Going into the new year, I am certain most of us have resolutions or goals we hope to achieve, especially with the dismal climate of 2020. One of my own professional and personal goals is to read more scientific literature and stay up-to-date on COVID-19 news. I feel this is especially important as a medical professional and as the pandemic crisis becomes more devastating than ever. I can easily tell myself that I will read more, but how will I know this is executed? I recently finished James Clear’s “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” and have a few takeaways that I intend on implementing into this goal of mine. Here is the succinct breakdown, which I hope others find useful in applying to their own resolutions!
- Make it obvious – changing your environment to make the stimulus causing the behavior extremely obvious. I will change the homepage of my internet browser to be a journal’s website so that the first thing I look at when launching the internet is a slew of scientific articles.
- Make it attractive – understanding why you want to engage in the good habit and ultimately why it is appealing to you. I want to enhance my clinical knowledge and stay up-to-date on the latest clinical research, hence why I have set this goal. It is attractive because it is extremely relevant to my future career.
- Make it easy – habits can be hard to adopt if they are beyond tangible achievement. My goal is quite easy, as it does not take too much time out of a day to read through some scientific journal articles. I can easily replace the time I waste browsing other leisurely websites with applicable reading.
- Make it satisfying – once you engage in the behavior, you want a response that proves the habit to be satisfying. I am thinking about creating a journal where I write down 3 takeaways from what I have read so that I can look back and be satisfied with the knowledge I have gained. Without tracking, I may lose satisfaction or sight of my accomplishments.
The book contains many more concepts and principles to help you with creating good habits and breaking bad habits that I will leave out of this post so as to not render reading the book redundant. Overall, I have picked up many solid ideas to apply to a few habits that I want to develop in 2021 and recommend this book for anyone who wants to improve their life in such a way!