This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. While researching Atomic Habits, I came across a story that immediately struck me with its simplicity and power. It was the story of Oswald Nuckols, an IT developer from Natchez, Mississippi, and his simple strategy for making future habits easy.
If you watch too much television, unplug it after each use. Only plug it back in if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch. (Which prevents you from turning on Netflix and “just finding something” to watch.) This setup creates just enough friction to prevent mindless viewing.
As I'd done for decades, I silenced that voice of hope with a quick and definitive, "Yeah, right. Nobody's even going to read this thing." However, I'd just read Steven Pressfield's The War of Art Spurred to fight Resistance, I wrote my 50,000-word book in six months by waking at 5 a.m.
Ask yourself what change of state are you seeking from writing. What you crave is not the habit itself but a change, which for a writer is often the sense of accomplishment from being a writer working toward a long-sought-after goal.
Indulge now and pay the price later? Or wait a little and reap bigger rewards in the future? Many of life's biggest challenges come down to a simple trade off. Self-control isn't easy. But it is possible to make it easier. In this guide, I've teamed up with cognitive science PhD student Jakub Jilek for ...
People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.
They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.