Atomic Habits, James Clear

Trigger Loop

The trigger loop (according to James) is

  • Trigger
  • Craving
  • Action
  • Reward

As the habit is reinforced, the loop repeated, the craving part goes from non-existent to very strong. At first, the dopamine peak is at the 'reward' step. Once the habit has kicked in, we get the dopamine hit as a much bigger peak at the 'craving' step. It's anticipatory.

The craving is what motivates us.

Lagging Measure

You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.

Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.

To encourage a habit:

  • Make it easy
  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it satisfying

To discourage a habit:

  • Make it hard
  • Make it invisible
  • Make it ugly
  • Make it unsatisfying

Book Summary

This summary is very accurate -- brings back all the main points:

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