Atomic Habits with a Splash of PsychNerdy Hacks

Well, it has been a minute! I am back, thought that it would be a good idea if I start working on my own habits whilst blabbing all about Atomic Habits 😉

I am currently running a mediation series about this beautiful approach to becoming the person you want to be; and thought that I should share some of these amazing resources along the way.

Let’s Get Started!

First, it is my suggestion that you start with a ‘life lens’ that sees the navigation of the messiness of life AS perfection. #MyBeautifulMessyLife

Personal growth is hard, but that is also why it is so worth the effort. There are definitely ways to go about this change that are easier, ways that are more sustainable, ways that work with our brain and not against it and ways that dial down the shame and increase the “wow! I am not so bad! Actually I am pretty great!”.

Here is one of those life hacks I love

What I love about James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, is how clear he lays out the path to self improvement and how his narrative really makes the those skills come alive.

Before we dig in to this habit world, a little advice from your friendly neighbourhood PsychNerd could be helpful…

Changing habits is challenging for two reasons:

we try to change the wrong thing
we try to change our habits in the wrong way

Cool thing about this book, Atomic Habits, is that it gives us a great approach to how to actually do it in a way that us psychologists love to see. No shame spirals!

Shame = no gain…sneak up on yourself with small wins, 1% better, everyday, well then, you have a recipe for growth. #DownWithShame. Just ask Brene Brown about shame, read, listen to anything by this amazing guru if you find that you are getting stick in a shame avalanche.

Here we go! Change Has Layers

There are three layers of behaviour change:

Change Focused on Outcomes: This level is concerned with the outcome you want, the “what” part of behaviour change. Most of the goals you set are associated with this level of change.

The second layer is changing your process. This level is concerned with changing your habits and systems. The “how” part of behaviour change. Most of the habits you build are associated with this level.

The third and deepest layer is changing your identity. This level is concerned with changing your beliefs about yourself, others and the world. Most of the beliefs, assumptions, and biases you hold are associated with this level.

Direction Matters

When it comes to building habits that stick around, we need be kind to ourselves, we need to take it slow meaning that we focus on just 1% improvement day-by-day. Change is sustainable if we sneak up on ourselves 🙂

All three levels of behaviour change are great, and useful in their own way, one is not “better” or “worse”. The important part is the direction of change. Identity-Based habit building can be the most effective way to sneak up on ourselves, noticing all the little changes that align with the person you want to be.

Identity outward and onward!

Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

Still Wondering Where to Start?

I think one of the most amazing resources is the Year Compass. It is such a great way to work through what you want to change in your life, or do in your life, or accomplish in your life.

I do this every year. It really helps me with the 1% changes, where I get that glorious dopamine hit from successfully taking small steps toward my goals, heading in the direction that my compass needle is pointing.

Check it out!

Where we can infuse a little mindfulness into this habit shaping process is in the engaging of your non-judgemental awareness skill. Seeing your mistakes as a part of the learning process. Observing what “shows up” when you think you have made a mistake, noticing, becoming aware, not adding any positive or negative label and just saying to yourself, “ok, that happened, now what is my next step?” #RadicalAcceptance

Non-judgemental Awareness! Notice, become aware, grow!

Tell me about your journey!
#YouGotThis #LiveFully #EmbraceThisMessyLife

Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.

Psychologist | Navigator of this Beautiful Messy Life

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