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Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
432 reviews4,234 followers
May 29, 2023
A Book That Changed My Life

A book worth reading once a year.

In 2023, my goal is to consume less and create more. The stories in my heart and mind were finally going to meet paper. But I wasn’t actually writing anything.

When the day started, I knew that I had to write. I wasn’t feeling very well so I would write later. Then, dinner would happen, and I was behind on my reading and didn’t feel any better than earlier in the day.

Enter Atomic Habits. After reading the book, I took out my calendar and scheduled, “Writing,” from 1 pm to 1:20 pm. Now, I am actually writing.

How many of us have goals: to have better relationships, to lose weight, to learn a language? We have the best of intentions, but we don’t have a plan with manageable actionable steps.

Have you ever wondered how I got to be the #3 US Book Reviewer on GoodReads? Atomic Habits.

Before reading Atomic Habits, I had what I now realize as wishful thinking or dreams. At times, sometimes I made it on to the top 100 book reviewers, but it was always a complete mystery to me. When I made the list, I couldn't believe my luck! I wanted to rate higher, but I had no real plan.

Then, I read Atomic Habits. I sat down and had a clearly articulated goal. "I want to rate X on the best reviewer list." Okay. Sounds great. But what does that take? I looked at where I wanted to be on the weekly list and saw how many votes the reviewer received. I divided that number by 7 and knew that I needed to achieve that many votes per day to get to where I needed to be.

Sure enough. I met my goal and started to become consistently ranked. Atomic Habits is all about shifting your dreams and wishful thinking into knowing exactly where you want to be and making a plan to get there.

Also, it talks about lofty goals.

Almost everybody can relate. We make lofty goals: I’m going to run a marathon! I’m going to write a book! I’m going to lose weight! After a few weeks of intense effort (if we make it that far), we give up and go back to the way things were.

Did you know that I got back into reading by reading 6 books a year? That’s right. My goal was 6 books per year.

The only reason that I initially picked up this book was that someone was RAVING about it, and I was extremely skeptical. I honestly thought that this book was just going to be a bunch of rah rah feel good, you can do it, pep talk. However, it had an entire list of actionable steps you can take to help you make progress on your goals.

Little changes can make big differences over time. For example, when I lay out my sheet mask in the morning, I am much more likely to use it at night. This book made me want to write down goals for the year or at least start thinking of the things I wanted to make a priority.

This is my second reading of Atomic Habits, and I read it as a buddy read (which I highly recommend). It is interesting to hear about other systems.

During this read of Atomic Habits, I was struck by the idea of becoming 1% better.

Growing up, I really enjoyed playing basketball. The game is fast-paced, and it was one game where I could actually score. However, I can’t jump very high. I was so fixated on this weak area that I convinced myself that I couldn’t be a basketball player.

But you know what? I can sink three-pointers like nobody’s business. At Dave and Buster’s, I can easily achieve the high score. What if I didn’t give up? What if I spent my time trying to get better at running, aiming, teamwork, dribbling?

As an overachiever, I do tend to obsess over my weak areas. I spend so much time on the weak area that I ignore some of my other talents. What would I achieve if I just accepted that I am not great in a particular area but focused my time on other areas? Would I enjoy the journey more?

If you have tried losing weight or training, I would highly recommend this book. I can definitely see myself reading this once every year—it really is that good!

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Simon.
14 reviews491 followers
October 25, 2018
This book does a great job of laying down the framework of how habits are formed, and shares insightful strategies for building good habits and breaking bad ones. Even though I was already familiar with research behind habit formation, reading through this book helped me approach habits I’m trying to adopt or break in my own life from different angles.

But the book suffers from the same problems that seem to plague all self-help books. In the chapter about tracking habits, the author shares an anecdote about Benjamin Franklin’s habit of carrying a journal everywhere to track thirteen virtues. If you care to know more about that story, Franklin tried to make a habit of his thirteen virtues by turning it into a thirteen week course where he would work on a different virtue every week and track his progress. The author conveniently leaves out the fact that Franklin quickly found this method impractical and abandoned the project before getting through all thirteen virtues. There’s a lot of irony in including this anecdote in a chapter that talks about the importance of not “breaking the chain”. So while the author isn’t entirely wrong, I found it off-putting that he would retell this story in a manner that fit his narrative. This is a vice that is found all too commonly in self-help and pop science books that make you question the author’s intellectual rigour.

