Small wins, tiny changes – big impact
I have just finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.
The 2018 book sub-title says it all – an easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones.
In this case the author refreshingly delivers on his promise.
I did find Atomic Habits easy to read, practical and offers a number of useful insights.
In a world of disruptive technology where innovation seemingly has to be big, the idea that you can make a significant difference by making small changes to your brand, business and life is a profound shift.
I too agree with this approach. It is why I developed Small Wins Innovation. as a faster, easier and more engaging way to innovate than disruption for example.
The author’s ideas also remind me of Nudge Theory where as the name suggests sometimes just a little nudge can influence a decision or action.
One of the aspects I particularly like about James Clear model is the idea of building a habit.
According to Clear, a habit is a routine or behaviour that is performed regularly.
If you can make a small change (e.g. 10 pushups a day) then these can compound into remarkeable results over years.
His work builds on The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and the theory of Aggregation of Marginal Gains. developed by British Cycling coach – Dave Brailsford.
In the book, James makes a convincing case that you should forget about goals and focus more on a system to achieve these. Developing a system of say 1 percent improvements every days for example means that you continuously make progress, learn, grow and stay motivated.
The author outlines 4 small change laws in developing a desirable habit:
– Make it obvious
– Make it attractive
– Make it easy
– Make it satisfying
There is another big advantage of thinking small that I have found as well.
People are more likely to experiment and take risks. If you have to bet your house on a new venture then most people shy away but if you are risking something tiny then you are more willing to give it a go.
This creates a culture of play, experimentation, curiosity and innovation.
Atomic Habits is well worth a read.