Book review – 4 Atomic Habits you should try

Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a must-read for any teacher looking to improve their daily habits and routines. Clear lays out a simple yet effective framework for building and maintaining habits, and provides practical tips and strategies for overcoming common obstacles and pitfalls.

One of the key takeaways from Atomic Habits is the idea that small, consistent changes can lead to significant and lasting results. Clear argues that our habits, whether good or bad, have a profound impact on our lives, and that the key to making lasting changes is to focus on the atomic level – the small, daily actions that make up our routines.

As teachers, we know all too well the importance of consistent habits and routines. From creating lesson plans and grading papers, to managing our classroom environments and engaging with students, our daily habits can make or break our success in the classroom. While we often may tell our students about the importance of staying on top of assignments and breaking things down into small, more manageable pieces we all too often don’t take that advice ourselves!

The four-step framework of Atomic Habits

Clear provides a simple, four-step framework for building new habits: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying. By following this framework, teachers can design their daily routines to be more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.

For example, if a teacher wants to create a habit of grading papers every day, they can make it obvious by setting a specific time and place for grading, making it attractive by using a fun and engaging grading system, making it easy by using a streamlined grading process, and making it satisfying by rewarding themselves for completing the task.

In addition to the four-step framework, Clear also offers practical tips and strategies for overcoming common obstacles and pitfalls. For example, he suggests using a habit tracker to monitor progress, creating an accountability partner to stay on track, and using the “two-minute rule” to make starting a new habit easier.

Overall, Atomic Habits is a valuable resource for teachers looking to improve their daily habits and routines. Clear’s simple yet effective framework and practical tips provide a solid foundation for building and maintaining good habits, and can help teachers increase their productivity, effectiveness, and enjoyment in the classroom.

What do these atomic habits look like in my life?

I find that these atomic habits work well with the concept of “no zero days” – the idea that even if it’s only a small thing, I do something each day towards my goals. I have a LOT of goals that I set for myself, some big and some small. All of them are things that I am intrinsically motivated to do.

My big goals are things like: build my TPT store, become a better musician, work towards getting in shape. Of course none of these things will happen in a short timeframe – they are long-term goals. Clear focuses on getting 1% better each day, which is an obtainable goal.

Atomic habit #1: Make it obvious – I make these goals obvious by keeping things available and easy to reach. For my TPT store, I have a daily agenda where I keep track of things – I write down everything that I do towards building my business. Sometimes I write them down ahead of time so I can plan for things that have a specific timeline, but usually I just write them down as I do them. I keep my music stand near my desk with my instruments readily available. I have a dog to greet me when I come home, and he knows that we take a walk each day.

Atomic habit #2: Make it attractive – I have a nice office space, I keep good pens always handy, and I have a computer that is fast and a great internet connection. There is no reason NOT to do something each day, even if it’s just looking at what is trending on Google or designing a social media graphic.

I always have a piece of music that I want to work on and I make sure that I have good reeds, rosin, etc. so that I will want to play my instruments. I load my phone up with podcasts that I enjoy so I have something to think about while I walk the dog, and I make certain that I have a comfortable pair of walking shoes and comfortable clothing to wear.

Atomic habit #3: Make it easy – I have all of the materials I need at arm’s reach, ready to go. My computer turns on quickly and I have a ready-made list of tasks and projects I need or want to do. I don’t waste time thinking about what I should be doing, I just look at the list. My music is right there, ready to go – and my instruments are on stands, ready to play. My dog – well, he’s a dog! He’s ready to go any time of day or night, and the leash is hanging in the closet next to my earbuds and the poop bags.

Atomic habit #4: Make it satisfying – I use a variety of methods to track my progress. I keep a list of projects that I’ve done, and I use data to show whether or not it’s working to reach my goals. I have participated in a variety of different online projects musically, and while I feel satisfaction when the project is released, I also feel it when I put away the microphone and sheet music once I’ve finished recording my part. I track my steps in Samsung health and it shows me how far I’ve walked along a path – as well as my watch showing a solid dot when I’ve reached my daily target steps!

1 thoughts on “Book review – 4 Atomic Habits you should try

  1. Gaylene Hayden says:

    Thanks for taking the time for this post! Life can be so crazy busy, but it’s nice to know change is possible ! 🙂

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