James Clear immediately grabbed my attention with his Twitter account where his profile banner displays this quote: “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”
So very true.
It’s not enough to have lofty goals, you must have a daily schedule infrastructure that supports those goals. This is where we see the power of small habits, and this is the premise of Clear’s book Atomic Habits. The author analyzes how habits operate and then applies those principles to start good habits and stop bad ones.
My favorite of his salient points was the part about habit stacking, which means you stack new desirable habits on top of older established habits. Pardon the use my own personal example: using this technique (before I knew what I what it was called) I was able to master regular daily prayer as a Bible college freshman by going to the chapel immediately after dinner to pray. Since the chapel was between my dorm and the chow hall, and since I ate dinner every day, the new habit was easy to stack on the old. This can be done with many things one wishes to start doing, like going to the gym, reading the Bible regularly, or having family devotions. Simply let the new behavior piggyback on an old established routine.
Clear’s book is meaty without being stuffed with fillers. It’s one of those books that ought to be ruminated – a rarity for a non-theological book, in my view.