Another criticism I have of this book is that it could have been even shorter. The last few chapters under “Advanced Tactics” that deal with the topic of mastery were the weakest in the book. While there is an obvious connection between habits and mastery, trying to tie in a topic as complex as mastery was perhaps too ambitious.

The three star rating I am giving this book doesn’t reflect how important I consider habits to be. I completely agree with the author that habits are the cornerstone of your life. If you want to change your life in any meaningful way, the only dependable way I know is to build good habits. If you need convincing that habits are important, I would strongly recommend this book. If you are already convinced but struggling to adopt or break habits, racing through this book will give you some good ideas about how you can make changes stick.
Profile Image for Hampus Jakobsson.
131 reviews327 followers
February 17, 2019
- "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."
- The best way of building a habit is making it part of your identity.
- Make it easy to start: Habits are the entry point - not the goal. "Read 30 books" ⇒ "Read before bed every night" ⇒ "Read one page". Reduce a habit into a 2-minute first step.
- Stick to the plan: "Professionals stick to the schedule, amateurs let life get in the way." Don't be a "fair weather runner" if you want to run a lot.
- Make it hard to do the things you want to avoid.

Most modern "American self-help books for engineers or entrepreneurs" (it is a category for me) are too repetitive and too long. Atomic Habits is not! It does have the category-required set of stories of American (mostly men) who built a great habit and got to the top - but just the right amount.

----- NOTES -----

The three levels of change - the lower the more "fundamental":
3. Outcomes = Your goals
2. Processes = Your system
1. Identity = Who you perceive yourself to be

Make every action is a vote for what kind of person you want to become. Building habits is becoming the version of yourself you want to be. Habits help you to trust yourself.
- Realize that "You don't _have to_ do anything, you _get to_."
- Ask "What would a healthy person do?".
- Ask "What feel like fun to you, but is work to others?"

*Engineer it so that:*
Things you want to achieve vs Things you want to avoid
Obvious —————————————— Invisible
Attractive ————————————Unattractive
Easy ————————————————— Hard
Satisfying ————————————- Satisfying
For example: if you want to watch less TV - keep it unplugged - only plugin if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch.
Profile Image for Acordul Fin.
486 reviews181 followers
July 11, 2023
“The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. If you’re proud of how your hair looks, you’ll develop all sorts of habits to care for and maintain it. If you’re proud of the size of your biceps, you’ll make sure you never skip an upper-body workout. If you’re proud of the scarves you knit, you’ll be more likely to spend hours knitting each week. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.”
What a doozy of a quote. I guess it pays to be a prideful guy.

Well, it seems luck isn't on my side when it comes to personal development reads, and "Atomic Habits" by James Clear is no exception. Despite the hype surrounding it, I find myself once again let down by a tired, regurgitated pop psychology book that fails to deliver.

The information presented feels like a rehash of what I've stumbled upon in the productivity blogosphere for the past decade. But it's not just the lack of freshness that bothers me—it's the execution. The writing feels robotic, the repetition grows tiresome, and the cherry-picked anecdotes conveniently support the author's points, often taken out of context. Even the scientific references feel shaky and questionable at times.

While the core ideas explored in "Atomic Habits" aren't inherently bad, they've already been covered by other authors with more depth and skill. Writers like Kelly McGonigal and George Leonard come to mind, offering a richer exploration of the subject matter. Frankly, I can't help but feel that the material in this book could have easily been condensed into a blog post or article. Instead, what I encounter is a bloated book filled with unnecessary fluff, making it feel like an extended infomercial for the author's blog. It's evident that this is just another platform to boost his personal brand and generate 'passive income'.

I guess the world really needed another privileged marketer with an A-type personality telling people they can become like him if they follow his 'secret formula.' It seems tailor-made for a specific group of individuals—those who aspire to be the lifestyle-hacker extraordinaire, like Tim Ferris, and his devoted followers.

I should note that despite my disappointment, I've come across individuals who found value in this book, claiming it transformed their lives. However, in most of those cases, they failed to sustain the new habits they initially adopted and years later it's like they never read the book.

While "Atomic Habits" didn't meet my personal expectations, it may still hold potential for people who are new to the subject or resonate with the author's approach. And hey, if it floats your boat and makes you feel like the captain of your own destiny, who am I to rain on your parade? Happy reading!
Profile Image for Greg Swierad.
44 reviews229 followers
August 26, 2020
The first great book about habits was the Power of Habit. That book was quite theoretical and difficult to apply. This book, Atomic Habits, has a completely different approach. James Clear focused on writing a book that goes deep into every single step of habit creation from a practical point of view. At the end of the day, who we are and what we will achieve depends so much on these small habits that we do every day. James Clear argues, that focusing only on improving those habits will lead to much bigger changes and accomplishments.

