"ATOMIC HABITS" (Chapter 16): How Do You Stick with Good Habits | Keto Mom Book Club
Updated: Oct 11
Keto Mom here!
There's no perfection. We love to say, "Don't mess up good for perfect". You will have a day where things didn't go your way, but whenever this happens, remind yourself of a simple rule "Never miss twice"... So just like what Jerry Seinfeld said, "Never break the chain". You're creating the momentum and the habit. It's about doing something and not breaking the chain. But if the chain gets severed, if the consistency of what you were doing breaks, Never do it twice.
Points to Ponder
01:51 Fueling your mind right
02:37 How do you stick with good habits every day
02:51 Learning, doing and teaching
03:48 The Twenty three year old stockbroker
05:11 You're making progress
05:20 Different measurements of success
05:31 Habit Trackers
06:12 Benjamin Franklin
07:41 Don't break the chain, is a powerful mantra
08:14 Habit Tracking keeps you Honest
10:53 How to recover quickly, when a habit breaks down
11:08 "Don't mess up good for perfect"
12:05 Recreating your identity
13:07 Creating a bad habit
15:20 Keto Mom page
15:40 None scale victories
Full Episode Transcript
Good morning everybody! I am hiding outside mainly because I've got friends still, that are visiting us from Oklahoma. We've got people sleeping, and I got to watching creed. This is the most quiet place to talk to you. So as you're tuning in, where are you tuning in from? My name is Stephanie and welcome to the Keto mom page. I do have a morning face, you could say workout face, just non showered face. But we're going through "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, every single day. So I hope that you're catching up on some of the lives or the replays about this book. The other day I said this chapter is incredible. I think it was chapter twelve or thirteen, and now the chapter we're going through today is also incredible.
It's going to help you put a good section of the beginning together if you take the action. If I'm really quiet, you can hear the birds over the lake but I'm not going to be quiet. This is our lake, we've actually got a friend fishing out, he loves to fish. So anyways, it's a pretty peaceful morning, I'd love to know how your morning is going. I'm going to dive right in, for those of you who are brand new, we're going through one chapter a day. And I'm just going to keep going through books forever and ever.
I'll tell you why, there's a couple of reasons... I think reading is powerful gets your mindset right. Reading helps you start your morning off, whether you're listening to a book, reading or you're listening to a podcast, my hope is that you get up and you own your morning. And as you're fueling your mind right, the point is to make the best decisions possible throughout your entire day. So we read the "Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod, earlier this month. If you've not read it, you need to read it because it's amazing.
Now we're going through "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, and we are on chapter sixteen. This is an incredible chapter, by the way I'm curious, are you reading the book with me or are you just listening? Either one is fine... The chapter is called "How do you stick with good habits every day". This is amazing, and if you take action it will help. Now, something we do in our business and something that we coach on, I can coach you on the same thing. We talked about learning, doing and teaching. You learn something, you do it. And then as soon as you can teach somebody else, whether you share it with a friend, family member, a child or a co worker, but as soon as you can teach somebody, you get it in you.
"Learn, Do, Teach" it's super powerful... My encouragement to you is start sharing what you're learning with people because you're going to remember it and you're going to retain it. And then you're going to keep doing it.
This is powerful, the book always starts with a story or some science. It's very story driven, very science driven. He talks about a twenty three year old stockbroker, and how all he did every single day was to make so many calls. He's a businessman, he wanted to make so many calls. So every time he made a phone call, he put a paperclip in a jar. He would start with one hundred twenty paper clips in one jar, and he kept dialing until they moved to another jar. And the stockbroker says, here's my standard and I'm not going to stop until they're done, I can visibly see them in the other jar...
All throughout these last few chapters, James Clear talks about how we're making habits. He talks about, making your habit attractive, satisfying, and obvious. There was one more you needed but I don't know where the other one went. Anyways, "Making progress is satisfying and visually measuring it like moving paper clips from one thing to another thing, provides clear evidence that you are making progress"... The point of keeping a habit and a system in place is you can visibly see it, you can see that you're making progress.
