Resources – Habits


How we form habits, change existing ones

Date August 8, 2014, Source: Society for Personality and Social Psychology

About 40 percent of people’s daily activities are performed each day in almost the same situations, studies show. Habits emerge through associative learning. ‘We find patterns of behavior that allow us to reach goals. We repeat what works, and when actions are repeated in a stable context, we form associations between cues and response,’ a researcher explains.


Excerpts from the book “Atomic Habits by James Clear”

Source: Book Summary by Sam T Davies

  • “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.”
  • “If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.”
  • “Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change.”
  • “When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success.”
  • “The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. 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.”
  • “Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient.”
  • “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.”
  • “The habit stacking formula is: ‘After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].’”
  • “Creating an implementation intention is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a specific time and location.”
  • “The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
  • “Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out.”
  • “Gradually, your habits become associated not with a single trigger but with the entire context surrounding the behavior. The context becomes the cue.”
  • “It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues.”
  • “Human behavior follows the Law of Least Effort.”
  • “We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.”
  • “Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.”
  • “The Two-Minute Rule states, ‘When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.’”
  • “The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.”
  • “To get a habit to stick you need to feel immediately successful—even if it’s in a small way.”
  • “An accountability partner can create an immediate cost to inaction. We care deeply about what others think of us, and we do not want others to have a lesser opinion of us.”
  • “Knowing that someone else is watching you can be a powerful motivator.”
  • “Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find a game that favors you, create one.”
  • “The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.”
  • “As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored.”


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