“Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence – to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice – and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.
Now, hands up if you have a set routine whilst listening to this podcast. Maybe you listen whilst you’re in the gym or on your commute?
Obviously, if you’re listening to this at the time of publishing – when most of us are in lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic – you’re not at the gym and your commute is probably a traffic-free 10 second stroll to the kitchen table. So, in that scenario, it’s likely that your podcast listening habit has shifted or changed. And if that habit has changed, then I imagine, like me, most of your other habits are either completely out the window or drastically re-engineered.
And… I’d take a guess that you’re probably forming new habits for this new landscape; some good (like spending more time with your family and finally reading those books you’ve been meaning to get to), and some, like the daily baking of banana bread and drinking of red wine – potentially bad.
As the saying goes, we are creatures of habit. Habits ground us, they lead us, they calm us. According to researchers at Duke University, they also account for 40 percent of our daily behaviour. So what happens when all our usual habits disappear – or become impossible?
Although unsettling (which is a just a fancy way of saying a cause for being either frozen, frantic or freaking out), it can also present us with a massive opportunity to upgrade. To bed down new habits – atomic habits – that can become the foundations of whatever comes next.
In times of crisis we are either catastrophic or catalytic – The habits we develop during this time – they will become the catalysts to who we become next.
So, all you need to do to improve your habits; is put in some good new ones, remove the bad old ones. Easy, right? Well, it’s easier than you think, and my guest for this episode can help you… 1% at a time.
James Clear is the author of New York Times Best Seller: ‘Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones’. The central question to James’ work both in the book and on his website and (EXCELLENT) newsletter is: how can we live better? And as I’ve said, our habits are the foundation to how we answer that question.
So what is an Atomic Habit? They are small 1% improvements in behavior that, over time, compound into full-blown transformation. And this isn’t just about ‘will power’ and ‘mind over matter’. This is about removing the mental load of intending to get something done every day – and beating yourself up when you don’t – into creating micro habits that you can achieve easily, consistently – and eventually automatically.
In this episode we talk about:
● Forming and enforcing new habits in this new environment – and what four things you need to focus on to cement those new habits.
● How to make the immediate outcome of your habit satisfying – even when the greatest returns may feel in the distant future – i.e. developing killer abs.
● The vital practices of Habit stacking and habit squashing – and how to master both.
● Why identity always trumps motivation when the going gets tough. First asking yourself “Who is the type of person I want to become?” and “What would they do right now”?
· And Warren Buffet’s two-list rule; how the most dangerous things on your to-do this are the ‘good’ uses of your time (and also that you’re a rose bush and not a tree, but that’ll make a lot more sense later).
I could go on with the sound bytes as this episode is packed with them, but perhaps the most striking insight for me, is that ‘every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become’. If you sit with that one sentence for long enough – other than potentially regretting that last bottle of wine – it brings every decision you make from here into blinding clarity.
So, pick a chair, corner of the garden or just get comfy into whatever your life in lockdown looks like – and enjoy my conversation with James Clear….