Atomic Habits Book Summary and Review
I recently read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. This book had been on my reading list for a while, as I’ve heard many great things about it and am fascinated by how our habits can drastically impact our lives. In this blog post, I’ll try to summarize and give my personal review of Atomic Habits.
James Clear breaks the book down into six main sections. In addition to the fundamentals and advanced tactics sections are four sections containing laws of behavior change. These four laws of behavior change include making the behavior:
To break bad habits, there are four inversions to these laws. To eliminate a bad behavior, make the behavior:
The author does a great job of defining key terms throughout the book to ensure that he and the reader are on the same page. James Clear defines a habit as “a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.” He also describes the feedback loop that habits can be broken down into. This feedback loop includes four steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
The book discusses the four laws of behavior change in great depth and gives plenty of interesting real-world examples of habit formation. I don’t want to bore you with the nitty-gritty details of each of the laws in this blog post. If you’re at all curious about any of the information mentioned here, you should definitely give Atomic Habits a read.
Some of the main ideas I took away from reading this book were:
- start small: Forming habits isn’t always easy, so starting small is crucial. Start with a goal of just two minutes a day and build up from there. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Do your best to set realistic goals for yourself.
- forming good habits can be just as important as breaking bad habits: To break bad habits, one can simply do the reverse of what one would do when trying to form good habits. For example, if you’re trying to get out of the habit of watching TV, make that task difficult for yourself by: unplugging your TV when you’re not using it or taking out the remote’s batteries. These seemingly small hurdles will make you consider whether or not you really want to do something before you mindlessly do it. If you want to read more before bed, put the book you’re reading on your bed every day so that the norm would be for you to read.
- optimize your environment: Recreate your environment so that it aligns with your goals. If you want to eat healthier, don’t stock your kitchen with junk food. It sounds simple, but I had definitely overlooked the importance of my environment.
- track your habits: Have some way of tracking the habits that you want to form.
- have someone to hold you accountable: Find someone who you trust to hold you accountable. Let them know what goals you’re working towards and what habits you’re forming to move you towards your goals. Check in with them often. Be completely honest with them and with yourself.
My personal review:
- I’d give Atomic Habits a 5/5
- Atomic Habits was a great read. It’s a well-written, easily understandable guide to habit formation. It’s engaging and informative. I was impressed with how easily applicable all of the information was.
- I would recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about habit formation. Even though some of the actions we take on a daily basis may seem small, they are moving us closer to or further from the goals that we are trying to achieve. I loved learning more about how to form habits that are aligned with my broader goals. James Clear compares the impact of habits to compounding interest. Even if a habit is simple or small, when one does it day after day for years on end, the impact of the habit compounds and can produce results far greater than one could expect.