Session One: 


Tuesday Evening February 4, 6:00-7:30     |     Thursday Morning February 6, 11:00 -12:30

Please come to class having read Chapters 1-3 "The Fundamentals - Why Tiny Changes Make a Big Difference". We will discuss this section and do a little brainstorming on how to think about our habits in this "atomic" way that retains our power and reinforces our freedom. The next section "The 1st Law: Make it Obvious" will be introduced.

Chapter 1 Surprising Power of Atomic Habits

  • Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement
  • Habits are a double-edged sword; they can work for or against us
  • Be patient and persistent
  • Forget about setting goals. Focus on your systems instead.
  • You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

Chapter 2 How Your Habits shape your identity

  • Three levels of change: outcome change, process change, and identity change
  • Focus on identity change:  who do you wish to become
  • Every action is a vote for who you wish to become
  • Habits matter because they can change your beliefs about yourself, they establish that a new identity has been born
  • We are constantly looking for evidence that supports what we already believe to be true

Chapter 3 How to build better habits in 4 simple steps

  • A habit is behavior that has been repeated enough to become automatic
  • Habits are how humans solve problems with as little energy/effort as possible
  • Habits are a feedback loop of four steps: cue, craving, response and reward
  • We are going to use this instinctive response to build good habits and break bad ones. We are going to use the 4 Laws of Behavior Change: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying.

Session Two: 


Tuesday Evening February 11, 6:00-7:30     |     Thursday Morning February 13, 11:00 -12:30

Please come to class having read Chapters 4-7 "The 1st Law: Make It Obvious". We will discuss this section and do some group activities to help unlock our thinking and "create a system where good habits emerge naturally and bad habits wither away".

Chapter 4 The Man Who Didn't Look Right

  • Habits are automatically invoked and so we stop paying attention to what we are doing
  • Awareness is absolutely key to making any changes. Without awareness, you have no say in the matter.
  • Pointing-and-calling raises your level of awareness
  • Use the Habits Scorecard to become more aware of your behavior

Chapter 5 The Best Way to Start a New Habit

  • The First Law is Make It Obvious
  • Create an Implementation Intention that stacks a new habit with a current, already established, habit

Chapter 6 Motivation is Overrated: Environment Often Matters More

  • Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time
  • Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out
  • Emphasize the cues of good habits by making them really obvious
  • It's easier to build new habits in a new environment than in an old environment

Chapter 7 The Secret to Self-Control

  • Turn the first law upside-down (Make It Invisible) to eliminate a bad habit
  • Avoid tempting situations; it's easier to avoid temptation than to resist it once you're faced with it
  • Self-control is a short-term strategy, not long-term

Session Three: 


Tuesday Evening February 18, 6:00-7:30     |     Thursday Morning February 20, 11:00 -12:30

Please come to class having read Chapters 8-10 “The 2nd Law - Make it Attractive”.

Chapter 8 How to Make a Habit Irresistible

  • The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive
  • The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming
  • Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop.  When dopamine rises, so does our motivation to act.
  • It is the anticipation of a reward - not the fulfillment of it - that gets us to take action.  The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.
  • Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.

Chapter 9 The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits

  • The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us
  • We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe
  • We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: the close (family and friends), the many (the tribe), and the powerful (those with status and prestige).
  • One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.
  • The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
  • If  behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.

Chapter 10 How to Find and Fix the Causes of Your Bad Habits

  • The inversion of the 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it unattractive.
  • Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive.
  • Your habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires.
  • The cause of your habits is actually the prediction that precedes them. The prediction leads to a feeling.
  • Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.
  • Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings.  Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

Session Four:


Tuesday Evening February 25, 6:00-7:30     |     Thursday Morning February 27, 11:00 -12:30

Please come to class having read Chapters 11-14.