You might think that the scale is the progress but it's not, because you might go for weeks without the scale moving. So he actually talks about "Different measurements of success"...
I talked about that all the time. We're gonna talk about Habit Trackers. He says the very basic habit tracker that most people use is a calendar. I did it, I checked the calendar. Today I meditated and I read my book, I check it off my calendar. I want to work out, five days a week and when I do it, I check it off my calendar. That's the very basic understanding of a habit tracker, if you can keep going and see that you did it today. It's satisfying, it's attractive and you will feel accomplished. It's a tracker, and it's a very clear, obvious one. Because if you didn't check it off that box, then that means you didn't do it. You might feel like a failure, but you didn't do it. And so he says countless people have tracked their habits, but perhaps the most famous was Benjamin Franklin. He said, beginning at the age of twenty, Franklin carried around a small little booklet everywhere he went. He tracked thirteen personal virtues. The list included like losing no time, always being employed by something useful, avoiding hard conversations. At the end of the day, he would open up the booklet and he would record his progress. He did that every single day, no matter what...
So are you recording your progress? Can you visibly see if you're doing something or not doing something. If you work out, if you want to eat healthy, if you want to make better decisions, or if you packed your lunch. Whatever it is, a good habit tracker will visibly say "I did it, or I didn't do it". Here's a phrase that he says you should write down, I would say put it on your refrigerator.
He says write down "Never break the chain"... He talks about Jerry Seinfeld, and about him writing jokes. Jerry Seinfeld had a phrase, that says "I never break the chain"...
I do something no matter what, even if it's bad. Everyday he would say "I'm never going to break the chain of writing a joke every single day"... The measurement was not if it's a good joke, or was it inspiring, the simple concept was he was going to show up every single day, no matter what.
And then he goes into "Don't break the chain, is a powerful mantra. Don't break the chain of sales calling, building your business, writing one page of your book. Don't break the chain of working out, and you'll get fitter faster. Don't break the chain of creating every day, and you will end up with an impeccable portfolio.
Habit tracking is powerful because it leverages multiple laws of the behavioral change. It leverages being obvious, it leverages being satisfying, and it leverages keeping it simple". That's we talks about in the entire book, let's break down each one. "Habit tracking is obvious, you can visibly see it. It also keeps you honest"... How many times have you said, I eat healthy. Or it's no big deal, I track all of my food, it was just a little bite... I'm going to give you an example, one of my friends told me about one of her friends. They were both doing the diet together. And she was tracking everything that she ate, her other friend was asking why she was having such success, when she's doing the same thing that my friend was doing. And so they stayed together for a week, my friend tracked everything she ate.
Her friend did the same thing, except for all the little mini things in between.
So they were eating something and my friend would say go track your food. And her friend would be say that's not a big deal, it was only a bite. When in fact it was like three or four bites, and so my friend said I see what's happening here. Next meal comes around, she tracks her food, but her friend was like, I didn't really eat it, I think I had a bite. If you're following this, her friend was tracking her obvious meals, but the little snacks she wasn't counting.
And at the end of the week, my friend would say do you know why you're not having success? It's because you're lying to yourself and you're not making it obvious.
You don't want to see the food you're tracking because you don't want to admit that you're snacking in between all those meals. You have to make it obvious and a habit tracker does that for you. It talks about making it attractive, when you see little wins every day, that's attractive. If you're moving bobby pins from cup to cup, or if you're crossing off the x on the calendar or whatever it is that you have to do. You're going to visibly see if you are doing it or not. It's satisfying, and it makes you feel rewarded at the end of the day.
My challenge to you is, the habits that you're going after, like working out, drinking more water, eating healthy or reading every day...How can you track that? Do you need to cross it off your calendar, do you need to move something from one thing to the next? Do you need to add or take things out, so that cup is empty at the end of the day? What do you need to do to help you visibly see it? If you're not doing it, and you're not seeing it, and you think you are doing it, but really you're not. It's going to show you that you maybe lying to yourself. Alright, so he gives a lot more examples.
