IBM 195 | How to Create Habits that Stick, an Interview with James Clear

james-clear-speaking200We are creatures of habits. The different between the person that reaches their dream goals and the one that doesn’t is the habits that they live each day.

How can we form the habits that will lead us to success? How can we stick to those habits and become the kind of person that succeeds consistently?

In this episode, we talk to James Clear about the science of forming habits that drive you to success.

Right-click here to download the MP3

In This Episode

  • The secret to forming habits that you will stick to
  • The common myth about habits that holds you back from succeeding
  • The Richard Branson method to becoming a billionaire
  • How to reach peak performance with your time and energy.

Items of Interest

  • James Clear’s Habits Guide for IBM Listeners – James prepared this page to get you directly to all the info and articles that he mentions
  • The Power of Habit – James recommends this book as a good summary of the current research on habit


emma_hart_photoAnother big thank you to Jeremy Frandsen and Jason Van Orden.   I took their advice and put a link to a very simple survey in the ‘thanks for subscribing’ email that goes out from Aweber. And wow people actually fill it in!

I now know that although I rank no1 for ‘beginners dslr photo projects’, in fact all the people who filled in the survey think of themselves as ‘confident intermediates’.   Now I can put more intermediate projects up. Fantastic.

And I even added a ‘what is your greatest photographic pain’ box as a free text box, honestly thinking no one would fill it in, but they have.   And (as Jeremy and Jason said) I now have a bunch of posts ready to go. You guys really do rock  I use Survey Monkey for the survey, very easy to set up). (and free).


Emma Davies

Quick Tip





Audible Membership

It’s important to fill your brain with new content that is relevant to your most immediate goals. We do this efficiently by listening to book on the go just about every day. For this we recommend Audible.

Action Guide

  1. Choose a habit that you want to form
  2. Create a “pre-game” ritual that you do every time you are about to put your new habit into action.
  3. Be consistent. Show up every day. Don’t worry about the results at first. Just start acting in a way that is consistent with the kind of person that succeeds at your chosen habit.

What do you think?

What has helped you form and stick to healthy and successful habits? What is the next habit that you want to work on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Tellman says:

    Hi, guys. Very helpful episode. Since you mentioned TED talks here is an inspiring and short TED presentation by Phil Hansen, that actually talks to “embracing the process” concept and liberation by constraints.

  2. Jeremy, Jason, and James (the triple J),

    I printed out these words from James from about the 17:00 – 18:00 minute mark. They stuck out in my brain *that* much:

    “Prove to yourself that you’re the type of person that takes care of yourself. That’s exactly what identity-based habits are. And I think that a lot of times we’d be much better off if we didn’t set the results first, but instead, focused on building the identity of the type of person who could achieve those things. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, who’s the type of person who could lose 20 pounds? Well, that’s the type of person who works out four times a week and never misses a workout… rather than focusing on the result or the deadline or the performance, just stick to the schedule.”

    I’m currently working on my identity of the person who rocks this IBM dealio. Thanks, guys!

  3. Triple Js!

    Yes, that was the most powerful part of the interview for me as well.

    Hope to cross paths and chat soon at WDS, Joel.

  4. Andy Perkins says:

    Hi guys. Just catching up with this episode. Very good — as usual. Thought I’d post a link to the TED talk of Josh Kaufman as I didn’t see it elsewhere.

    Best, Andy

  5. Thanks for featuring my breakthrough. Your biggest inspiration for me so far has been to stop putting things off because they are not perfect, and just get something out there. I’ve continued to do just that and I’ve got more done since I joined IBM than in the last 2 years of drafting, redrafting, trying out different themes, wondering what content I should put up. Emma.