The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.
— Kalpana Chawla
I am always seeking tools and tactics to ease my steps along the perilous pathways around me. This made it an easy choice to delve into reading Atomic Habits by James Clear when my friend and often accountability partner Rebecca Dorr suggested it. I have both healthy and unhealthy habits in my life which I’ve evaluated and adjusted in varying ways in my journey. At every step along the reading of this book and powerfully on the completion, I feel energized and empowered to approach my habits in behaviors to tremendous effectiveness.
I believe in the benefits of goals with a much more in depth discussion for the process of how I suggest they may best serve us. James’ expertise helped guide me to understand the power of a goal as a guide or vision while our habits and behaviors may better serve as the tool or process to navigate the path.
“Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”
– James Clear
I still want to rise to my peak potential, to be the best I can be. I realize that is not a singular target like a mountain summit. It is rather an ever extending progress of incremental improvements. Certainly it may include setbacks and yet the vision for it is to ensure we are on a path of generally positive progress.
“We do not succeed because of our goals, we falter because of our process.”
Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
So while the philosophies are sound, the strength of the book resides in the practical applications for how each of us determines what is a healthy habit we want to promote or an unhealthy habit we intend to discourage. We receive a guided ability to manipulate a habit simply after understanding the four essential components for each habit: cue, craving, response and reward. The anecdotes and examples are powerful and abundant. So too are the rewards.
Whether you choose the in-depth journey into habit management as James Clear provides, we can all benefit from the realization and application of the process steady process improvements in our lives. As with so many tools and my constant quest to evaluate them, what are the tools which are easiest for us to utilize and most effective at yielding the results which matter to us. James also suggests a philosophy of “explore and exploit.” Seek knowledge and approach and absolutely use it when it works for you. I’m in the habit of exploring and sharing the most beneficial of my discoveries along the path.