How to Use Google Calendar Notifications to Support Atomic Habits.
James Clear’s Atomic Habits is one of the most popular self-development books on the market today. We won’t dive too deeply into the content of this book, but in this article, you’ll learn how to use Google Calendar to respond to the main activities that James highlights in his book.
When you finish reading this article, you will have a Google Calendar system to help you create new habits to achieve your life goals and break bad habits that are holding you back.
What Is Atomic Habits?
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear dives deep into the psychology behind why some people are able to establish good habits and break bad ones.
Here are the key takeaways from his self-improvement book:
Success in life comes from small, incremental improvements over time, created by good habits.Instead of focusing on general goals, focus on developing an effective strategy. a habit-based system.Change your habits by analyzing your “ideal” personality and developing your habits to support that personality, who you want to be.
The most important takeaway from this book is the four laws of behavior change.
Make it obvious: Write down your existing habits, including bad habits you want to get rid of and new ones you want to create. Make it attractive: Pair a habit you enjoy doing with a habit you need . do, but not enjoy it as much.Make it easy: make things like making a healthy breakfast very easy to do in the morning, and include reminders that will kick-start the habit.< /li >Pleasure: Keep track of your habit by marking it on your calendar or board whenever you do it that day.
According to Clear, your environment is a key element in driving change. If you still use Google Calendar every day, you can customize it to support your behavior change efforts.
1. Get Your Habits Ready for Google Calendar
If you haven’t read this book yet (but you should!), I’ll show you how to quickly gather information about your habits and prepare them for uploading to Google Calendar.
The idea is that you need to work your way from a list of “identities” to actual habits and their frequency. This is the “make it obvious” part. The Google Sheets spreadsheet is the perfect tool for this.
Create three columns: Personality, Habits and Frequency.
Complete the spreadsheet using the simple examples above as a guide. The identity column should contain personality statements that form the core positive beliefs you have about who you are as a person.
The Habits column lists daily habits that support these positive qualities. And finally, the “Frequency” column will indicate how often you plan to practice these healthy habits.
Note. This process is not about breaking bad habits because Google Calendar is primarily a tool that you will use to encourage and form good habits. Read Atomic Habits if you also want to know how to break bad habits.
2. Schedule Habits as Google Calendar Events
With the list in one hand, log into Google Calendar (at calendar.google.com) with your Google account, and starting on the day of this week you want to start the habit, create a new event. This will make the task of planning habits easier.
Reminders are not enabled by default in Google Calendar, so you will need to adjust these event details to suit your habits.
For example, if I want to do three planks for 60 seconds every day, I will try to do them first thing in the morning before I get ready for work. This means that for this habit, I need a daily event notification at 6:30.
To be reminded of this every day, set the repetition frequency in the drop-down list (default is “Do not repeat”) to the frequency with which you want to perform this habit.
In this case, I want to do this every day before I get ready for work, so the correct frequency to do this is to set the dropdown to Every weekday.
Choose the right frequency for your habit.
You will then want to be reminded when the time is right. Added snooze delay to default notifications. To fix this, click Add notification and set the delay to 0 minutes before the event.
Work on each habit you want to do each week or month, at the intervals you set.
For example, after I finish setting up my morning routine in Google Calendar, my morning schedule will look like this:
Each of these habits includes an automatic repeating option and a notification configured for that morning time.
3. Set Up Clear Notifications You Canâ€™t Miss
The great thing about Google Calendar is that you can make sure notifications arrive wherever you are, whether you’re working on your computer or laptop, or when you’re away from your computer and wearing your phone.
To verify that a pop-up window appears on your computer, sign in to Google Calendar and select the gear icon to open the Google Calendar settings.
Select Notification settings in the left pane, and on the right, configure the following options:
Notifications: desktop notificationsShow snooze notifications: 0 minutes before eventPlay notification sounds: enabled Notify me only if I answered “Yes” or “Maybe”: disabled.
Desktop toast notifications are better here as push notifications will otherwise go to Gmail. With email notifications, you most likely won’t see them the moment you need to complete the habit.
Next, you’ll want to set up the Google Calendar app on your mobile device to also receive event notifications. Make sure you have installed Google Calendar on your Android or iOS device.
Launch the app, select the hamburger menu icon in the top left corner and select “Settings”.
In the settings menu, click “General”.
From the General menu, select Turn on notifications on this device, and then click Calendar Notifications.
In the Notification menu, configure the following options:
Show notifications: enabledAlert: selectedShow as popup: enabledSound: select any alert sound you preferIgnore Do Not Disturb Mode: Specify whether you want to receive notifications even when Do Not Disturb Mode is enabled.
When you’re done, you won’t be reminded of your positive habits, whether you’re working on your computer or just carrying your phone. Since most people use their phone as an alarm clock, the phone is also a great way to get morning habit reminders.
4. Make It Attractive and Satisfying With Apps
The last thing you need to do to get you to stick to these habits is to make it fun and enjoyable for you to listen to Google Calendar reminders, not ignore them.
To make it attractive, you must follow a habit that you should do with an event for a habit that you love to do.
For example, I want to go to the gym a couple of days a week. I also want to spend time with my wife. We love watching Netflix movies together, so I combine it after my workout at the gym. The next day, we order Doordash Healthy after-gym food as a once-a-week reward for a successful workout that week.
Obviously, you don’t want to create attractive bad habits like smoking or drinking as a reward. But by following good good habits along with good habits, you will make those more difficult habits more attractive. You have something to look forward to after that!
To make finishing habits satisfying, we recommend using a goal tracker app. My favorite goal tracking app is Timecap, which is available for both Android and iPhone. This is a paid app, but there are many other free goal tracking apps out there.
There are many psychological studies that show that the act of marking completed habits in something like a goal tracking app satisfies and motivates us. This is especially true if the app creates “streaks” of periods where you have successfully completed the habit many times in a row.
Start Positive Habits and Improve Yourself
Be different and give up all your New Year’s resolutions by the third week of January. By paying more attention to what habits you want to develop, and using tools like Google Calendar and goal tracking apps, you’ll create a system to help you achieve your habits (and your goals) consistently.
Remember, every great achievement in life comes from very small, incremental improvements over time. So install your system and start making improvements.
How to Use Google Calendar Notifications to Support Atomic Habits
How to Use Google Calendar Notifications to Support Atomic Habits