How To Build Awesome Habits: James Clear | Rich Roll Podcast

Published 2018-10-28
James Clear is an author, speaker & expert on behavior change whose work has been used by teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. He is the author of NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. This is a powerful conversation on overcoming bad habits and adopting good habits with staying power.

✌🏼🌱 - Rich



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Hi I'm Rich Roll. I'm a vegan ultra-endurance athlete, author, podcaster, public speaker & wellness evangelist at large. But mainly I'm a dad of four. If you want to know more, the NY Times wrote some nice things"

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1:15:34 - Importance of momentum
1:17:26 - Negative momentum
1:18:52 - Signals of progress maintain momentum
1:23:46 - Strategies to break bad habits
1:37:03 - Figuring out ways to feel successful in the moment for building good habits.
1:38:47 - Habit tracking

#richroll #jamesclear #atomichabits

All Comments (21)
  • Bai Zhen
    4 stages (laws) of habits: 9:09 20:05 37:19
    1. Cue (Make it obvious, Exposure) - For bad habits, make it invisible. If you cut out the stimuli, then the bad habit loop will not happen. Raw data. Example: Flossing, place the floss close-by.
    2. Craving (Make it attractive): prediction, interpretation on how we should act. 4:30 , 10:30 For bad habits, make it unattractive. 50:19 When you interpret a behavior as attractive then there is reason to perform an action. Sometimes it is depending on the people we are around.
    3. Response (Make it easy) : Interpretation of the reward. For bad habits, make it difficult. 59:32 Convenience, we leave the phone in a separate location. Get them to work for you. Example: garden hose, if we want more water unfold the bend, and let water flow through naturally. Sustainable gentle solution. Prime your environment to make your default reaction easier.
    4. Reward (Make it satisfying) make it your identity, habit tracking 22:42 For bad habits, make it not satisfying. 1:14:00 reinforcement of your identity. Behavior that are immediately rewarded gets repeated. How quickly you feel good.

    1:30 Define: Habit: Behavior repeat enough times to be automatic. Be aware of those habits.

    3:11 Habits is the physical manifestations of your psychological make-up, conscious/unconscious mind.

    5:00 Habits is a way to adapt to an environment, and solving a recurring problem.

    6:18 Behavior psychology, BF skinner. cognitive psychology: it is not just about cue and rewards, but also the mindset and psychological process (the internal process).

    9:23 Contextualize the cue, helps clarify what the reward, why important? Perceive value motivates you to act. Actual value motivates you to repeat. example: buying on Amazon.

    11:52 Every behavior is driven by a change of state. Example: eating doritos, using phone --> not be bored, change that state. You didn't get out of the womb with a desire to check Instagram.

    13:00 Habits dictate our experience as humans.

    14:27 Life mantra: suffer a little bit more

    15:00 It is easy to theorize, but we need to be actionable.

    16:00 We write the book we need ourselves. When he write about habits, it is to learn about it and improve.

    18:16 The outcomes are the manifestations that precede your habits. Habits are the ways you embody your identity.

    21:25 All behaviors serve you in some ways. Example: Donut, going to the gym.

    23:40 Bad habits does not serve you in the long run; good habits serve you in the long run. Should we remove the judgment of habits? In order to be aware of your habits, then you need to think about it and compel yourself to change. There are habits that serve you and some that are not in the long term. Example: smoking.

    27:35 Analysis paralysis: overthink too much, but we need to take actions. Motion vs. action. Action will deliver the results, but motion is only related. Example: going to the gym and train vs. talking to the trainer.

    29:10 True behavior change is identity change.
    Reinforce that identity that you want. It is all about the process and journey. How do I become the person that embodies this every day! Small habits.

    31:24 Every great achievement is about the tiny little non-sexy things we do every day. Habits are the foundation for mastery. 33:10 Example: Lebron, automate everything

    33:00 Free Solo, he is master rock climber:
    He runs it so many times they can just automate it and do it on the fly.
    Olympians work for 4 years to shave off 200th of a second.

    39:28 The best ways is to change the environment so it is conducive to healthy choices. Reimagining the landscape. Structural systemic changes. Example: Six pack of beer, put it in the back of the fridge so you don't see it.

