Optimize Habits

Locked 101 Classes

Habits 101

How to Discover Your Super Power and Install Your #1 Habit

Aristotle tells us: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a HABIT.” It’s not about living at your best every once in a while. It’s about rockin’ it day in and day out. Making it who you are. A habit. That’s what this class is all about. We’ll help you identify and install your #1 keystone habit while learning how to tap into your superpowers and create habits that will change your life.

Locked 101 Classes

Optimizing Algorithms 101

How to Become an Optibot (aka an “Optimizing Robot”!) and Program Yourself to Reach Your Infinite Potential

“Algorithm.” Yuval Noah Harari tells us that it is the most important concept of the 21st century and that “we should make every effort to understand what an algorithm is, and how algorithms are connected with emotions.” Ray Dalio echoes this perspective and tells us that algorithms will be the most important language for us (and our kids) to learn. Psychologists have been talking about algorithms for awhile as well. They call them “if-then implementation intentions”—which are the secret sauce to using your willpower wisely to install habits that run on autopilot. In this class, we tie that all together and then talk about some practical ways to apply that wisdom to our lives so we can program ourselves wisely and have fun seeing just how awesome we can make our lives. 🤓

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Tiny Habits

The Small Changes That Change Everything

BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of behavior change. In this book, he introduces us to the core elements of his Fogg Behavior Model as we learn that habit change doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. As BJ tells us: “We are not the problem. Our approach to change is. It’s a design flaw—not a personal flaw.” Big Ideas we explore include the three elements that drive behavior (B = MAP!), the ABCs of Tiny Habits (Anchor + (Tiny) Behavior + Celebration!), the power of anchor prompts (After I (ANCHOR), I will (NEW HABIT), and the power of celebration (get your Shine on!).


Atomic Habits

An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

James Clear has a super-popular website (jamesclear.com). Millions of people visit it every month and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. After reading this book, I can see why. He’s a great writer and distills the essence of habit formation into, well, its fundamental components—the “atomic” structure if you will—while showing us how those TINY little incremental improvements add up to MIGHTY results. I rarely say a book is a must-read but this one’s as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include: The math behind 1% gains compounding over a year (and a decade!), navigating the Plateau of Latent Potential (ever given up on a habit? Take note!), the importance (and etymology) of our Identity (get this: it *literally* means 'repeated being ness'), The 4 Laws of Behavior Change (remember: cue + craving + response + reward and... make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying), and the Sorites Paradox (can a single habit change your life?).

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The Compound Effect

Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Darren Hardy is the Publisher of SUCCESS magazine and knows a thing or 1,000 about success. It's all boiled down into this little manifesto on The Compound Effect. The equation? Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE. In the Note, we'll check out the power of compounding and how to welcome Mr. Mo to the party and create your greatest life.

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The Slight Edge

Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

Jeff Olson is a down-to-earth, super practical (and successful) guy who believes in the power of turning simple disciplines into massive success. He calls that power “The Slight Edge.” In the Note, we’ll explore Big Ideas ranging from the anti-quantum leap and making course corrections to the habits of a slight edge master and how to create optimal plans.

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Mini Habits

Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

How’s your habit-building process working for you? If you’ve stalled a few (hundred?) times, Stephen Guise tells us that Mini Habits might be just the thing you’re looking for! In the Note we look at what a Mini Habit is and how to go about rockin’ it exploring Big Ideas like making habits stupid small (aka “too small to fail”), embracing Newton’s 1st law, and being aware of ego depletion as you create your chain!

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Superhuman by Habit

A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time
by Tynan

You want to be superhuman? Tynan tells us it's *all* about the habits. I agree. And this book is a genius little manifesto on how to rock it. In the Note, we'll look at some Big Ideas on the basic mental mechanics of installing habits that'll help you reach your potential. Keys: focusing on consistency (!), using your mistakes to your advantage, getting rid of negative habits and focusing on the finish line as you rock the process.

