Triple Shot of Self Improvement

This school year has gone in 100 different unexpected directions. One thing that has stayed solid throughout however, has been our work with Atomic Habits by James Clear. 

You can read more about my previous work with the book by checking out the posts below: 

Since our introduction to the book back in the beginning of the year, I have become very well versed in the ideas that Atomic Habits has to share. And as the penultimate year of my high school career comes to and end, we have been given one last assignment to end it off well. 

What you see above you is the artifact of my final PGP project of the year.

I really enjoy making videos and short films like this, so when the opportunity arises I tend to take it. And I did. 

The video above was the result of a one-week think > plan > create process; Before I started working on my artifact I filled out a tic-tac-toe form that gave my teacher an idea of what I would be doing for this final project: a short video showing how the four laws of Atomic Habits can better a person. I decided that to make it connect well with the audience I would also make the video based in a quarantined time, much like the one we have been living in the past few months. 


 

THE PROCESS

Then, I moved on to create an outline for what I wanted to include from the book into the video and what kind of video I was going to create.

After that I began working on a storyboard. A bit of a BTS secret is that the voice over and writing I did in the video were made up when I sat down to write. I was thinking about the ways that quarantine has affected myself and the people around me, and I decided I wanted the character in the video to reflect that, so when I sat down I put myself in her shoes and just made a rough draft in my head before hitting record and writing. 

Finally, the day came to start filming. I began shooting the scenes where I was supposed to be “sleeping” first. Because I’m not a very good sleeper, I filmed those scenes at 12:30am the night before filming day with my camera propped up on a shelf. It was good because there was no light coming in from outside. It’s probably less good that I was filming at 12:30am but… whatever gets it done I guess. 

[Photos from shooting day]

The day of filming was long, but I got a lot done. One cold cup of tea, a lot of moving around, two pieces of paper in a note book, an evening out skating with my friends and one late night later I was finished with my filming and was ready to start the editing process. And boy oh boy was it a process. 

To edit the video the way I was looking for it to be, I needed to separately edit together each clip with cut-off transitions, add each individual time change, edit the voice-over & writing clips separately, and remove background noise from individual clips that didn’t need it. It took a little while, but I’m so glad I took the time to do it because I’m so happy with the way it turned out.


 

ATOMIC HABITS IN THE FILM

The usage of Atomic Habits in the book is very clear to me, but may be less evident to someone who wasn’t involved in the entire creation process. In the film I used the four laws from the book…

  • The First Law: Make it Obvious
  • The Second Law: Make it Attractive
  • The Third Law: Make it Easy
  • The Fourth Law: Make it Satisfying

…And showed one aspect of each that can help change the way a person lives. Atomic Habits is all about the small changes making big differences, and I wanted to make sure I included that in the way I moved the story along. I picked out one quote or equation from each law and featured the changes that can happen by applying it to one’s life. 

First Law: Make It Obvious


The Second Law: Make it Attractive

The Third Law: Make it Easy

The Fourth Law: Make it Satisfying

By showing these things, I was aiming to show people both the equations/quotes and how they worked. I think the video brought that across pretty clearly.


 

HOW I WILL CONTINUE TO USE ATOMIC HABITS IN MY OWN LIFE

In my post Quiet Thoughtfulness, I talk about Mental Toughness, an idea brought to my attention while reading Atomic Habits that allows you to build strong habits without necessarily having motivation to do so. In that post I say that I am going to try using this to better my sleep schedule because it has become thoroughly destroyed during these past few months. 

Now seems as good of a time as any to admit that I did a pretty terrible job at going through with this. For the first few days it worked, but as with most of my good habits in quarantine, I became restless/bored/not-tired-when-I’m-supposed-to-be and ended up giving in to my bad habits. It’s a lot harder to un-learn something than it is to learn it, and that has become clear to me with this. 

I really like Atomic Habits. It’s an easy read with clear instructions and a simple guide. I find it easy to follow, even for someone who very quickly slips from productive habits when I get tired or busy or stressed. As my life goes on I intend to keep the things I’ve learnt working with this book in the back of my mind to keep myself happy, healthy, and hard working. 

They say good things come in small packages, they’re right. Like a chain reaction in an atomic bomb, even the smallest change can make a huge difference.


This has been my experience creating a final artifact to show my work with the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I hope you enjoyed the film and learning about how I made it and where the ideas come from. 

Thank you for reading, have a great day/night.

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