Hello everyone and welcome back to another post. I am writing this on the last day of spring break. Yesterday, I finished reading, or I guess listening to, the Atomic Habits book by James Clear so I thought today would be a good time to start the blog post reflecting on it while it was still fresh in my mind. Along with the Atomic Habits book, I will be talking about the work that we have been doing with the 7 Habits and Positive Brain Training (PBT). Without further due, let’s begin.
As I mentioned above, yesterday I finished listening to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear (you can check out this book here). Throughout my whole time with this book, I thought that it would help me understand the book better by keeping a document with section summaries. So I did. Below, you can check out the section summaries ⬇️
Because there were so many anecdotes and long hours of reading/listening that went along with this book, it helped my brain to break down each section and add in a few quotes that I thought best captured the idea that was being told. Halfway through reading the book, I decided I wanted to switch over to an audiobook. This was a somewhat long book to read and I found it hard to stay focused for a long enough time to get into reading the book. The audiobook gave me the freedom to take my dog for a walk or clean while I was listening to it. As much as I like reading, the audiobook was the right option for me, which I will keep in mind going forward. So as I was saying, I kept notes while reading/listening to this book. You can check them out below ⬇️
Overall, I did enjoy the book more than I thought I would. I’ve found ways to implement some of the strategies that I learned about in my life. For example, something that I’ve always struggled with is keeping my room clean. My clothes would just pile up everywhere, there would be dirty dishes on every surface, and my mom would constantly nag me to clean them. And even after I cleaned my room, within what felt like hours, it would go back to being a mess. After reading this book, I realized that just cleaning my room wouldn’t do anything. I had to change the systems which I had implemented. When I got home from school, instead of throwing my backpack into my room, I emptied it and set it up for the next day. Instead of throwing my dirty clothes on the floor, I put them in the laundry basket (which I should have already been doing but you know…). Instead of leaving dishes everywhere, I now put them in one place and take them down whenever I go downstairs. I can proudly say that I am writing this blog post in my room, and it is very clean.
Another example of how I applied this book is through habit stacking. I’ve always wanted to start working out but never felt like I had the time or motivation to do it. It was always in the back of my mind but I never really took any action. Over spring break, I tried for 3 days using habit stacking to get myself to go to the gym. It went like this:
- I will set out my clothes and bag for tomorrow mornings work out
- When I get up, I will put on the clothes
- After putting on my clothes I will put up my hair
- After putting up my hair I will go get food from downstairs
- After getting food, I will grab my bag and walk to the bus
- After bussing I will get off and walk to Delbrook and check-in
- After checking in I will go into the gym and do my set routine
This seemed tedious to me to have to plan out everything step by step. I went on the first day of spring break to the gym. After a week of doing it, it became almost, dare I say, a habit. While it is very unrealistic that I keep going to the gym every day during the school year, this was a very real-world example for me of how habit stacking can help create good habits. Below you can see a picture of me getting ready to go ⬇️
Enough good stuff. This was too long of a book for what it was about. While it was good, it could have been 1/3 of the length and gotten the same point across. I love anecdotes. They’re amazing. But when a book is ONLY anecdotes, it’s too much. Ok, it wasn’t only anecdotes but it was too many. In each chapter, there were at least 5 when there only needed to be 2. I think that it’s unrealistic for the author to expect people to be interested in the whole book when 2/3 of the time it feels like just saying the same thing over and over again.
Although it did have its dull moments, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a different perspective on their day-to-day life. If you’re looking for ways to start implementing change in your life, this is the book for you.
In Grade 9, we did a project on the book 7 Habits by Sean Covey. It taught us many many valuable lessons that you can read about in the blog post I already wrote here. We revisited the book during our time in PGP because it tied in with the learning that we were doing with Atomic Habits. Going back and revisiting the 7 Habits, after everything that we have done since then, it let me look at it in a different light. During the time that we did the project, it felt like everything I was doing with the 7 Habits was all-consuming of my life. This made me have a somewhat negative view of it which I didn’t outwardly express. However, after having a while away from it, I was able to revisit it in this project with a better mindset. You can read about the project in the blog post I already wrote here. And you can check out all 7 Habits in the poster below
Positive Brain Training (PBT):
Since the turn of the semester, we have been practicing our PBT. The theory that we were told at the beginning of our PBT was one that Shawn Achor came up with. He says that “In just a two-minute span of time, done for 21 days in a row, [you] can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to work more optimistically and more successfully”. And so, we put that to the test. Every day since February 3rd, I have been practicing the different methods of PBT that we were taught in class and recording them on a daily note in my craft. I’m not going to share the exact entries that I wrote, but you can check out my calendar below ⬇️
My favourite method that we learned was journaling. I felt like it was a judgment-free zone for me to get my thoughts out. It was a good way at the end of the day for me to unwind from a busy day. My least favourite one that we did was meditation. I feel like I don’t have the attention span to sit for more than 3 minutes without thinking of anything. It’s something I would like to work on in the future though because I admire people who can meditate successfully.
Overall, I did enjoy the positive brain training. I liked being able to take a minute out of my day to reflect on the good things that happened. I started to notice after a few weeks that I was looking at the world differently. In a more positive way. The first time I noticed this was when I was looking out the window of class one day and it was raining. Usually, I would think to myself “Oh I hate the rain, ugh”. But instead, I found myself thinking “Oh look, there are new buds on the trees. Spring must be coming soon”. Another example of this was when I missed the bus. I would usually think to myself “Crap, I missed the bus”. But that time I thought “At least I get to spend more time with my friends”. It was really interesting to see how by just taking a few minutes out of my life, I could retrain my brain to think ‘glass half full’ instead of ‘glass half empty’.
Driving Question: How does balance within my life create opportunities?
Answer: Achieving balance in your life can create a range of opportunities, from improving your health and well-being to increasing your productivity and achieving your goals. In Atomic Habits, the importance of small consistent habits in achieving significant goals is talked about a lot (maybe too much). A balanced approach to developing and maintaining these habits can create opportunities for growth and success. Like my personal example, if you balance your time between exercise and the rest of your life, you can be more likely to stick to your habit of going to the gym every day, leading to improved physical health and increased energy for work and other activities. Positive Brain Training shows you that by focusing on positive thoughts and experiences, you can rewire your brain to be more adaptable. Positive experiences, such as spending time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies, or my example of practicing journaling, can create opportunities for improved mental health and well-being. For example, by practicing journaling every day, you may develop a more positive outlook on life, leading to increased happiness and resilience in the face of challenges.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post 🙂