My top 3 takeaways from this book are:

* Forget about goals, focus on the system instead.
* Change your identity to change your habits.
* Motivation is overrated. Design the environment to support your habits.

From this book, I distilled 21 strategies and principles on habit creation, and also I wrote a detailed book summary that you can read here:
Profile Image for Rowan.
118 reviews223 followers
September 28, 2022
“Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years. We all deal with setbacks but in the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits."

Did not live up to the hype. There’s good material here, and easy-to-follow strategies to improve our habits, but I found it a chore to wade through. My interest ebbed and flowed and ironically, I felt it could be the book to undo my healthy reading habits and routine.

Atomic Habits succeeded in bringing awareness to my daily habits and making me more 'present'. The likes of “habit stacking” and “habit tracking” are things that I have started implementing since reading this. But while it’s great to be self-aware and regularly analyse our behaviours, I found it tiresome after a while.

“Daily habits are powerful because of how they compound, but worrying too much about every daily choice is like looking at yourself in the mirror from an inch away. You can see every imperfection and lose sight of the bigger picture.”


James Clear gives many examples of famous people who achieved success via their approach to habits. I enjoyed reading some of those, but far too often, content felt like it was being regurgitated from other books and work in the field of habits and human psychology. Sometimes it felt like he had simply thrown catchy new titles on pre-existing ideas and methods. Other times, it just seemed like common sense.

The book is not just about developing good habits and sticking to them, but about eliminating bad ones. I was pleased to see reference to Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking – a book that already made a huge difference to my life! The importance of patience, the difference between 'motion'/'action' and the two-minute rule (when starting a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do) were all takeaways that resonated with me.

The chapter summaries were helpful to remember key points, but also made it clear there was substantial filler surrounding a couple of main ideas. These ideas are solid guidelines though, and no doubt helpful for building a better life - I guess time will tell.

It's perhaps worth noting that my grievances with Atomic Habits are in the minority - many find this book amazing, so don't let my words prevent you reading this if you think it could be helpful. After all, I'm left wanting to eat healthier, improve my bedtime routines and embrace minimalism - so all this has to be good.

“Your actions reveal how badly you want something. If you keep saying something is a priority but you never act on it, then you don’t really want it. It’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Your actions reveal your true motivations.”
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
April 27, 2022
I was prepared to dislike this book but I really enjoyed it!

I've seen it on so many list of "life-changing non fiction" next to deeply misogynistic authors and it's popular with people promoting hustle culture so I didn't expect it to work for me.

While I can't say that the information in it is that different from other books I've read on the topic, it's definitely the best breakdown of said info that I've seen.

Super accessible, bitesize chapters... absolutely go with the audiobook if you enjoy them. I didn't want to sit while reading it because I was too busy reorganizing my space while listening to it!

Worth it
2 reviews11 followers
January 26, 2019
Reading this book feels like reading a homework assignment. James Clear wanted to read a lot of books and make a summary of the concepts he would implement for self-improvement. He also made a point in improve himself in the most hacky way possible. Instead of keeping the summary as personal notes, he published it. The fact that the author boasts about being a writer only makes it worse. You can actually smell the cheap tools he uses to put words into text and build chapters out of thin air. I wanted this book to get better, but it doesn't, up to the very end the author repeats the same choice pattern:

* Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them.
* Simplify science to the border of being wrong.
* Abuse of "as such person said ___INSERT QUOTE HERE____"
* Build each chapter out of unacknowledged (stolen/refurbished) concepts, coming from other writings that predate this book.

The last point is particularly annoying and the book is plagued by them. He even uses the same graphics and plots as the originals! He includes verbatim whole poems by Lao Tse or writings by Seneca. At least these are attributed and not refurbished.
If you are somewhat familiar with the literature, avoid this book.
If you are thinking about reading this book, think about the books the author got the content from. Go and read those, you will get the original content without the coarse editing by James Clear. You will also get better foundations for growing a mindset instead of implementing hacks.

