Let's start by warmly recommending the excellent book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. The best-selling book is about becoming the person you wish to be, by tiny practical changes in your habits and hopefully seeing remarkable results. His ideas are quite powerful to boost productivity and results, but we will also have a look at how they could apply to feeling great about your personal style.
The premise is that a series of small improvements will add up to a remarkable result. James Clear has looked at instances where high achieving people, teams or companies have searched for every little opportunity to improve and believes this is the key to their success.
The name “Atomic Habits” comes from the idea that within the smallest possible element lies a huge amount of power. The book’s advice is to look at what you want to achieve and then think of all the big obvious ways to improve and then also all the seemingly insignificant ways to improve, and then aim to improve a little bit regularly.
Atomic Habits offers advice on how to improve your habits that can be summed up in 3 key points.
Firstly, you must make good habits easy and bad habits hard. A good environment makes good habits easy and we can also remember the old saying about how “a bad system is where good people do bad things”. Instead of having your phone with your morning alarm right next to your bed, you can move it to the other side of the bedroom so you are forced to get out of bed in the morning, instead of pressing snooze.
Secondly, your efforts will be more successful if you track your process. If you want to work out every day, then the simple fact of noting if you did or didn’t work out will help your progress. The smartphone app “Streaks” is great to keep track of your habits.
Thirdly, enjoy the magic of compounding returns. Much like financial investments, good habits that improve your behavior increases your returns quickly. If you improve a skill by 1% every day, you will be 37 times better at the end of the year.
“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken”
- Warren Buffett
The great thing about this concept is that you can apply it to whatever interests you. A team of British bicyclists made tiny incremental improvements and won olympic gold. If you are interested in style, then perhaps this idea can help you set good goals.
Many people want to improve their wardrobe, but it is a big task that can seem overwhelming. A simple solution is to improve the quality incrementally. Get into the good habit of only buying high quality pieces that you can own proudly for many years. If you invest in fewer but better garments, then your wardrobe quality will improve.
Similarly, many people have a style they love and admire, but are not comfortable wearing themselves. You can try the method of small improvements. Define the style you want to have, and then add a small element to your daily outfit. Imagine you want to feel comfortable wearing a suit regularly, but you are afraid to feel overdressed. If you start by wearing a nice shirt regularly, then a few weeks later you start incorporating tailored pants into your wardrobe. At the end you might be able to put on the jacket with complete comfort and owning your personal style. The power of habits is strong, you have to think about how to use it best.