Title: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
Author: James Clear
Rating: 10/10 (Moves in to my top favorite 5 of all time)
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.
Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.
Learn how to:
* make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
* overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
* design your environment to make success easier;
* get back on track when you fall off course;
…and much more.
Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.
How many times have you found yourself setting new goals with the intention of bettering your life? How many times have you found yourself actually committing to these goals over a long period of time?
If you are like most, you probably revert back to old behaviors after a week, maybe two. It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. We have all been there.
But that’s where Clear’s book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones can help you. Since finishing the book no more than a week ago, I have already found myself implementing some of the strategies that I learned from this book, and I have to say, it feels good to tackle habits from a different angle.
What Are Atomic Habits?
Atomic habits are small (oftentimes not visible) habits that become routine to us over time. Whether good or bad, these habits provide some sense of ease or relief to our lives, so we continue to act on them.
The downside is that some of these habits can have negative consequences. Think of smoking, drinking, drug use, binge eating, etc. They provide short-term satisfaction, but the long term effects are damaging and harmful to the human body.
An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
If you find yourself struggling with bad habits but can’t seem to shake them, you need to read this book! If you are somebody who generally does pretty well with developing new and improved habits, you still need to read this book!
Atomic Habits: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones is the easiest and most complete guide out there for how you can go about breaking bad habits and replacing them with new ones. That’s because Clear helps you to realize that it isn’t about changing your ways immediately. It’s about bettering yourself just a little bit each and every single day – an approach that is proven to work.
How does Clear do it? By teaching you the four laws to breaking bad habits and replacing them with better ones.
The Four Laws of Behavior Change
Law 1: Make It Obvious
Get specific on exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Most of us go into developing new habits with a vague vision. We say “I want to exercise more” or “I want to eat healthier” or “I want to make more money.” These are good things to want, but how do you plan on exercising more? How do you plan on eating healthier? What do you plan to do in order to make more money?
Make it obvious. Try something like: “Every morning at 7AM I’m going to lift weights for an hour at the gym in my building.” or “”Every evening for dinner I’m going to eat my vegetables first before eating other foods to make sure I eat them before I get too full.”
When you give your habits a time, a place, and a reason, you are more likely to commit to them. Being as specific as possible is going to be your greatest friend.
Law 2: Make It Attractive
Why do you want to change bad habits? What are some of the things you can stack with bad habits that will make them more appealing?
If you are like the majority of individuals out there, you probably don’t like exercising or lifting weights. But what are some of the things that you can do to make it more attractive?
Clear tells the story of a clever engineer who loved Netflix and hated exercising. So he wrote a computer program that would only allow Netflix to play if his stationary bike was cycling above a certain speed. This made it so that if the guy wanted to watch Netflix, he had to exercise. How much easier do you think this made it for the guy to exercise? He probably had a much easier time with it.
Law 3: Make It Easy
The most simple way to do this is to schedule a regular time to do it. Whether or not you know it, you already follow a certain routine (to some extent). Don’t try to develop a new habit and just toss it out there. Develop a new habit and stack it onto a routine you already follow.
Example: If you want to get into the habit of flossing, don’t try to start flossing in the middle of the day and hope to remember to do it. Stack it with your morning bathroom routine. Do it right after you brush your teeth.
When you stack habits you are trying to develop onto already existing routines, the chances of you committing to that habit will significantly increase.
Law 4: Make It Satisfying
Clear says that this is “The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change.”
Everybody loves to be rewarded for their hard work. At work, we love to be recognized with praise and raises when we do well. At school, we are rewarded with good grades and awards. Even think back to your childhood years. If you got an allowance, it probably made you more inclined to do chores around the house.
When you give any habit a satisfying reward, you are more likely to stay committed to that task. The opposite is true as well. If you want to break a bad habit, make it incredibly unsatisfying to the point that the punishment outweighs the reward.
One of the examples that Clear uses in the book is of a guy who was trying to lose weight and get in shape. The gentleman signed a contract with his wife and personal trainer, and for every day he missed a workout, he had to give them $500. How many workouts do you think he missed? None. That’s because the punishment of missing a workout was greater than the reward of sleeping in.
If you want to have an easier time to stay on task, associate a satisfying to a new habit and make old habits highly unsatisfying.
Before You Go
If you are in need of a good life-changing book to help get you through these tough times, I can’t recommend this one enough. The strategies and advice in it are so simple to comprehend, yet often overlooked. Needless to say, sometimes we need to be willing to take one step back and go back to basics so that we can take 2 steps forward.
I would give this book an easy 10/10. I truly believe it is that life-changing and will help you progress towards your goals more than most books out there. Take the next step in turning your goals into your reality and read Atomic Habits immediately! You will thank me later.