"ATOMIC HABITS" (Chapter 5): The Best way to Start New Habits | Keto Mom Book Club
Updated: Oct 11
Keto Mom here!
There's two different things he's talking about, Implementing intentions and Habit stacking. If you already feel you've got good habits, add a new habit on a good one to keep going. If you don't have anything that you're working on, then you need to get specific with a time, a date and a place. So the punchline is clear, people who make specific plans for when and where they will perform a new habit, are more likely to follow through.
Points to Ponder
00:38 The goal is to create systems
02:15 Habits and the systems in place
03:29 Three different groups
05:40 Implementing intentions
06:32 Time and a location
07:51 Being aware
09:10 Start the action
11:02 Don't mess up good for perfect
12:51 Habit stacking
14:01 The key is to tie a desired habit
14:14 Add a new habit on a good one
15:33 Make it obvious
16:57 Set an alarm clock
18:33 Copy the action, you don't have to recreate the wheel
Full Episode Transcript
Good morning! It is time to dive in to "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, we are on chapter five and we're talking about the best way to start a new habit. So as you're tuning in, where are you tuning in from, Welcome to the Keto Mom page. We are going through this book every morning, and the goal is to create systems and habits to where you don't reach your goals in the next thirty, sixty, ninety days, and then all of a sudden, spiral out of control, then come back next year to start over again. So my hope is that you're going along, or you're going through the book with us. Whether you're reading it, or you're just watching and taking notes. The point and the goal is to create systems that will help you create a lifestyle, to where you don't come back every single year feeling like you have to start over. I am tuning in from Minnesota, it is beautiful out, the sun is shining, and it is going to be a great day. I just got done working out, my personal morning routine is great, but I think it could always be a little bit better.
If you are following along, we did the "Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod, in the beginning of this month. And a handful of you are doing the 30 Day Challenge. We're on day five, and for those of you who are doing this, how is your morning going? Are you getting up early, are you not hitting your snooze button? Do you feel like when you own your morning, you own your day? That is the point of this book, if you don't have the "Miracle Morning" book, and you didn't follow along with us, I would encourage you to get the book and go through it. It's a very easy read if you want to own your day, it's incredible. So if you feel like you're at the point in your life where nothing is working, you've tried everything, you need to make a different pivot. I would challenge you to get the "Miracle Morning", because it might just be the mindset you need to make a couple pivots in the morning to own your day.
Some of you might be going, "I just need to be told what to eat"... I will tell you what to eat, I can tell you how to track your macros, or go drink more water and drink electrolytes.
I can tell you all of those things, but until you have the habits and the systems in place to reach your goal, you're going to keep it moving in a circular motion of setting a goal, having enough willpower to hit the goal, not keeping the habits intact, so you fall into bad habits, and then start over again.
So we're going to dive through chapter five of "Atomic Habits", super awesome. For those of you who have the book, how's it going? I want to get through the book for the rest of June, but I don't know if we'll finish by the end of June, so we may go into July. Here's what chapter five talks about, it's super great. Pay attention, if you're not going through the book, take some notes. It starts off with three groups, they had a whole group of people. The goal was I want to work out, they want to get their exercise routine intact.
All of these people wanted to get stronger, healthier, and their goal was going to work out more. So they had three different groups, the first group was a control group, and they simply asked them to track their workouts. Let us know if you work out every day, so that was group one. Group two was a motivational group, so they were asked to track their workouts. They were asked to read some type of material, and they also gave them some benefits of why working out would help them. So it would help them with heart disease, and they gave them all of these statistics.
Group One is tell us if you work out, Group Two is to tell us if you work out, read something and we're going to tell you why you should work out. Group three did all of those things, but they had a formulated plan on when they were going to work out. The formulated plan was, during this next week, I will partake in at least twenty minutes of vigorous exercise on____ and it says the day at a time in the place. So group three was very specific, and that's what we're going to talk about.
