Atomic Habits – Summary, Quotes, Key Ideas

It’s no secret that forming good habits can be tough. But what if there was a way to make it a little bit easier?

In Atomic Habits, James Clear lays out a four-step process for creating habits that stick. According to Clear, making small changes in your behavior is the key to success.

Let’s dive into it…

Atomic Habits Summary

Key Ideas from the book

  1. Each day improves by one percent. This can be anything (Maybe writing 50 words More, doing an extra pushup, etc.)
  2. Change Your Identity, not words. (Example:‌ I write 250 words daily, I’m a writer)
  3. Have an accountability partner to have track of your habits.

What are habits?

“A behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.” In other words, it’s something you do without thinking about it.

Habits are powerful because they allow you to automate your behavior. Once a habit is ingrained, you can carry out the action without expending any willpower or self-control.

This is why habits are so important. By forming good habits, you can make positive changes in your life without having to constantly battle against your own willpower.

Habits Compounds

We are the compound impact of our habits. Making one percent increment or decrement daily can make a huge difference.

You can become a genius by just learning one more idea on daily basis or you can become obese by overeating one extra french fry daily.

how habits compounds
Source: Atomic Habits Book

You become what you repeatedly do.

As Author said in the book, Habits are two edge swords. Good habits compound for you while bad habits compound against you.

The Four Laws of Behavior Change

In order to change your habits, you need to understand how behavior change works. Clear lays out four laws of behavior change that will help you do just that.

The First Law: Make it Obvious

The first step in changing your habits is to make it obvious, or ‌‌noticeable, what you need to do.

One way to do this is to set up a “cue” (more on that later) that will remind you to do your new habit.

If you want to floss your teeth every day, put the toothpaste and floss in a visible spot where you will see it every day. If you want to go for a run, lay out your running clothes the night before.

Another way is to make it specific

You should have a specific time and place to execute tasks. It may be done every day, or perhaps on a regular basis.

For example, I’ll go for playing tennis every Monday at 7 AM. See how specific it is

You need to create a specific time for doing every single task.

The Second Law: Make it Attractive

The second step is to make your new habit attractive. This means finding ways to make the new behavior more appealing than your old one.

One way to do this is to pair your new habit with something you already enjoy (Known as Habit Stacking). For example;

  • I’ll meditate for 10 mins after having a bath
  • I’ll write 400 words while drinking morning coffee

Going for a shower is a habit that I have to do anyway, so by adding meditation to it, I’m more likely to stick with it.

The same goes with my morning coffee.

In this manner, you’ll be reminded that you must complete other activities after completing the one.

The Third Law: Make it Easy

The third step is to make your new habit easy to do. This means removing any barriers that might stand in your way.

For example, if you want to go to the gym in the morning, but you can’t because you don’t have a gym membership, then sign up for one.

(Just Kidding)…

It can be packing your gym bag the night before or setting your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off

Another way to make your new habit easier is to break it down into small, manageable steps. (Part of two mins rule)

If you want to start running, begin by walking for five minutes a day. Once that becomes easy, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend running.

The Fourth Law: Make it Satisfying

The fourth and final step is to make your new habit satisfying. This means finding ways to make the new behavior more enjoyable than your old one.

One way to do this is to focus on the positive results of your new habit. For example, if you’re trying to eat healthier, think about how much better you’ll feel when you’re healthy and fit.

Another way to make your new habit more satisfying is to celebrate your progress along the way. Every time you reach a milestone, give yourself a pat on the back or treat yourself to something special.

For example, I got a new kindle when I finished reading 5 books.

This will help to create a positive feedback loop that will motivate you to keep going.

So these are the four laws of behavior change. The key is to make your new habit obvious, attractive, easy to do, and satisfying.

Favorite Quotes

  • You’re spending habits are a compound impact on your financial health.
  • We often dismiss small changes because they don’t seem to matter very much at the moment​

Wanna recommend a book to me or have any questions? hit me a reply, I’d be happy to read your book recommendation 🙂

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