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The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right

Atul Gawande is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He’s also an extraordinary, best-selling author of a number of books. Short story: Want to get things right? Use a checklist. Sounds too silly to work but… It does. Period. Big Ideas we explore include two reasons we err (ignorance + ineptitude), what to do about it (checklists!), how to reduce your Masterpiece Day mortality rate by at least 47% (checklists!), why Van Halen doesn’t like brown M&M’s (checklists!), and your Big 3 Keystone Initiative (checklist!).

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The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Habits. They’re powerful. And, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a very cool look at why we have them, how they work, and what we can do to change them. The book is an incredibly well-written, fun read and it’s packed with great stories and wisdom and I think you’ll dig it. In this Note, we’ll take a quick peek at the basic aspects of a habit loop (cue + routine + reward), how you can get a cue, what a keystone habit is (and why you should care), the importance of believing you can change and the fact that every habit is malleable. Fun!

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Make Your Bed

Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

Admiral William H. McRaven is a Retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for thirty-seven years and commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. (During this time, he oversaw the covert mission that killed Osama bin Laden.) In 2014, he gave the commencement address to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. Millions of people wound up watching his speech on ten lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. This book takes a deeper look at those ten lessons. It’s a super-quick read—packed with simple, yet profound wisdom along with moving stories of moral exemplars. It's FANTASTIC.

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Black Box Thinking

Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do

Failure. Some of us lean into it and learn as much as we can from it, and some of us prefer to avoid thinking about it and/or pretend it never happened. As you may guess, one approach leads to dramatically better performance over the long run. (Hint: Seeing failure as feedback + learning opportunities is a very wise idea.) Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the aviation vs. health care industries, the importance of quantity of work if you want quality, marginal gains, cognitive dissonance and pre-mortems.

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The Power of Habit

Habits. They can make us or break us. This great little book by Jack D. Hodge is a quick-reading 115 pages of goodness to help us change our lives by changing the habits that drive us. It’s packed with Big Ideas. In this Note, we’ll have some fun learning about the difference between “Dreamers” and “Doers” (hint: it’s their habits!), the common denominator of success, how to become a genius, daily drudgery and the power of focus. Good stuff!


#28 Emotional Stamina

What to Do When You’re Having a Rough Day
What do you do when you’re having a rough day? Maybe it starts the moment you wake up and you just don’t feel like doing your normal
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#45 Bright Lines

How to Make Good Contracts with Yourself
I dropped out of law school before a semester was over but I do remember one Big Idea from Contracts class. Lawyers like to say that a
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#46 Commitments: 100% Is a Breeze

99%? Not So Much.
So, as per our last +1, bright lines are super helpful in making deals with ourselves. Here’s another way to look at the same basic idea.

#47 Quick How to on Habits

100% on ONE Keystone Daily Micro Habit
So, we’re ready to go ALL IN and make that 100% commitment with super bright lines. Fantastic. But here’s the deal. First: We need to
Locked +1s

#48 How to Avoid Habit Suicide

OK to Suck. Not OK to Skip.
Let’s say you’re building a new habit a la the Quick How to on Habits +1. We talked about the importance of picking something that fires
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#51 Two Easies

Easy to Do. Easy Not to Do.
Jim Rohn tells us that our success in life is all about the two easies. It’s all about consistently doing the tiny (!) fundamentals that
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#57 How to Put on Your (Life-)Socks

Wisdom from the Greatest Coach Ever
John Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams won 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including an 88-game winning streak. (Go Bruins!) ESPN says
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#58 Digging Foundations

What the World’s Tallest Building Can Teach Us about Building the World’s Tallest You
One more +1 on the fundamentals theme to finish our trifecta following Greatness = Consistency on the Fundamentals and Coach Wooden teaching

#117 Chore vs. Gift

Choosing the Right Why Turns Your Behaviors from One to the Other
Michelle Segar, the scientist we learned about in our last +1, tells us that when we choose the Right (concrete) Why (“Feel better
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#129 What's Your #1 Self-Care Habit?

