Gems 8.128

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Photo by Picmonkey

James Clear:  Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity. So every morning that you make your bed, you embody the identity of an organized person, someone who’s clean.  Every time you go to the gym, you embody the identity of someone who is fit. Every time you sit down to write, you embody the identity of someone who’s a writer. And so, in that sense, every action that you take is a vote for the type of person that you believe that you are, and as you take these actions, you build up evidence of a particular identity.  Pretty soon, your beliefs have something to root themselves in. And that is the true reason why habits are so important. 

Rich Roll:  That’s James Clear, this week on the Rich Roll Podcast.

RR:  I think it’s fair to say that we all want to live better. This is something everybody aspires to do.  So, how do we do that? Well, doing so requires overcoming bad habits.  But here’s the kicker:  most of us struggle mightily with replacing those bad habits with good habits; and, I think a lot of people — despite the very best intentions — end up setting the wrong goals for themselves.  We then go about employing the wrong strategies to achieve those goals and it becomes this “rinse and repeat” process that typically leads to failure, at least long term, and ultimately leads us mystified and very much discouraged. But this week’s guest would say, “The problem isn’t you.  The problem is your system.” 

This process that we undertake of moving from where you are — stuck, unsatisfied, whatever — to where you aspire to be, that person you wish to be and know you can be is, in my mind, both much an art and a science.  Science helps explain the root causes of our behaviors and how to modify them but applying these principles and putting them into practice — well — that is very much an art. 

My name is Rich Roll.  Yes, that’s my God-given name.  People always seem to find that curious for some reason.  Anyway, I’m you’re host and today we explore the tricky, fraught terrain of behavior change and we’re going to do that with James Clear.

James is an author, a speaker, and an expert on habits, decision making, and continuous improvement.  James’ work is used by teams in the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on “CBS This Morning.”  His website,, receives millions of visitors every month and, from what I understand, hundreds of thousands subscribe to his popular email newsletter which you can also find at

In addition, James is the author of a great new book. It’s called Atomic Habits. It’s a New York Times bestseller and it’s essentially this extensive deep dive into evidence-based self-improvement strategies that focus on the transformative power of making small changes. Small changes.  And how to make them which is something I can say, from a lot of experience, super legit. Jame’s book is killing it right now. I think it was something like No. 13 on the other day, and it’s well deserved because when it comes to habit formation, this guy is the dude. 

I’ve got a bunch more to say about our conversation particulars before we excavate this fascinating and important terrain.

-Rich Roll Podcast: James Clear

Transcript ^ (so far) by Niki Flow. Any errors are mine.

I bought Atomic Habits last month after my friends suggested it during our monthly conference call. We’ve been meeting since 2009, first online daily, then in weekly calls and then monthly zoom calls. Once in 2013, we met in person at a big party at one of the leaders’ houses. It was a beautiful weekend. These people are my champions and heroes. They’ve moved mountains and have completely transformed not just their bodies but their entire lives. None are ultra athletes like Rich but several are runners (marathons, half, and 10/5ks) and one is a triathlete. They won body-building championships. They are healers, businesspeople, and parents. They make kayaks and lead tours in the Maine wilderness. They create art and sing in plays and hike the AT and in the deserts of Arizona to help kids with cancer. They help people around the world every single day with heart-led giving. They are incredible, kind, and generous people of action. So this quote today makes my heart sing, and I understand now why they love this book. When these friends talk about a book that excites them, I listen. So I was really happy to find James had been interviewed by Rich.

I’ll be sharing more quotes from Atomic Habits by James Clear over the next several months. By the way, his 3-2-1 Newsletter is short and always a very good read.

♥. NF

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