How to Create an Atomic Chess Habit (with Examples)

James Clear dissected patterns in his greatest-offering reserve Atomic Behavior. He spelled out how to type and sustain great practices as well as split lousy practices.

Practice Loop

James Crystal clear works by using the pattern loop framework to explain how behaviors do the job. It appears to be like like this.

Atomic Habit Loop
The behavior loop from

We can see how these 4 things develop off one particular a further to kind long-long lasting habits. James Clear’s 4 Regulations of Actions Change get the feed-back loop and break it down like so.

  1. Cue – Make it Noticeable.
  2. Craving- Make it Beautiful.
  3. Response – Make it Simple.
  4. Reward – Make it Enjoyable.

Let us use this framework to make a habit of chess analyze.


The cue is the induce that kicks off the habit. An affective cue kicks off the complete habit to make every little thing automatic. A pattern cue to convert off the light is leaving a home. A cue to unplug the toaster is your every thing bagel popping up.

Recall, the cue only receives you started. The cue only reminds you of your pattern. The function of the routine cue is to make it apparent. James Distinct identifies 5 techniques to induce a pattern.


Time is an particularly strong trigger. Possibly you basically established an alarm for 8:00 pm every night time. When the alarm goes off it is time to get a chess board out, open up a e-book or do ways.


desk study space

Instead of time, you can use a actual physical site to kick your behavior into gear. If you want to examine routines at night time your bring about could be your sofa or sofa. Once you sit down to chill out soon after do the job or evening meal, this bodily location can act as a practice cue.

Area (i.e. atmosphere) is the most potent driver of senseless routines and also the least acknowledged. In several instances, our practices and behaviors are simply a response to the environment that surrounds us. 

James Obvious

Preceding Event

A “preceding event” is simply an party that took place that could trigger a new practice. I have three kids and my principal opportunity for researching chess is when they are all in mattress. A set off I could use is the closing their door at evening. They are in mattress, the doorway closes, and it is time to research. Other nighttime examples of this may well be starting the dishwasher, closing the fridge, or shutting down your pc for the night time.

Psychological Condition

Feelings are good triggers for detrimental activities. You are fatigued from a lengthy working day and you are brought on to take in ice cream. You are are feeling bored so you habitually look at social media. It’s tricky to leverage emotional state for positive practice development.

Other Persons

Surround by yourself with folks who have practices you want to emulate. If you want to boost and study chess sign up for a chess club. If there are no chess golf equipment in your place, be part of an on-line club. I hugely endorse becoming a member of :). Our discord keeps me enthusiastic to find out and improve every single day.


The function of the craving in the habit loop is to make your habit appealing. An notion in the ebook is to pair an activity you want to do with an activity you will need to do. An illustration is only observing your favourite display (some thing you want to do) when you physical exercise (some thing you need to do).

This is far more hard with chess study, as it involves so a great deal notice.

If you are a tea drinker, only consume tea even though you perform chess. Probably you appreciate a wonderful scotch — only drink this scotch while you research chess (nevertheless you may perhaps not get as much out of your chess review). Find one thing that works for you.


The reaction is all about generating the behavior straightforward.

At this point we have cued the pattern and created it attractive. Will we observe via?

What does it necessarily mean to be effortless? We want to take away all boundaries to make it as simple as attainable to sit down and examine chess. It is a problem to dig out your chess set from the basement, locate a chess ebook from your bookshelf, discover the page you still left off on and get to work. It’s considerably less complicated to only sit down and get started.

Make It Straightforward

Have the board established up and ready to go. Have the e-book you’re finding out open to the web page you want to carry on finding out. Far better still- set up the future situation in the e book after your preceding analyze session. This way, you can sit down and start off. There is no cognitive overhead, your decisions are presently manufactured and you can basically sit down and examine.

Make Distractions Invisible

If you’re like me, I get distracted by my Television set, laptop, cell phone and books. To stay away from becoming distracted, move these factors far absent from your chess research ecosystem.

Unplug your Tv. Depart your laptop or computer downstairs. Do not enable tiny items get in the way of forming your chess review practice.


chocolate reward

Increase. You did it. You finished your analyze session. What following?

The reward is all about building it satisfying. You must reward you for a career perfectly finished. Have some chocolate, have a beer, or read a wonderful ebook.

Providing your self an rapid reward will more result in your mind to continue on seeking to do this pattern. The reward closes the routine loop.

Instance 1: Analyze from a bodily chess board

Behavior: Study chess from a guide on a physical board for 1 hour every single night.

Time: When the dishes are place away for the night time
Area: Sitting down at the exact table with your chess board and guide
Preceding Function: You just started the dishwasher
You’re drinking your beloved peppermint tea, which you are only allowed to drink when you review chess.
Your board is by now established up to the placement you want to study. Your chess book is open up to the accurate website page. Your notebook is open up and a pen is close by. All you have to do is sit down.
When you’re completed you get a glass of wine.

Instance 2: Assessment openings all through lunch

Pattern: Review openings on your phone for the duration of lunch

Time: Lunch time each working day.
Area: Cafeteria at operate.
Preceding Occasion: You just locked your perform computer system
Emotional Condition: You are happy mainly because you are on split from get the job done.
You only get to go on split from perform when evaluation openings on your cell phone.
Make sure your openings are prepared to assessment. You shouldn’t have to log in or hold out for everything to load. You should really be capable to choose up your mobile phone and start off examining promptly.
When you are concluded you go for a wander outside right before returning to work.


Forming and sustaining a practice of finding out chess will strengthen your rating improved than any other routine. Use the framework described in James Clear’s bestseller Atomic Practices to find out the finest way make this pattern.

Concentration on the technique, not the consequence.

James Clear

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