Power Of Habits - The Atomic Habits Way

Oh, I could not have put my lockdown time to better use! I ran 3km without stopping. For a person who has been brought up in an environment where playing or any form of exercise was not part of growing up, this was definitely a big feat for me.

In past 10-15 years I have been at it, doing some bit each time and then telling myself –‘it’s not for me’.

Though I did maintain my active regime by either walking, cycling or doing yoga, somehow, I could never see major improvement in any of them. I kept on going back to zero and feeling painful about the body not cooperating and the saga continued...

My daughter read the ultimate book on habits -Atomic habits and post discussion with her on learnings, I decided to try it on this ‘ever-failed’ attempt of moving beyond 500mt - without stopping.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what age you are or which stage of life you are, we all struggle for getting better at something which definitely matters to us in some area of life, it can be health, professional growth or any other field where you really want to improve. Habits and behaviour changes are vital for success in each domain, there’s no two ways about it.

The book says - small incremental changes results in massive success.

Exactly like you thought about investing regularly small amount for a long period and suddenly you realise you have made it big. The same applies to life as well.

James Clear the author of Atomic Habits says –‘Improve 1% each day and in 1 year you are 37 times better than when and where you started’. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.

Success is a product of daily habits, it holds good for negative habits too, and actually holds good for negative talks too. You keep saying it can’t be done by me, I suck at this task and eventually you would have made so many negative impressions on your mind that you make it a reality for yourself.

It’s a self -fulfilling prophecy-unfortunately not working in your favour.

The mention of ‘one has to understand success is not achieved overnight’ by the author reminds me of a perfect metaphor here.

The bamboo tree - For 5 years it does not show any visible growth above the ground but after that it suddenly shoots up to great heights and the world wonders its sudden success at growing up, not realising that for it to stand that tall above the ground it had to take 5 years to make it’s foundation below the ground.

In past - I kept on working for each new target of running for a month and kept on coming back to zero as my body thermostat just didn’t allow me to think I am ready for change, and it kept on giving me signals with pain and exhaustion into making me give up.

I knew I must persist to cross plateau, but somehow could not.

And then came a big blow to what I knew all along –‘Goals restrict you -Process liberates you’.

‘you don’t rise to level of goals you fall to the processes of your own’ this quote by author definitely made me rethink and take a different look at what I was doing.

I was so obsessed with a target that I used all my will power to achieve it and my failure each time made my belief that its just not my cup of tea and my further actions just confirmed my belief.

After reading Atomic Habits,I decided to start afresh, with 200 meters as a minimum starting stretch of run and then each day just cover 100 meters more.

But promised to self that I will do this each day.

Now the process was set, each day get up and run, just do a bit more than the last day.

Each day I felt victorious, and yes, I fell in love with process and not an ultimate goal really.

Each day I started with a happy memory of yesterday, looking forward to doing a bit more than yesterday, feeling amazingly happy and relaxed each day.

Oh my god, it is doable, and it is replicable in each area of your life.

By knowing that I could apply Atomic habits in an area(physical exercises-running) which is not my strong suit at all and see these results, what could possibly be waiting for me in other areas which I love doing anyway.

Here is a roadmap. Remember…

•   Small incremental change results in massive success.
•   Decide what you want to do or what you want to be.
•   What is the process for achieving the same?
•   Focus on process not on goals.
•   Do follow the process each day with incremental positive change each day.
•   Voila! You are there where you never thought you could be.

That’s the power of habits in Atomic Habits way…