"How to recover quickly, when a habit breaks down. No matter how consistent you are with your habits, it is inevitable that there's going to be an interruption in your pattern"...
There's no perfection. We love to say, "Don't mess up good for perfect"... You will have a day where you might sleep in, a kid is sick or you are sick. The day didn't go your way, maybe somebody brought you over dinner and you were so hungry you just ate it. And it wasn't aligned with your goals.
You're going to have those days, but here's the kicker. Whenever this happens, I tried to remind myself of a simple rule "Never miss twice"...
So just like what Jerry Seinfeld said, "Never break the chain", and he does it no matter what. If you work out every day, and you don't ever want to break the chain, even if you do ten sit ups, or just in your bedroom before you run off to work, five squats, five push ups, five sit ups. Remember, recreating your identity. It's not "I worked out", but it's "I am an athlete" or I work out every day, it's who you are.
Even if you don't break the chain and you do it like this much, you're still creating the momentum and the habit of doing the ten pushups. Maybe you usually spend an hour in the gym, but I still did something and it's about not breaking the chain. But if the chain gets severed, if the consistency of what you were doing breaks... You have a cheat day, you forgot to read, or you didn't check in, then never do it twice. This is really powerful, he says
"The first mistake is never one that ruins you"... The first donut, the first piece of pizza, that skipping the workout, is not what ruins you. "It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follow. Missing one is an accident, missing two, three, four, five is creating a bad habit"...
We talked about a cheat day, and I'll tell people if you have a cheat day, you have to get back on track. Because one cheat day can turn into the whole weekend and then the week and then the month and then the bad habit is created. Make it visible so you don't break the chain, and if you do you got to get right back on track. "The problem is thinking that if you can't do something perfect, then you shouldn't do it at all"... This is not about perfection, and if you fall off wagon, get back on. Don't make the bad habit continuous, because you're going to have to try extra hard to get back on. Alright, the last thing he talks about was when knowing you're tracking a bad habit, and yes you can track bad habits. He says "This pitfall is evident in lots of areas in your life. We focus on working, longer hours instead of getting meaningful work done. This isn't about working long hours instead it's getting meaningful work done. We care more about getting ten thousand reps in sometimes than being healthy. We teach standardized tests instead of emphasizing learning of the curiosity and critical thinking. In short, we optimize for what we measure. When we choose the wrong measurement, we get wrong behaviors"...
So what are you tracking, and if you're not tracking something, what are you going after? It's a new month, it's July 1st . If you need a reason to start, it's today.
This is the first day I started the Keto Mom page, I have to celebrate. Make sure you tune in later today, I'm going to give some prizes away. I'm pretty sure I started the Keto Mom on July 1, 2015.
Okay going back, he talks about celebrating None scale victories, because he goes into fat loss. We talk about that all the time on here. You need to be able to measure success in lots of different ways, and right now it could be moving paperclips. You could be moving bobby pins, you could be taking rubber bands off and putting them in a different cup, checking off the boxes on your calendar, whatever it is make it visible.
In summary... One of the most satisfying feeling is the feeling of making progress. A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit or not, put an X on a calendar. Habit trackers are visual forms of measurement that can make your habit satisfying. Don't break the chain. Try to keep your habit streak going, and if you don't, then we don't mess up good for perfect. The first one is an accident, but the second one is on purpose. Never miss twice, if you miss a day, get back on track. Just because you can measure something doesn't mean it's the right thing to measure. All right that's it. Today is the Keto Mom, Sixth year anniversary and we should probably celebrate. I'm going to let you go, I'm going to figure out something fun to do on the page, and I'll come back on later. So have an incredible morning, go read your book and if not, then just do something for yourself. I hope you guys have a great day. Always reach out with questions and we'll talk to you soon.
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