Chapter 1: The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits Flashcards
the aggregation of marginal gains
Searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do. Break every complex behavior into its constituent parts and improve each by a tiny bit—those tiny improvements will aggregate over time into major improvements.
if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.
Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.
1% worse every day for one year. 0.99365 = 00.03
1% better every day for one year. 1.01365 = 37.78
Accomplishing one extra task is a small feat on any given day, but it counts for a lot over an entire career. The effect of automating an old task or mastering a new skill can be even greater. The more tasks you can handle without thinking, the more your brain is free to focus on other areas.
Learning one new idea won’t make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be transformative. Furthermore, each book you read not only teaches you something new but also opens up different ways of thinking about old ideas. As Warren Buffett says, “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
People reflect your behavior back to you. The more you help others, the more others want to help you. Being a little bit nicer in each interaction can result in a network of broad and strong connections over time.
The frustration of a traffic jam. The weight of parenting responsibilities. The worry of making ends meet. The strain of slightly high blood pressure. By themselves, these common causes of stress are manageable. But when they persist for years, little stresses compound into serious health issues.
Negative thoughts compound
The more you think of yourself as worthless, stupid, or ugly, the more you condition yourself to interpret life that way. You get trapped in a thought loop. The same is true for how you think about others. Once you fall into the habit of seeing people as angry, unjust, or selfish, you see those kind of people everywhere.
Riots, protests, and mass movements are rarely the result of a single event. Instead, a long series of microaggressions and daily aggravations slowly multiply until one event tips the scales and outrage spreads like wildfire.
habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance.
Plateau of Latent Potential
The period of time when progress is undetectable when building a new habit (e.g., why aren’t I losing weight after a month of working out?)
Goals vs. systems
Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. We want to focus on systems. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
For instance, if you’re a coach, your goal might be to win a championship. Your system is the way you recruit players, manage your assistant coaches, and conduct practice.
a little habit that is part of a larger system. Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules, atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results. Atomic habits are the constituents of effective systems.