    41:26 True addiction: many of these tips might not work for them. Need a different approach. Addiction: behavior that is on repeat even though we know it is not good for us. Satisfy the craving, but doesn't help in any other way.

    44:33 Surrender, and understand that I need to let go. Determination and grit didn't work against true addiction. Isolated him for other people. The strategy might help with the denial.

    46:00 The biology of bad behaviors. TMS machine, magnetic stimulation for the brain. Prefrontal cortex, area for addicts is deactivated, when craving arises we have trouble resisting.

    51:00 Tribes: what does it mean? The community we are part of, the shared expectations to be part of the group, when you have friends there, the habits that aligned with it are attractive. Join a group where you desire behavior is the norm behavior. Surround yourself with the people that reinforce that. Asking people to change their habits is asking them to change their tribes.

    54:53 Facts change our lives: we need to have some reasonable based-lines, people hold belief because it helps them belong.

    56:30: NYU research, the importance of punishment and consequences. Fear consequences change people in short run. But for long run, you need lasting reward. Example: Gym that pays you back if you attend the gym. Thomas Frank (Colorado), waking up early, created a twitter post that if he didn't get up then he will pay people $25, he will wake up at 6 am. Tim Ferrell similar example.

    1:04:10 You want to make it automatic (brainless) to make it easy for you.

    1:04:56 Cell phone: it becomes so addictive.

    1:05:00 Minimalism: Having the optimal number of things, not just not having things.

    1:07:00 Capitalism: designers to lay out casinos, airports so we can spend more money. Example: Youtube, steve jobs didn't let his kids have IPAD.

    1:08:00 Two minute rule: Scale it down, make it simple. Mastering the art of showing up. A habit needs to be established before we can improve it. Make it as easy as possible to get started. Optimize the starting line instead of the finish line. You have to standardize before you optimize.

    1:11:00 We tend to overestimate what we can do in short term, but underestimate what we can in long term. It often leads to burnout. Example: heating up a ice-cube. 32 degrees, the ice cube will melt.

    1:13:50 This is about identity, this is who I am.

    1:15:00 Momentum: how important is it? Objects that stays in motion stays in motion. Never miss twice in a row. Missing once is a mistake, missing twice becomes a habit.

    1:18:00 Light: the room is dark, I want it to light up, turn on the switch, then lights is on. (example).
    Video games are great with this as well.

    1:21:20 Pokemon Go reference
    "It got people to walk a lot, but it wasn't an exercise app at all."

    Make it attractive, join a tribe that adopts that identity.

    1:31:26 As the good habits form, it crowds out the bad ones.

    1:31:00 Keystone Habits: Exercise, Visualization, Daily Walk, Meditation, Budgeting (pay off debt)

    1:37:20 Make it satisfying (example: chewing gum).

    1:40:00 Temptation bundling: example of going to the gym while watching Game of Thrones.
    incentivize your behavior with another habit. Be willing to experiment.

    1:42:17 You need to experiment, and do what works for you.

    1:42:34: Goals are useful for a sense of direction, but we should focus on the system and process. Problems with goals is that are not sufficient. 90% of the time should be thinking about the process.

    1:48:00 Identity has a permanence to it.

    1:50:33 The problems of good habits, as we get better it becomes our comfort zone, we need to find ways to keep growing.

    1:52:29: Two minute rule, get it started, optimize for finish line. All or nothing mentality, get back on track as quickly as possible. Identity and casting votes for the person who you want to become. Social environment: stick to the environment with the people around you.

    1:55:01 Takeaways to get started: (1) Mindset shift: Try to find a way to get 1% better every day, habits are easy to overlook because they don't seem like very much. It is once it is compounded that you can see it fully apparent. If you understand that concept, then you can understand how your habits shape you. (2) Apply the 2 minute rule, scale it down to the 2 minutes of the behavior. How do you automate the beginning of the behavior. Take small steps.

    1:58:47 Genes and habits: the genes seems like a fix characteristics, the applicability of your genes is highly on context. Example: Introversion/Extroversion. Agreeableness. Consciousness. 5 traits of personality. Understand yourself, then you can find habits that fits you better. What suits us best in our predispositions. Example: Michael Phelps. Where you can handle the pain?

