Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Habits good and bad

I've just bought Atomic Habits by James Clear. I have a shelf of Self Help books, so did I really need another one? However, this one came highly recommended and, as one of the reviews said, though there was nothing in the book that they didn't already know, it is sometimes good to be reminded. Also, by having things explained in a slightly different way, one can often see things more clearly. And (no pun intended) James Clear does have a clear and engaging writing style.

The first thing that he points out is that setting goals is not the way to achieve things. Instead, you need to put in place systems that will get you working towards your goal.

I actually found this out by accident a few years ago with regard to learning Welsh. Once you get reasonably fluent with a language, setting goals becomes next to impossible. How can you specify them? So instead I committed to spending an average of 45 minutes per day[*] doing something to practice and improve my Welsh. That has probably been the biggest factor in improving my fluency as I looked for different ways of meeting that target and knowing that I do have a target helps motivate me to go to the chat group in the cafe or have conversations online.

Unfortunately, other projects haven't progressed as well, so I'm hoping for inspiration from the book!

[*] NB I find that using an average over a period of time works much better than specifying so much time per day. It seems I am incapable of doing something religiously every day, but over a week or month I can average things out.

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