James Clear

James Clear quotes on habits

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

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Habits that have a high rate of return in life: - sleep 8+ hours each day - lift weights 3x week - go for a walk each day - save at least 10 percent of your income - read every day - drink more water and less of everything else - leave your phone in another room while you work


Aim to be great in 10 years. Build health habits today that lead to a great body in 10 years. Build social habits today that lead to great relationships in 10 years. Build learning habits today that lead to great knowledge in 10 years. Long-term thinking is a secret weapon.


New goals don't deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results.


There are 3 primary drivers of results in life: 1) Your luck (randomness). 2) Your strategy (choices). 3) Your actions (habits). Only 2 of the 3 are under your control. But if you master those 2, you can improve the odds that luck will work for you rather than against you.


Go smaller. Can't learn an exercise? Reduce the range of motion. Struggling to grasp a new concept? Break it down. Failing to stick with a habit? Make it easy. Master stage one, then advance.


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.


One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day.


Correct your mistakes before they become your habits.


Your identity can hold you back: -I'm terrible with directions. -I have a sweet tooth. -I'm bad at math. ...or build you up: -I'm the type of person who doesn't miss workouts. -I finish what I start. -I read every day. Build habits that reinforce your desired identity.


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


Your body adapts to what you eat. Your mind adapts to what you consume. Your soul adapts to what you love. What you feed yourself today is who you become tomorrow.


Build small habits, but make big plans. (1) Keep your daily actions small. Strive to get 1% better every day. (2) Keep your daily mindset big. Think about how you can play a bigger game. Always start small. Never play small.


Your current habits are perfectly designed to deliver your current results.


If you... 1) develop a bias for moving fast 2) consistently ask, “What’s the real goal here and is there a better way to accomplish it?” ... you can accomplish a lot in one life.


The key, if you want to build habits that last, is to join a group where the desired behavior is the normal behavior.


When talent is lacking, habit will often suffice.


Drops make streams. Streams make rivers. Rivers make oceans. Your habits are the same.


The 3 meta-habits: Sleep - being well-rested improves performance on all other habits. Reading - you can learn how to improve any habit by reading. Questions - asking good questions continually provokes new insights for tweaking your habits.


The idea that "change is hard" is one of the biggest myths about human behavior. The truth is, you change effortlessly and all the time. The primary job of the brain is to adjust your behavior based on the environment. Design a better environment. Change will happen naturally.


Today might be the best chance you have to take action. The longer you wait, the more deeply embedded you get in your current lifestyle. Your habits solidify. Your beliefs harden. You get comfortable. It will never be easy, but it may also never be easier than it is right now.


If you have good habits, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience.


In times of uncertainty, your habits can ground you. When you feel overwhelmed, practice 1 minute of mindfulness. When you feel restless, do a 1-minute workout. When the world seems uncontrollable, focus on what you can control. Stick to your routines in whatever way you can.


3 things that help habits stick: 1) Repetition. Habits form based on frequency, not time. 2) Stable context. If the context is always changing, so is the behavior. You need a reliable environment. 3) Positive emotions. If it feels good, you’ll want to repeat it.


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


Whenever there is a gap between your habits and your goals, your habits will always win.


The fact that you go to the gym even though you don’t “need” to... is why you don’t need to. The fact that you save when you could spend... is why you have money to spend. Your habits create your strength.


How long does it take to build a habit? 21 days? 30 days? 66 days? The honest answer is: forever. Because once you stop doing it, it is no longer a habit. A habit is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed. Make small, sustainable changes you can stick with.


A small difference in your daily habits early on results in a wide gap in your outcomes over time.


Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your identity. This is why habits are crucial. They cast repeated votes for being a type of person.


Proposal: A small habit should be called a hobbit.


There are 3 ways to break a bad habit. 1. Elimination - cut it off entirely. 2. Reduction - drop to the desired level. 3. Substitution - replace the bad habit with a good one. All three can work. It just depends on what you want to achieve.


If two people have the same goal, you know nothing about the similarity of their results. But if two people have the same daily habits, you can infer quite a bit about the similarity of their results. Your results are largely a byproduct of your habits.


Everyone ages at the same rate. One second at a time. Not everyone feels the same age. Master your health habits and you can buy yourself more time. Not everyone learns at the same rate. Master your learning habits and you can make more of the time you have.


The costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future.


The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided. You learn what to do in the future based on what you were rewarded for doing (or punished for doing) in the past. Positive emotions cultivate habits. Negative emotions destroy them.


The 2 Keys to Elite Results 1) Make great choices 2) Build great habits Your choices—what you work on, who you work with—create leverage. A good initial choice can deliver 100x payoff. Your habits unleash leverage. Without great habits, great choices are just potential energy.


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.


The two-sentence guide to wealth and weight loss: Spend less than you earn. Eat less than you burn.


You teach people how to treat you by what you let them get away with.


Small habits don't add up, they compound. You don't need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better.


Your habits are often a byproduct of friction and convenience. Humans are wired to seek the path of least resistance, which means the most convenient option is often the winning option. Make good choices more convenient and bad choices less so. Behavior will improve naturally.


Good habits stockpile pleasure. Bad habits postpone pain.


An ancient story: Plato caught a child playing cobnuts. It was a game children played without money, but it was seen as an introduction to gambling. Plato reprimanded the boy. The child complained, "You scold me for a small matter." Plato replied, “Habit is no small matter.”


We hold onto our flaws because they are insurance for our failures. Every fear serves a purpose. When we cling to unhelpful beliefs and old fears, we can blame failure on them. Growth requires the courage to give our best effort and not blame our flaws as the cause of failure.


From Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits: "It doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results."


Your habits are how you embody a particular identity. “We acquire virtues by first having put them into action... We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.” —Aristotle Act to become.


The quality of your life is a product of the habits you build and the choices you make, plus or minus the luck you encounter along the way. You can't control luck, but you can control your habits and your choices. Direct your focus there.


Changing your habits often requires you to change your tribe. Each tribe has a set of shared expectations. Behaviors that conform to the shared expectations are attractive. Behaviors that conflict with the shared expectations are unattractive. It's hard to go against the group.


The Cycle of Improvement 1. Awareness - identify what you need to improve. 2. Deliberate practice - focus your conscious effort on the specific area you want to improve. 3. Habit - with practice, the effortful becomes automatic. 4. Repeat - begin the cycle anew.

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