Book Review: Atomic Habits

Book Review: Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits Cover

Book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (amazon)

Author: James Clear -

Publisher's Book Description: No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

DJ Review: 5 out 5 stars. This is my favorite book I read in 2019. Work the system and results will follow.

Favorite Quotes

"You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."

"When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running."

"The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress."

"If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone"

Important Parts

How to create a good habit:

  1. Make it obvious – use habit stacking (see below).
  2. Make it attractive – pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  3. Make it easy – decrease the number of steps between you and your good habit.
  4. Make it satisfying – use a habit tracker (see link). I recommend the ‘Streaks’ mobile app.

How to break a bad habit:

  1. Make it invisible – reduce your exposure and remove the cues.
  2. Make it unattractive – highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits.
  3. Make it difficult – increase the number of steps to do the habit.
  4. Make it unsatisfying – get an accountability partner.

Habit Stacking

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to find a habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top of it. In other words, your current habit becomes the trigger for your new one. This strategy is called "habit stacking." See more info here. A few examples of habit stacking:

  • After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.
  • After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
  • After I get in my car, I will take three deep breaths.

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