“Atomic” Habits – Building Blocks for Big Change

John Middleton
July 31, 2019

There is a saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats” . In the context of coworking, a supportive network of people can do more together than I can do on my own. Staying focused on why I chose coworking helps me face daily the challenges and decisions about how where to spend my time. This reminder helps me make sustained progress. Even the most supportive community can’t do the work for you. You will need a plan and strategies to execute it. Today’s post is about how habits can automate some of that work to make it easier to take consistent action.

Developing progress toward a good goal requires a clear purpose, goals, habits and support.

Building a business or pursuing a personal creative dream, has unique and interesting challenges. The leverage we create with good habits can help keep us from burning all our creative energy in the tasks that just need to get done. Organizing our habits to match our goals allows us to focus our best creative energy on our most difficult and core problem solving.

The practices and habits we adopt need to energize our work or we start to wear down or waste time going in unintended, unhealthy or unproductive directions. Spending time carefully planning and monitoring our habits and energy levels can help us spend energy more wisely. If you were a mechanic it would be like buying a hydrolic lift for your garage instead of using that hand crank jack that comes with your spare tire. It may cost more up front, but will save you energy and time (or maybe a trip to the hospital) over the long run.

Have there been people in your life who inspired you and helped you level up in your development? I bet they had that impact because they shared tools and and skills they had developed through trial and error. Those tips were probably even more helpful if they shared both their successes and failures. Often, we just hear about the highlights of people’s successes. Then when we compare it to our experience, it feels like we must be doing something wrong. Even with the right tools, the process of creativity and discovery means we will make some mistakes along the way. Hearing how others overcome challenges can be just the boost we need to keep going.

Earlier this month, I listened to a great podcast interview with James Clear, author of the book “Atomic Habits” and I think he does a great job of describing how to break habits down for best effect. A brief note. Just some setup, this podcast has a meditation focus usually, but this episode is very focused on the basics of building effective actionable habits.


The Greek Physicist and all around scientist Archimedes said “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” This may not be a practical physics experiment, but it is a powerful picture of how you might leverage “atomic habits” and creative community to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of your work.

A supportive community can give you perspective and encouragement. Small targeted habits aligned to a clear purpose help you stay on track.

John Middleton