A "Duh" Moment: 4 Laws = 4 Parts of the Habit Loop

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

This is the perfect example of why I'm glad I took on this blogging challenge. I've read James Clear's Atomic Habits once before and found that while some of the lessons did sink in, I definitely didn't get as deep of an understanding of the book as I am through having to publicly post about it.


The realization in question is that the Four Laws of Human Behavior each correspond to one of the four parts of the habit loop. To sum up the two with a sentence each:


Make your cues obvious,

Make your cravings attractive,

Make your responses easy, &

Make your rewards satisfying.


The simple brilliance in this correspondence between the habit loop and his four laws allows Clear to do a deep dive into each part of the habit loop and give us the tools to tinker with whatever part of the loop appears to be preventing us from making out dream habits a reality. Is there anything obvious in your environment that reminds to you work out when you want to? Are you rewarding yourself properly when you do decide to go, or are you berating yourself for not making enough progress soon enough?


These questions and more can all be birthed from these four statements, and allow us to realize that starting and maintaining habits is a more complex process than it may appear at first glance. This should simultaneously allow you to cut yourself a little slack (even if you've tried the same habit a couple times), and give you a framework for understanding where to look when a habit isn't happening.

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