    2:07:00 Habits is the compound interest of self improvements.
  • Coreen Mazzocchi
    "Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you believe that you are." Yes!
  • Tube Valve
    Compared on ego driven podcasts of many others on the internet this interview is pure gem. Rich and James are true gentlemen, no ego trips here, lot of smart mind and good manners. Kudos to both.
  • Mustafa Baris
    Last year I got rid of my bad habits ( Quit alcohol and coffee ) and implemented good habits ( get up at 5.30 am each day , hit the gym , start doing intermittent fasting , start meditation , finish 2 books a week , keep a journal in which I write certain ideas , goals , ext .. ) And I have been able to do all this in ONE year , NEVER needed willpower or motivation , but did it through identity shift and been very consistent. At age 43 , I feel like I am sitting on top of the world ..!
  • billyblack3712
    Everyone in the comments section who is writing quotes from the video... Thank you for sharing those insights that stick out to you! It helps reinforce these amazing concepts not only for yourself, who are typing them out but also, for the rest of us who are listening and then to see those words POP OUT from their screens!!!
  • Naomi Noakes
    "There are NO good or bad habits, there are behaviours that serve you in a particular way, and the goal is to find a behaviour that serves you in a better way!"
  • Kevin Richardson
    "Habits are the compound interest of self improvement." LOVE THIS!
  • antonio s
    1:15:34 Importance of momentum
    1:17:26 Missing once is a mistake, missing twice is the start of a new habit. It creates negative momentum.
    1:18:52 Signals of progressnya will maintain momentum
    1:23:46 Strategies to break bad habits
    1:37:03 Figuring out ways to feel successful in the moment for building good habits.
    Example: Habit tracking 1:38:47
  • Sarah Lockridge
    As a member of the 12 steps myself, grateful Rich is talking about this to educate others.
  • Nina Lara
    “Until you become the person who shows up everyday, there’s nothing to optimize.”
    If you (as I) find yourself overwhelmed by the details, remember that just doing something, anything, everyday in the vein of who you choose to become is the incremental change that can segue into lasting results.
  • “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

    My favorite quote from the Atomic habits.
  • Alyana Guarin
    This is probably the longest interview/podcast I have ever listened to, but the content in this just kept me glued to it and kept me listening. Thank you so much Rich and James for this wonderful conversation which also doubles as a treasure trove of golden nuggets of practical information that we can all start implementing into our lives. Thank you for this!
  • darielwildfire
    About the running and working out habit, automating the first 2 minutes: I did that! I realized my biggest obstacle (and excuse) was putting on my workout clothes when I got home from work. So I started bringing my workout gear with me to work, change at work before leaving. And when I get in the car, the brain goes " oh...I'm already in my workout gear, lets just hit the running track/gym". Now if I don't do it it makes my evening miserable and antsy! :D.
  • One of my big takeaway; It's not the goal, but the tiny habits over time that leads to the goal that should be our primary focus.
  • NI KO
    "Achieving your goal, only changes your life for the moment. Whereas identity has a permanence to it" - Thanks guys, awesome video.
  • This book was life changing for me. It is one of about 10 books that I would recommend to younger people that I wish I'd had available and read when I was much younger.
  • Molly Grace
    The part about changing your identity is so important. When I first went vegan, it was for ethical reasons, but I also lost weight. But when people ask me if going vegan is a good weight loss plan, I usually say it isn’t. If I were denying myself meat and cheese to lose weight, I’d be stressed all the time and would definitely “cheat” regularly. Since it was for ethical reasons, all the stress went away. When someone offered me those foods, I just knew that wasn’t me anymore and it was easy.
  • Jani Verster
    The key to breaking a bad habit is first to understand exactly what payoff you get from it in the moment. So, give in to the habit but be totally aware of what you are feeling while indulging. Only then will you have the knowledge to address the problem.
  • This is so effective. When I found myself craving for Street food I just repeatedly say.
    Okay here I go, I am about to eat a bunch of this food which will make me unhealthy.
    I repeat it about 5 times and I suddenly feel, duhh I am a healthy person I don't eat trash food. But honestly it's an everyday battle
  • Luv Supreme
    Rich Roll is such a great interviewer. What he adds to the conversation enhances the talk and he doesn't interrupt for interruptions' sake like a lot of these interviewers. Great content. Reading Atomic Habits right now. 👍