Episode 42: Atomic Habits

What input is getting your output?

You’re listening to the Love Tidbits Podcast, where you’ll discover a small, tasty, delightful, bite-sided tidbit of love. I’m your host, LeAnn Austin 

Hey y’all, welcome to Love Tidbits, episode #42: Atomic Habits  

I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear years ago, and recently I’ve been reading it again. I forgot what an amazing book it is. I could talk for days about this book, but I’m just going to share a few things from the beginning that I love. I highly recommend that you buy this book and use it for a reference often. 

James teaches us to forget about the goals, focus on systems instead.  Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. 

James says, achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment.  We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When we solve problems at the result level, we only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, we need to solve problems at the systems level.  Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves. 

This is sooo good. This is where my Lovin Me program and mind management comes in. When we become aware of and tweak what we’re thinking, meaning our input, the results, or the output, that we truly desire will come.

Another thing you may have noticed as you are working on your goals is that sometimes we have an assumption with our goals. Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. So basically we’re putting off happiness because of this thought, when actually happiness is available to us anytime. And also we’re creating an either or conflict. Either you achieve your goals and are successful, or you fail and you’re disappointed. 

This is how a system first mentality helps.  When you enjoy the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your systems are running. We also practice this in my Lovin Me Program, how to become aware of our feelings, and spoiler alert, it’s coming from our thoughts. And then how rather than waiting until some event happens, we can choose the way we want to think and feel about something now. 

Well there’s one more thing I’ve noticed in my life that James was talking about. He said a goal-oriented mindset can create a yo-yo effect. Many runners, he said, work hard for months, but as soon as they cross the finish line, they stop training. The race is no longer there to motivate them.  When all of our hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you after you achieve it?  It totally makes sense then why we find ourselves reverting to our old habits after accomplishing a goal, hence creating the yo-yo effect. I’ve noticed this with my weight, where I go back and forth with the same 20ish pounds, but as I’m rereading this book, I realize I’ve been focusing on the goal or the result, rather than the systems to get me there.

The goals that I’ve accomplished in the past and I’ve maintained, have been those where I’ve focused on the process rather than on the outcome. James says; the purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True, long-term thinking is less goal thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. It is our commitment to the process that will determine our progress. 

James said, If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again. Not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. 

So as we’re finishing up this year, let’s complete a goal or two by looking at the process or system rather than the outcome. If you’d like some help accomplishing a goal, this is what I do in Lovin Me Program. We figure out the input that’s keeping you from getting the output you want. 

Well, one of my favorite quotes from the book is: “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”  Hmmm, something to think about.

Have a good one y’all. And here’s to focusing on our systems and love.  

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If you would like to become an expert at loving yourself, check out my Lovin Me program at leannaustin.com

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