Atomic Habits: Make It Attractive (Part 3)

Okay. I am still on this Atomic Habits journey. I am reading the book with many co-workers, who motivate me to stay with it and learn how to apply it.

In the first part, the book focuses on why habits form, break, and significantly impact your life. In the second part, we get to work by becoming aware of habits and cues. Now, we must find a way to make the habits more attractive. Here are my notes and takeaways.

Anticipation of Reward

Habits are easier to adopt if they are attractive. Anticipation of reward drives us to act. The greater the anticipation, the greater the reward.

Consider the habit of exercising daily. Expecting rewards like improved health, better mood, and physical appearance can make this habit more attractive. For instance, envisioning yourself completing a marathon or achieving a personal fitness goal can amplify the anticipation, making lacing up your sneakers and heading out the door much more appealing.

Temptation Bundling

Temptation bundling. Pair an action you want to do with the action you need to do.

If you love listening to audiobooks but struggle to find time to work out, combine these activities. Only allow yourself to listen to your audiobook while exercising. This way, the desire to see what happens next in your book propels you to hit the treadmill, effectively bundling a want (listening to the audiobook) with a need (exercising).

Imitation of Social Groups

We tend to imitate three social groups: the close, the many, and the powerful. If a behavior gets us approval, respect, and praise, we will find it attractive.

If you’re trying to adopt a plant-based diet and you see that your close friends (the close), a majority of people in your social media circles (the many), and celebrities or influencers you admire (the powerful) are all praising and adopting this lifestyle, you’re more likely to find it attractive and worth pursuing.

Joining a Culture

To build a habit, join a culture where your desired behavior is expected.

If you want to make reading a habit, join book clubs or online communities where reading regularly is the norm. Being part of a group where members share book recommendations, discuss their readings, and celebrate the completion of books provides motivation and makes the habit of reading regularly more attractive and normal.

Highlighting Benefits of Avoiding Bad Habits

Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive. Frame negative things as positive.

To make the habit of reducing screen time before bed more attractive, focus on the positives of avoiding this bad habit, such as improved sleep quality, better mental health, and more time for reading or meditating. By understanding that avoiding the blue light from screens before bed can lead to deeper, more restorative sleep, you frame the reduction of screen time not as a loss but as a gain of positive outcomes.

Checking In

How’s your progress this week?

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