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by Peter Attia, MD
The Peter Attia Drive

James Clear: Building & changing habits

Description

James Clear is the author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits. His extensive research into human behavior has helped him identify key components of habit formation and develop the “Four Laws of Behavioral Change.” In this episode, James provides insights into how both good and bad habits are formed, including the influence of genetics, environment, social circles, and more. He points to changes one can make to cultivate more perseverance and discipline and describes the profound impact habits can have when tying them into one’s self-identity. Finally, James breaks down his “Four Laws of Behavioral Change” and how to use them to create new habits, undo bad habits, and make meaningful changes in one’s life.

We discuss:

  • Why James became deeply interested in habits [1:45];
  • Viewing habits through an evolutionary lens [6:00];
  • The power of immediate feedback for behavior change, and why we tend to repeat bad habits [9:15];
  • The role of genetics and innate predispositions in determining one’s work ethic and success in a given discipline [14:30];
  • How finding one’s passion can cultivate perseverance and discipline [23:15];
  • Advantages of creating systems and not just setting goals [29:15];
  • The power of habits combined with self-identity to induce change [36:30];
  • How a big environmental change or life event can bring on radical behavioral change [50:30];
  • The influence of one’s social environment on their habits [54:15];
  • How and why habits are formed [1:00:30];
  • How to make or break a habit with the “Four Laws of Behavior Change” [1:09:30];
  • Practical tips for successful behavioral change—the best strategies when starting out [1:16:15];
  • Self-forgiveness and getting back on track immediately after slipping up [1:30:30];
  • Law #1: Make it obvious—strategies for identifying and creating cues to make and break habits [1:39:45];
  • Law #2: Make it attractive—ways to make a new behavior more attractive [1:47:45];
  • Law #3: Make it easy—the 2-minute rule [1:58:45];
  • Law #4: Make it satisfying—rewards and reinforcement [2:03:30];
  • Advice for helping others to make behavioral changes [2:06:00];
  • More.
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Details

Episode 183

by Peter Attia, MD