Start with Why - Simon Sinek
Mastery - George Leonard
Outliers - Malcom Gladwell
The Tipping Point - Malcom Gladwell
Getting Things Done - David Allen
The Element - Ken Robinson
Behave - Robert Sapolsky [Science communication written by experts in the field]
Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman [Science communication written by experts in the field]
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,850 followers
July 26, 2020
The nuclear option for pimping, rebranding, fine-tuning, and perfecting grey cells.
Atomic also in one regard: As long as it works, it´s perfect down to the smallest part, each atom. If it fails, it´s radioactive and self cannibalizing, -destructing- and demotivating.

To exaggerate, we can develop great working, social. and creative habits or destroy ourselves with neuroticism going haywire, find great ways to optimate oneself or madness, just read anecdotal filled pop psychology/science/philosophy books one can read without the danger of the hard work of really changing something or choose the difficult way and this book.

The 1st Law Make it obvious
Repetition and consequence, as if it wasn´t so shamefully obvious, is one of the key elements to everything, a skill, foreign language, school, degrees,… and the funny thing is that successful people use learning, creativity, memo-, techniques to perfect their skills, but forget the motivational, critical thinking, analytic retrospection, optimization, meditation-,… techniques, and, most importantly, to recapitulate, criticize oneself, let others criticize oneself, reflect, and develop. There is always some space left toward top performance but without modifying or even changing habits, they won´t be possible and nothing is more painful than stopping a working, well known, perfected, but ineffective habit, using an oldfashioned program, modify a schedule, use knowledge and expertise in a new, complicated, unknown way, etc. The brain is a bit bitchy, nagging, and one´s worst enemy, because it´s a lazy manipulator, not wanting one to do something that means real work for it, trying to make it feel as uncomfortable as possible, wanting easy stagnation instead of sweaty evolution.

The 2nd Law and 3rd Law Make it attractive and easy
As if this wasn´t already painful and difficult enough, the self experimental subject now has to implement unused, and thereby for the crying, sobbing, angry brain very painful, new neuronal integrated circuits because, as one knows, reptile stem brain and monkeys social anxiety wants one to run far away from everything new, different, possibly dangerous. Here the inner demons have to been disguised as angels to make the whole agony as attractive as possible, a kind of hopeful masochism. Detecting the deficits has already wasted vast resources of willpower and now one doesn´t even have the legitimation to kill and destroy positive change with anger and negative emotions, but the new mind baby has to be raised next to the rascals one has to be tolerant and sympathetic towards.

The 4th Law Make it satisfying
Reaching this point is tricky, as one needs the stamina, perseverance, and resilience not to resign. As the old behaviors often aren´t directly harmful, just unproductive and used, they will come whispering and trying to get a hold of the subconscious mind to develop back towards the beginning. Humans are creatures of habit and whenever one just loses track and motivation for a second, their siren calls will try to lure you into old behaviors whose reminiscences are still lurking behind each screen, interaction, or working process.

And as if all of this wasn´t torture enough, it should come with personal development and vivisecting one´s personality, thoughts, memories, all these things that seemingly aren´t directly related to work, too. Because hidden in the chasms of each simulated reality lies the key to boosting the occupational performance even more by eliminating all the mental corpses of complexes, childhood traumas, anxieties, phobias,… As long they are not overcome, they keep holding one down, interrupting the workflow, reducing concentration, focus, the quality of sleep,… even changing the obvious problems won´t unleash the full potential.

A tip, after I´ve read a few of the most highly recommended DIY self brainwashing mind penetrating behavioral modification endeavor books for dummies, I´ve come to the conclusion that most of the theory, techniques, and schedules can easily be found during a longer google search, a Wikipedia or special wiki and Reddit, Quora walk, just using the essential keywords, bookmarking a few dozens to hundreds of pages of interest, copying the subjectively most essential and useful elements and still begin with the 1st law. But it would at least have cost you nothing.

It´s getting a bit anecdotally and subjective now, even personal (cause people seem to like that stuff for whatever reason) and, of course, misanthropic, so don´t be shy to stop reading here and saving time and eye power that could be focused on reading something profound. Seriously, I´ve warned you.

One of my main advantages is that I am naturally neurotic, a bit of still under control and productive, not negative elements of perfectionism, some might say soft OCD, but who listens to people, pedantic; a bit antisocial, and cold, rational, things very helpful when implementing new behavioral patterns because one doesn´t care about whatever other people think.

