5 ATOMIC HABITS THAT WILL BOOST YOUR PERSONAL IMAGE



Sometimes the books that I read become an inspiration for a blog article.


That’s what happened with the book that I just finished, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

Many of you know it already (it’s a best seller) and, in my opinion, who doesn’t - and has interest in the personal development area - should definitely read it.


My intention here is not to do the resume of the book, but to translate its main idea into image-improvement solutions.


James Clear says that


“When most people think about the habits they want to build, they naturally start by considering the outcomes they want to achieve. "I want to lose weight." Or, "I want to stop smoking."

The alternative is to build what I call and start by focusing on who we wish to become, not what we want to achieve.

His book offers a four step solution for building good habits:

we have to take the desired action (that one that we want it to become a habit) and make it:

  1. obvious - design your environment so as the cue of the habit you want to build is part of it, is everywhere, visible;

  2. attractive - pair what you need to do (in order to build the habit) with something that you find pleasure in doing; build a friendly environment for it;

  3. easy - start with very little (the two minute rule) and increase the intensity/quantity only gradually, with small steps; create an environment where the habit can be performed easily, eliminating frictions;

  4. satisfying - identify a short-term reward for completing the habit.


Now, let’s see which are the “identity-based habits” that once built will improve your visual impact / your personal and professional image and how can you make it obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying, in order to make them last?


Here they are:

  1. COHERENCE

Becoming the type of person that never presents herself in front of the others without caring about her appearance (not even for a simple online meeting or for taking out the trash) .



Don't risk bumping into your (hopefully) future boyfriend or future boss while wearing the messy ponytail from yesterday. The world is small, my friend, and this kind of images remain forever on the retina.

It takes seven seconds to make a first impression; and neuroscience studies show that people weigh the initial information about their interlocutors much more heavily than later information.

I'm not saying you should dress up for walking the dog around the block, but a minimum aesthetic decency is always welcome.


How to build the habit? Make it:

  • obvious: place a well illuminated mirror near your apartment’s exit door together with a poster depicting a beautiful woman putting on lipstick (no, your husband will not mind); place your lip gloss on the table below.

  • attractive: buy yourself the latest cherry lip gloss that you like so much.

  • easy: begin with just checking if your hair is properly combed. Then increase with always applying the lip gloss. Next time maybe add mascara. Gradually.

  • satisfying: Near the the lip gloss place a bowl with your favorite (sugar-free? vegan?) candies. Allow yourself a candy every time you repeat the good habit.

How this improves your image:

Visual impact matters. And It’s not only about being beautiful or not. “Properly groomed” is translated by your viewer’s subconscious, through a cognitive bias, as “credible”. Scientifically proved.


2. PLANNING.

Becoming the type of person that always prepares on Sundays full outfits for the week to come.


Ah, too hard to do that? No, if you make it a habit.


How to build the habit? Make it:

  • obvious: keep outside your wardrobe, in sight, a full outfit (with accessories and everything) that you like (on a manequin, on a chair, on a hanger). Every time you’ll see it, you will remember that having them prepared for a full week would be very useful.

  • attractive: refurbish your wardrobe into a friendly, cosy environment that you like to spend time in (place an elegant armchair and a small table with some fashion magazines, sprinkle your favorite room perfume).

  • easy: at the beginning, spend just 2 minutes choosing some of the clothes that you wish to wear the following week, hanging them together in the most visible part of your wardrobe. Increase gradually with preparing just one full outfit, then two, and so on.

  • satisfying: reward yourself with a bubble bath after finishing the work.

How this improves your image:

Haste makes waste, everybody knows that. Mornings are usually hasty, therefore not a proper moment to create a winner-outfit. (As a bonus, having everything prepared will get you in better mood from the moment that you open your eyes).


3. (SHOPPING) SELF CONTROL

Becoming the type of person that thinks twice for every acquisition (at least for the ones that require a certain budget).


Impulse acquisitions are the worst for your visual impact. The dress that was pretty in the shop (also pretty expansive) but doesn’t flatter you, and you wear it anyway, because you already bought it, it’s the perfect proof. (Don't tell me you don't have any in your wardrobe, I don't believe you).


How to build the habit? Make it:

  • obvious: stick a “think twice!” reminder on your wallet.

  • attractive: allow yourself shopping sessions together with your best, but ruthless friend, (that will have the task of reminding you the rule).

  • easy: at the beginning, establish this rule for higher amounts (it’s easier to give up a more expensive purchase), than lower it (attention though, lower prices are more attractive thus more tricky - the monthly bank account report can show you that)

  • satisfying: for every impulse acquisition that you succeed in avoiding, save that money in a Piggy Bank for a greater project (for a trip?) Or just reward yourself with an ice-cream.

How this improves your image:

Avoiding mistakes will make your wardrobe more efficient thus more flattering.

In addition, thinking twice will maybe remind you that you have a similar article already in your wardrobe or that your image consultant told you that specific color doesn’t make you look your best.


4. MONITORING

Becoming the type of person that commits to body language improvement and monitoring its evolution, by periodically taping and watching personal presentations.

You will be surprised of how many little things that you can improve you will find out (posture, walk, nervous or verbal twitches etc.)


How to build the habit? Make it:

  • obvious: keep your camera in sight, with a note: “Don’t forget me and I’l make you a star” or just put a Reminder on your phone.

  • attractive: schedule a professional makeup for every taping session, this will make it much more pleasant.

  • easy: begin with a 1 minute video, prolong it periodically.

  • satisfying: the reward part is that you can edit a piece of it and publish it on your socials. I know you want it.

How this improves your image:

Our visual impact is a formula composed by aesthetics and body language. Our posture, our every little gesture says something about us, wouldn’t you want to have it under control?


5. KNOWLEDGE

Becoming the type of person that gets constant up-to-date information in the field of image improvement/style.


Being informed is crucial - even in fields that are not your specialty, a minimum effort makes the difference.

Fashion is a not a superficial matter, but a complex phenomenon that reflects current times and social changes; choosing a certain style tells more about your personality than your words.

So, in the era of socials, just find a couple of experts in the field (not a random influencer that imparts advice from a very subjective/paid point of view, but real experts, that have studied and have experience in the matter), join their newsletter and be the beneficiary of their regular, free of charge advice.


How to build the habit? Make it:

  • obvious: activate Notifications for the expert’s social account that you follow.

  • attractive: read it during your coffee break.

  • easy: initially, allow yourself only 2 minutes for this task. Add more time (or more experts’ advice) gradually.

  • satisfying: reward your self with a small shopping session that day (in this way you can also put in practice the tips and tricks learned).

How this improves your image:

Knowledge is gold. There is always something that is new for us and can enrich our lives. The most stylish people have both talent and fashion culture.


So,

Think of who you wish to become, the ideal you.

How does that person look, presents herself?

What type of clothes she wears, how is her smile, her voice, her gestures?

How is she perceived by the others?

And start today your small-steps-big-transformation, building gradually the good habits that will lead you to be, always, that person.


And remember,


“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”.

By James Clear.

And every outfit you wear is a vote for the image you are creating for yourself.

By me.

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