111: James Clear: How to Transform Your Habits

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James Clear is an avid writer, weight lifter, world traveler and photographer who teaches people to master their lives by mastering their habits. James’ writing focuses on the science of habit transformation and the processes he has used to

make implementing new habits effortless. He currently runs a blog with over 75,000 subscribers and delivers keynote speeches around the country.

Favorite Success Quote

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Key Points

1. Consistency is the Key to Success 

Amateurs do things when they feel inspired, professional maintain a consistent and sustainable schedule.

If you want to break out of the amateur life, out of mediocrity, and out of the world of average, then you must become obsessed with consistency.

Intensity is great, it has its time and its place.

But consistency is the driver behind all real achievement and greatness.

To reach great levels of success, you must start by laying one or two bricks each and every day.

It will not seem like much at the time, but over the course of the weeks, months, and years, you will slowly start to build something great, something worth remembering.

But you must be consistent.

You must show up each and every day.

Not just when you feel inspired.

2. Do Better Work 

Let me ask you a question.

Today, did you put forth the best work that was possible for you?

If you are anything like me and the rest of the world, then probably not.

You see, we all have the capacity to do better work.

We all have the ability to take our projects from a 7/10 to a 10/10.

But we choose not to.

We opt for ease over excellence.

If you want to create something truly great, then you must commit here and now to only do great work.

Quit half-assing and b.s.ing.

Just do better work.

3. Move Important Tasks to the Slots Where You Have the Most Energy 

If you have an important task to take care of, then why in the world would you wait until you are tired and burnt out from the rest of the day to do it?

Most people do not have a time management problem, they have an energy management problem.

They don’t realize that they should schedule tasks based on their energy levels and not the time of day.

If you are always groggy and tired in the mornings, then do not do your most important task first.

Save it for when you are inspired, energetic, and enthusiastic.

Conversely, if you do your best work in the morning, then don’t put off important tasks until the end of the day.

You will only decrease the quality of your work and burn yourself out.

Learn to manage your tasks and your energy levels and your time will take care of itself.

4. Identity Determines Your Behavior 

Your identity and mindset determine almost all of your behavior.

If you identify as an entrepreneur, a hustler, and a game changer, then your actions will typically align.

Your brain will not allow you to maintain an identity that has no logical foundation.

Likewise, if you see yourself as a party animal, a ladies man, and a bad boy, then your habits will typically align.

You will likely smoke, drink, abuse drugs, and have unsafe sex.

Why? Because that is what your identity is aligned with.

Therefore, if you want to change your habits, start by changing your identity.

Figure out ways that you can transform how you view yourself and who you are.

Because only then will your habits start to fall into place.

5. Habits are a Lifestyle 

Habits are a lifestyle, not an arbitrary finish line.

Let’s take the common success habit of waking up at 5 a.m.

Instead of seeing this habit as “completed” whenever you wake up at 5 o’clock 21 days in a row, consider this habit part of your lifestyle.

Meaning that at least 80% of your mornings should start before 5 a.m.

It’s a part of your lifestyle and a part of your identity, not some cute little activity you do for 21 days and then forget about.

Influential Books

Complications by Atwul Grande

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman

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Connect with James Clear

jamesclear.com

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