How did they do? Group Two, who had more motivation, did not do any better than Group One, who was just told to track their workouts a day. You'd think that motivation would maybe make the second group better, but it didn't. They were all basically the same. The group that did the best and actually exceeded their expectations was Group Three, that had very specific intention. So that's what he's going to talk about, he said the people that filled out that little sentence, "I'm going to do something" and then added a specific day, time and place, we're the ones that actually did the exercise. They committed, because they actually set a date. So they're going to talk about implementing intentions. He said "The sentence they filled out is what the researchers referred to as implementation intentions"...
So he's talking about two different things, Implementation intentions and then we're going to talk about Habit Stacking. Two different things, you can do one or both. He says, "Which is a plan that you make beforehand, about when and where you want to take the action. This is how you intend to implement a particular habit"... So prior to chapter five, we talked about cues.
He said "The cues that can trigger a habit come in a wide variety of forms. There's two common cues, there's a time and a location"...
So remember how we talked about earlier this week, a cue would be... You drive the same direction every single day, or your morning routine. You get up, make your bed, brushing your teeth, going into the bathroom, showering, and all those things you naturally. This morning, I woke up, I was dreaming so hard last night, but that alarm clock went off and I got up to work out, I honestly think I was in still Dreamworld. I realized as I was going in the kitchen, I was shaking up my ketones, and as I was doing all these things, the book popped into my head. I was just opening cupboards, and I felt like I was walking around with my eyes shut.
I realized then that I naturally have a morning routine that I didn't even have to think about it.
I went to the cupboard, I grabbed my shaker bottle, I turned the water on, I filled it with ice, and I went and grabbed my ketones. Before I knew it I felt like I didn't even think, I just had my shaker bottle in my hands and I was ready to go workout. It's a cue, and so you do things naturally. But if it's not a good habit, or a good routine in the morning, you've got to switch it up. The first thing we talked about yesterday was being aware, now he's going to talk about being very specific. "Hundreds of studies have shown that implementation intentions are effective for sticking to your goals. Writing down the exact time and date of when you get the flu shot, or when you got your next appointment at the doctor. That will increase the odds that people will stick to the habits like cycling, studying, going to sleep early, stopping smoking, anything that you want to do. If you can create the system of, the date, the time and the place, you're going to stick with it and create a habit"...
So first of all, my question to you is this "What is the habits that you want to do right now?" I want you to think of one thing today, because I want you to put this into place so you can start the action to create the habit. What is one thing like I want to work out right now, or I want to eat healthy. I want to drink more water, I want to read, or I want to meditate. I'm saying health goals because you're all here for health reasons. Some of you might be going, I want a better marriage, or a better relationship with my kids. I want time freedom, financial freedom.
So the punchline is clear, people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit, are more likely to follow through.
So he said, here's what people tell themselves "I'm going to eat healthier", or "I'm going to write a book". But we never say when and where, so these habits are they going to happen? He goes "We leave it up to chance, and we hope that we'll remember to do it someday if we feel motivated". Here's what happens, if you leave it up to chance... like "I hope I remember to drink my water", or "I hope I remember to go workout tonight after I get home, but usually I'm tired"... If you leave it to chance, or it's not a big deal, and you don't take the action or put the specific steps in place, then life happens. Circumstances happen, environments happen, and so that's the reason why you're going to have to get specific.
"Many people think they lack motivation, when really they just lack clarity. It's not always obvious when and where to take the action. Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the perfect time"...
I tell my team this, I tell my kids this, when they're working on sports or anything in their lives, it doesn't matter. We say don't mess up good for perfect, there's not a perfect time. Are you going to wait for July 1st to start, or are you going to wait for Monday to start, that's around the corner and that might work great for you. He would say this, if you need that starting point, awesome. Wait for the next beginning of the week or the beginning of the month. But you've got to have the action steps and the very specific implementation in place in order to keep going and create a habit. So here's what you need to do, I will (behavior)_______ at a time and a location. For example: I will meditate for one minute at 7am, in my kitchen, I will study Spanish for twenty minutes at 6pm, in my bedroom. I will exercise for one hour at 5pm in my local gym. So that's the first part, "What do you want to do"... I want to know what your goal is, in a specific time and a specific location. If you aren't sure when to start your habit, try the first day of the week, the first month, and so on and so forth. He goes through so much. I really would encourage you, if your goal is to seriously get healthier, get in shape, create habits, to not create this vicious hamster cycle of restarting over and over, get the book. Get the book and go through it, highlight it, take the action, and follow it. He shares a whole bunch of stories, he talks about different cues. And so he says,
"When it comes to building new habits, you can use connectedness of behavior to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit"...
