a•tom•ic. An extremely small amount of a thing; the single irreducible unit of a larger system. The source of immense energy or power. hab•it. A routine or practice performed regularly; an automatic response to a specific situation. The quality of our life depends on the quality of our habits. Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years. Habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance. “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at 101st blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it - but all that have gone before” - Jacob Riis San Antonio Spurs. We often expect progress to be linear. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. We think we need to change our results, but in reality we need to change the system that cause those results. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves. “The score takes care of itself” -Bill Walsh. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. “Habits like exercise, meditation, journaling, and cooking are reasonable for a day or two but then become a hassle” 😂. Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons:. We try to change the wrong thing. We try to change our habits in the wrong way. Outcomes are what you get. Processes are what you do. Identity is about what you believe. The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits. ￼Act like the type of person you already believe yourself to be. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to upgrade and expand your identity. The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. Identity is literally your repeated beingness. The process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself. Each habit is like a suggestion: “Hey, maybe this is who I am”. Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins. Who is the type of person that can run a successful startup. You need to know who you want to be. The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.