Perhaps the Most Important Question We Can Ask Ourselves
As we’ve discussed, Michelle Segar is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of how to Optimize our health

#138 Want Willpower: Play Offense not Defense

How to Win the Willpower World Series
Most of us wonder how we can have more willpower in those moments of temptation. But Roy Baumeister—the world’s leading expert on
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#188 Reduce the Variability of Your Behavior

To Increase the Likelihood of Rocking It
We’ve had a number of +1s on how to Optimize the use of our limited Willpower to install Habits that run on autopilot. Here’s another
Locked +1s

#331 How to 100,000x Your Performance

2 AI’s + 100 Algorithms
As we’ve discussed, Ray Dalio is one of the most influential (and wealthiest) people on the planet. In his great book Principles, he walks
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#392 Blissipline

Bliss + Discipline = Secret Sauce
Michael Beckwith coined one of my favorite words: blissipline. Two parts: Bliss + Discipline. This brilliant thought from Beckwith captures

#653 Want Better Habits? Start With Who

Identity = “Repeated Beingness”
Continuing our quick tour through James Clear’s Atomic Habits, let’s talk about the importance of your Identity in forming better habits
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#656 The 4 Laws of Behavior Change

Make It: Obvious + Attractive + Easy + Satisfying
In our last number of +1s, we’ve been having fun swimming in and out of the Atomic Habits pool. Most recently, we had fun measuring
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#657 How to Build a Good Habit

Easy as 1, 2, 3
In our last +1, we took a quick look at James Clear’s “4 Laws of Behavior Change.” I promised to help apply those laws to building a
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#658 How to Break a Bad Habit

Easy as 1, 2, 3
In our last +1, we had fun tweaking James Clear’s 4 Laws of Behavior Change as we applied The 3 Laws of Creating a Great Habit. Pop quiz!!
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#865 Pilot + Co-Pilot + Autopilot

The Art and Science of Installing Good Habit-Algorithms
In our last couple +1s, we talked about Seneca’s wisdom on the importance of “fortifying our pertinacity” until our will to do the
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#992 How to Avoid Being Miserable

William James on Habits
Ryan Holiday has written a bunch of great books. The Obstacle Is the Way. Ego Is the Enemy. The Daily Stoic. His latest? Stillness Is the

#1033 Building an Epic Bridge

I Hereby Challenge You to Have a Series of Really Bad Days
In our last +1, we talked about the Big 2 Virtues. Do you recall what science says are the two most important virtues for flourishing?!
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#1174 Shaping Our Brains

Millisecond by Millisecond
In our last +1, we spent some time on the cortisol-melatonin teeter totter, reminding ourselves to give our melatonin a chance to have some
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#1198 B = MAP

The Behavior Design Equation
BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He’s one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of behavior
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#1199 How to Delete a Behavior

Remove the Prompt and Make It Hard!
In our last +1, we talked about BJ Fogg and his Behavior Design Equation. Pop quiz: Do you remember it? … (Active retrieval for the Making
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#1205 The ABCs of Tiny Habits

Anchor + Behavior + Celebration
Today we’re going to revisit BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Lab at Stanford. We’ve already talked about his equation: B = MAP. (Recall:
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#1206 Celebration

As Powerful as Mindfulness and Gratitude?
In our last +1, BJ Fogg taught us the ABCs of Tiny Habits. Recall: Anchor + Behavior + Celebration. The inspired among us MAPped out the
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#1207 How to Celebrate

In our last +1, we talked about the power of Celebrating our tiny successes. Recall that BJ Fogg tells us: “If you learn just one thing
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#1214 Character Flaws vs. Design Flaws

Note: There’s a BIG Difference
In our last +1, we talked about me and the weed. Strangely, I now LOVE weeds. And, I love pulling them out. In addition to that squirt of
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#1232 How to +3 It

When -1 → +1 = +3
This morning I was preparing for the third session in our Algorithms Module in our Mastery Series for our Coach program. In the first
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#1257 “That Works!”

Let’s Do It Again (And Again) (And Again)
In our last +1, we talked about Trevor Moawad’s distinctions on Conscious Competence from his great book It Takes What It Takes. As we