So we talked about specific time and place, and he also talks about habit stacking. What you could do is look at your whole morning. If you feel like you've got your morning routine intact, and you want to implement something different... like I want to be drinking more water, and I want to include a workout. I want to include meditation, or I would like to include something different in my morning, like journaling etc.
You take something that you're already doing, that you feel like is great and you're going to add in another habit in that place. For example, after I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute. So you're taking something that you're already doing, which you feel is great, it's already a habit, and you add something right after it. After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes. After I get out of bed, drink my water and I brush my teeth, I will do twenty minutes of work out.
The key is to tie a desired habit or behavior into something that you're already doing each day.
So there's two different things he's talking about, Implementing intentions and Habit stacking. If you already feel you've got good habits, add a new habit on a good one to keep going. If you don't have anything that you're working on, then you need to get specific with a time, a date and a place. So he lays out habits, more habits, and new behaviors. "Don't ask yourself to do a habit when you're likely to be occupied with something else"... Don't add on I'm going to go work out in the middle the day when you don't have the intention, and when it's easy to get distracted. You've got to figure out what would be the best time, place, and specific date. All right, he said "Habits like reading more, or I want to eat better, are worthy causes. But these goals do not provide instructions on how and when to act. Be specific and be clear... After I close the door, after I brush my teeth, or after I sit down at the table. The specificity is important. The more tightly bound your new habit is to a specific cue, the better the odds are that you will notice when the time comes to act. The first law of behavior of change is to make it obvious. Strategies like implementation intentions and, or Habit stacking are among the many practices of how to create a healthy habit and healthy system"...
I think it's great. So just to go over what he talks about in this chapter, "The first law of behavior change is making it obvious. The two most common cues are time and location. Creating an implementation intention is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with specific times and locations. Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit a good habit. The habit stacking formula is a current habit, and then I will, and then add in a new habit"... If you just need to start something "I want to drink more water every single day, at times that my alarm clock goes off". And you could even say, "I'm going to set an alarm clock every night for the following day to drink my water"...
Because what's super helpful is, you set an alarm clock, your phone goes off, you know it's time to wake up. Then there's a five minute alarm clock later that says drink water. And then thirty minutes later drink your water, and then an hour later drink your water.
I know it sounds repetitive, but it works. If your phone is ringing every thirty, forty five minutes to an hour to drink water, you're going to get into the habit of drinking water.
Or you want to start working out, I'm going to work out every day at six o'clock in the morning, after my alarm clock goes off, upstairs in my workout room. That's mine, what is yours? What is the one thing you want to work on? It doesn't have to be working out, but what do you want to accomplish? If you want to eat healthy, then you're going to have to get specific. And one of the things might be, every Sunday at two o'clock, I'm going to sit down at my table and I'm going to plan my menu for the week. That's one habit, and then we'll go from there. So I wish I could help you create all of your habits, but it depends on what you want to go after. If you're one of those people that don't read, I need you to start reading or listening. You could listen to the book, but the point is, there's already people that have done it before you.
You don't have to recreate the wheel. And if you look at something that you want to accomplish, and it looks hard, I'd love to do it. I don't know how to do it, guess what somebody's already done it. You just have to go seek out the information, seek out the book, seek out the mentor and copy the action.
You don't have to recreate a wheel, you don't have to go figure it out all by yourself. But you do have to get the discipline and take the action to read and then put it into play.
So I hope it's going great, we're on chapter five. Time to go create some new habits and systems so that you can own your life. So I hope that was helpful. Sometimes I think it gets wordy, but the book is great. I tried the best I can to explain it to you, but otherwise, I hope you have an incredible day. Always reach out with any questions that you have, whether it's about how to get started. I have a foods list about how I started and a little video that goes with it.
Anything else, reach out, I'm always here to help. I hope you have a great day.
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