The Importance of Atomic Habits

Rachel Hardy (’24) reflects on the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and how its advice applies to writing. “It’s important to see that atomic habits are what makes us, us. It’s what determines how we live, what we do day to day, and how we carry ourselves.”

“Tiny changes, remarkable results an easy way & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones.” – James Clear

 Intellectually, I’ve been reading on expanding my knowledge as well as growing upon building new habits and breaking old ones. Atomic Habits was my first book that opened my eyes and interested me. It was the first book I read through, and I liked how the author touched on  “habit stacking” that increases the likelihood of sticking with a habit by stacking your new behavior on top of an old one. And the two-minute rule that encounters any habit that can be scaled down into a two-minute version. Not only does atomic habits attract personal life but also to writing.

As we write as individuals our first or second piece won’t be the best one we have made, our writing takes time and effort, trial and error. As we progress over the years or even months the regular practice of writing helps us encounter our writing to become better and stronger each day. But as we might fail each time the expansion of atomic habits overgrows as we break our bad “writing” habits and turn them into good ones. As I sit here today I came a long way from my atomic habits, at first I didn’t see myself as a good writer! I just wrote for fun because it was something to do during quarantine. As the first year back at school, which was when I was in 10th grade, I was in history class as my teacher recommended I should be in the Writing Center. I was amazed! As I thought it was just for fun; someone saw something in me that I didn’t. I never underestimated myself but I never saw it as something I would do or be  “good” at. Now that I look at it, the practice of writing during quarantine, those tiny changes made major changes as I got myself into the writing center, wrote meaningful poems, etc. Now that I’m in 11th grade I see my potential and my work that my teacher saw in me, of course I have a lot to accomplish as I want to become a better writer. But, I made it this far. That came a lot with my mindset and my knowledge.

 My mindset wasn’t as it was when I was in 9th grade. It took a lot to be where I am now, and that comes with positives and negatives, a lot of life lessons, and tears. Writing helped me to a great extent but something was still missing as I tried to put my pieces back together again. I still haven’t found the cure although I made accomplishments that my younger self would be proud of. Mindset and knowledge come hand in hand. Those two analogies I concurred to build better relationships, and move on from ones I didn’t want to. As well as overachieving in my writing and changing my personality in a way. You would think what I wrote were all good and positive things, however they have deep meanings behind them that I had to let go of that I never thought I would. It turned into a type of new person that I somewhat like but at times I wish I had the old one back.

 As quoted “An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is not only small and easy to do but is also the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth.” I have an interest in atomic habits because it shows the overcoming of decisions or routines that necessarily won’t work out in your life or anyone’s life in general. Such as smoking, and checking your phone first as you wake up. As we mature we see the disadvantages that don’t help us grow but only degrade us. It’s important to see that atomic habits are what makes us, us. It’s what determines how we live, what we do day to day, and how we carry ourselves. As  my blog post is about to end, it is superior to know the 4 laws for building/ breaking habits number one, cue, number two, Craving, number three, Response, number four, Reward. As we develop over the years in our writing or personal entities, instead of making it invisible make it obvious, make it attractive rather than making it unattractive. 

There are many adjustments to correlate your daily habits, but as you figure out your best routine the important thing is to stick to it and keep going to become better. Yes, there will still be mistakes and the feeling of giving up. Nevertheless, it happens to the best of us! What makes you stronger and the best you is that you didn’t give up, you didn’t go back to the bad habits that made you someone you didn’t like. That you didn’t want to be shown to others. This interpretation shows the importance of atomic habits.

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