solutions) will occur to you at some point. Expertise can be the gradual accumulation of many modest insights.


The 3-Step Cycle of Developing an Extraordinary Mind 1) Explore widely. Follow many people, listen to tons of podcasts, read more books. 2) Clean up your information feed. Subscribe to fewer newsletters, follow fewer people, re-read great books. All signal, no noise. 3) Repeat


Self-talk strategies: If you need confidence, talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. If you need persistence, talk to yourself the way you would talk to a student. If you need patience, talk to yourself the way you would talk to a child.


The willingness to do the unsexy work is a competitive advantage.


Sometimes greatness is the result of a transcendent, peak performance. But often, greatness is simply the result of a good performance repeated and sustained much longer than usual.


Rome wasn't built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don't have to build everything you want today, just lay a brick.


You cannot sustain attention. You can only repeatedly bring your attention back to the same thing. This is one reason breaking a task into chunks can be helpful. Each chunk gives you something “new” to focus on while remaining committed to the same old task.


A habit must be established before it can be improved. Start small. Master the art of showing up. Optimize later.


Whenever you’re having trouble sticking to a new habit, try a smaller version until it becomes automatic. Do less than you’re capable of, but do it more consistently than you have before.


Motivation can be minimal if actions are easy. Start small and become the kind of person who shows up every day. Build a new identity. Then increase the intensity.


No single act will uncover more creative genius than forcing yourself to create consistently. You have to show up before inspiration will.


It is better to make small progress every day than to do as much as humanly possible in one day. Do things you can sustain.


If you’re serious about making real change, then you have to start small. Tiny actions become consistent patterns.


It doesn’t matter what you are doing, if you only work when you’re motivated, then you’ll never be consistent enough to become a pro.


Writers who don't write weekly, write weakly.


Simple habit tip: People who actually write down when, where, and how they will implement a new habit are much more likely to stick with it.


Professionals stick to the schedule. Amateurs let life get in the way.


If you only do the work when it feels easy, then you’ll never be consistent enough to become a professional.

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