Do you have a bad habit you’d like to break? Or perhaps a good one you’re looking to adopt? If so, I highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear. I listened to the audiobook (six hours in total), which was easily digestible and interesting.
Part of what makes habits tough to change is that the human brain naturally seeks immediate rewards rather than seeing the benefits of delayed gratification. Clear uses evidenced-based research to show that we are capable of change if we create an environment that promotes success. Small habits like placing your smartphone in a desk drawer may lead to more productivity, because the temptation to check it is farther away.
Clear also encourages readers to consider identity. By eating a healthy snack instead of candy, I am casting a vote to be a health-conscious person. Many of my actions throughout any given day are votes.
He also introduces the idea of tiny goals, like going to the gym for five minutes each day. While this seems insignificant, it’s far more achievable than loftier goals like losing 50 pounds in a month. Clear includes lots of tips to make habits noticeable, easy, and attractive. How might his book change your habits?
Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at the R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Find more to read at washcolib.org.