As 2021 was coming to an end, I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Well, if we’re getting technical here I listened to it on my favorite audio book app, Audible. Tomayto tomahto, right? Nonetheless, this book has singlehandedly changed my life in less than a week! I 10/10 recommend reading this yourself if you are looking to become more intentional with your habits. The older I have become, I have realized that when we as humans set out to begin a new endeavor we often times aren’t intentional about said idea. Do you schedule your habits, or track them? If your answer is no, rest assured. I also wasn’t nearly as regimented with my habits prior to reading Atomic Habits. When we aren't intentional about our daily tasks, life can begin to feel "controlled out of balance," as my parents like to say.
Now I am tracking my habits by the hour, and you can too! They say, one hundred hours of anything will help push you into the “advanced” level of whatever you may be pursuing. Interesting theory right? Now let’s say the idea that you want to transform into a habit won’t be as fun, or it will be challenging the first 5-20 hours. So how do you get past these without being deterred altogether? Set up a rewards system for yourself! Every five hours you get to enjoy a coffee from the new cafe on the corner, rather than making it yourself at home. Or what about every ten hours you treat yourself to a new pair of shoes! Exciting rewards will make the journey of bringing your new habit to fruition that much more exciting!
In his book, James puts emphasis on never missing a habit twice. We are all human, and yes life happens sometimes, resulting in missing the occasional task. When you're striving to create atomic habits, missing twice can throw you off your game. If your new idea that you desire making habitual is clean eating, then don’t have two cheat days in a row. It’s called “a cheat day,” not “cheat days” after all. Ya know, a little food for thought. It’s all so much deeper than just forming habits. This is a matter of keeping the promises you have made to yourself.
When you keep the promises you make to yourself, you are boosting your confidence. When you break promises you make to yourself on the other hand, you are deteriorating your self image. You see, when you break a promise to someone else they will never truly know for fact why the promise was broken, or why they were let down. It's impossible. Maybe they don't feel disappointed. Maybe they're totally sympathetic of your reasoning. They're not in your head, but you are. That is why this feels bad internally, but somewhat protects your self image externally. When you break a promise to yourself however, you will always know if your reason was just another bs excuse. One hundred percent of the time. You are better than lying to yourself! You are going to be conscious in 2022, and make conscious decisions. You deserve that. You deserve to reap in the glory of your new profound habits that help you to unlock the best version of yourself. That version already lives within you. It's a matter of stepping into it.
If you don't keep your promises, you will begin to feel like you can’t trust yourself. If you can’t trust yourself, how will others trust you? Think about someone calling you a flake for not keeping the promise you made them. You know who you are, and their opinion doesn't matter if it doesn't matter. But doesn't it matter what you think of yourself? Of course it does! So keep the promises to yourself that are fitting. Follow them through. Form the habit. They may seem repetitive, but when you begin to feel the power behind creating atomic habits you will feel unstoppable! Like there is nothing you can't accomplish. All it takes is focusing on becoming one percent better everyday, just one! That’s obtainable right? You can do it!