Tiny changes can work like compound interest over long periods of time. This week we begin a three part series on change, habits, and transformation. Rather than focus on radical change, we’re going to learn the atomic power of getting just one percent better. If you catch the vision and apply them, these concepts can change any aspect of your life. As James Clear says, “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
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I’m drawing heavily from two books that have had a great impact on me:
1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
2. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I’ve linked both books in the show notes.
As well as God’s word:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Three Reasons We Don’t Change
- Lack of Perspective – we don’t recognize there’s a problem or a better way
- Ask others, get out of your environment, or God sends a lightbulb
- “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
- Lack of Process – we see the need, set a goal, but don’t know how to get there
- Goal driven vs. Systems Driven. We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. James Clear
- Lack of Power – the task seems too big, or we start to change and it’s too difficult, or we’ve got so much stress, anxiety, and distractions we cannot move forward
- You have the Holy Spirit
- You’re starting too radical
- “Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” Charles Duhigg
- “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.” Charles Duhigg
How tiny adjustments in our habits can account for massive change over time.
- “Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement.” James Clear
- The example of an ice cube.
- “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement” James Clear
- “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage.” Charles Duhigg
Getting 1% better
- Why we get frustrated and burned out from goal setting.
- What we miss when we ignore small improvements
- If you get 1% better at something each day, by the end of the year you will be 37 times better than when you started.
- Eat 100 calories less a day than you need, lose 10lbs in a year
- Have your children memorize 1 verse a week – Learn 52 verses in a year
Steps towards getting 1% Better
Think of an area where you’d like to see real change.
- Determine the smallest possible block of action you can that is in the direction of that change.
- Set up your environment to prompt you towards that action
- Use the concept of habit stacking
- Pair a new habit with a current routine
- Avoid Tiny Loses – Never Miss Twice
For course correction, measure backwards – how are you doing now compared to your recent near term self?
Try this Habit: Hugs
“Hugging triggers the release of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This feel-good hormone has many important effects on our bodies. One of them is growth stimulation.” Stephanie Pappas
Studies show that hugging can instantly boost the level of oxytocin. When oxytocin is increased, several growth hormones, such as insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) and nerve growth factor (NGF), are increased as well. The nurturing touch of a hug can enhance a child’s growth.”—Pamela Li, creator of Parenting for Brain
I want to hear from you.
What’s one area of your life where you can apply the 1% better challenge?
Answer me on facebook, instagram, or twitter
I’m going to randomly pick one person who answers and gift them a copy of Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Tweet ThisYou should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. Click To Tweet 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… Click To Tweet We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. Click To Tweet Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things. Click To Tweet If you get 1% better at something each day, by the end of the year you will be 37 times better than when you started. - James Clear Click To Tweet
If you like this episode, check out last week’s podcast Creating a Summer Growth Plan with my friend Brent Gibson
You might also like one of my blogs The Best Habit You Can Learn This Year