I am a bit biased here, because I have the, depending on the standpoint, positive or negative tendency to overachieve and excessively focus on one thing for weeks and months up to 12 or 14 hours a day, obsessive might be an understatement, let´s call it possession instead. Afterward, it´s often difficult to say how the final results, ideas, solutions paths developed, but conditioning oneself to combine focus and flow to hard fun and gamification, optional collaborative learning, yuck, might be a good alternative to just partying hard.

This leads me to the extroverts that might face massive deficits in this regard, as they have the unfortunate tendency to spent much unproductive time with other people, leading to excessive, exponentially growth of sympathy, friendship, contact, dangerous pheromones, endorphins, territorial alpha behavior,… manipulating logical thinking, in the worst case not just resulting in friendships, but love, relationships, and kids bringing the distraction in your home, permanently, reproducing and multiplying it and giving it names, all things that make one ineffective, cost time. So start avoiding people, feel cold, sad, and dead inside; and whenever you are doubting, compare what the introvert vs extrovert forever achieving score lists brings in comparison, all science and technical evolution that is human history vs all BS, war, extremism, tradition, all evil isms. Doesn´t an empty, lonely life seem a small price for helping primate progress? Don´t forget thanking me for ruining your socialization with these stupid tips, lol.

But seriously, social life is another prime example of habit, one becomes the people she/ he is in regular contact with and attracts more of these people, a dynamic one should not underestimate, and they all feed on you lifetime by craving for your attention, just compare how much one can get from articles and books in comparison to real life drivel filled with small talk, redundancies, errors,..., heck even the better memorization and internalization of content by social contact can be achieved with sophisticated learning techniques. To continue the isolationist standpoint (joke), it´s of course meanwhile absolutely unnecessary to make anything face to face and not in home office, VR, AR, psi transfer remote perception,... the technological singularity in general makes it more and more useless to leave the home castle.

A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books:
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,400 followers
September 6, 2023
This book just climbed to the top as my most favourite self-help non-fiction of the year!

Totally engaging and quite convincing in how the book makes you want to change your bad habits and adopt good ones, this book doesn't talk in a way to make you feel overwhelmed or make you feel like everything you do is wrong or inadequate.

The book doesn't give you impractical tips yet it tells stories and what to learn in how to gradually maintain habits that would benefit you in the long run as well as how to start maintaining habits that you have been wanting to in small practical steps.

This book is life-changing for me.

I have already adopted some of these tips yet the book makes me realise that there are many things that we do that we consider harmless yet taking up most of our time which make us frustrated in real.

The tips are easy to understand and follow. The writing is amazing. I would highly recommend this book.

This one is already changing my year and the rest of everything else that's going to happen in how I make my future a better and a fulfilling one.

Too good to be true. Literally life changing 🍂
Profile Image for Victoria.
154 reviews25 followers
August 2, 2019
Why do I keep doing this to myself? All I want is a productive little audiobook to listen to while I work, helpfully filled with tips to improve my life. All I get is priviledged white people recycling the same old advice over and over. This book is especially grating as it's filled with cute little platitudes like "the same boiling water will soften a potato and harden an egg". I already know how boiling water works, thanks, can we get to the part where you tell me something I haven't heard from seven other productivity books already?

At one point Clear writes, "I get my assistant to do this for me every week, but if you don't have an assistant..."

I love how some of these productivity authors neglect to mention all the outside help they hire. It's like that other woman who suggested hiring an au pair for when your primary nanny is taking her vacation days. He also suggests doing things like paying for grocery delivery instead of going to the store to save time. He tells the story of one guy who paid his personal trainer $500 every time he forgot to log his food for the day.

The real productivity hack seems to be to hire someone to do all the little day-to-day tasks for you so you can focus on other things. This is great if you're fabulously rich, but, if you're like me and don't currently have a full time assistant, and people to do your housework and your meal prep for you, then you may have to look elsewhere for more practical advice.
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,265 reviews2,438 followers
June 29, 2023
There are many self-help books discussing the topics of habit. Some of them are written by famous authors like Stephen R. Covey, Charles Duhigg, and Timothy Ferris.

I read this book after reading the books by the above authors and was sure that I won't get any new information. Despite discussing a similar topic, James Clear managed to pull a convincing book discussing these familiar ideas in a new way that will help us view our daily routine and life differently and will be a good choice if you are interested in the topic of productivity.

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Profile Image for ❀ Lily ❀.
79 reviews15.9k followers
May 4, 2021
This is the only book on 'habits' you should read.
It lays out all the rules of changing/developing habits in a simple, straightforward way and gets right to the point without a bunch of rambling and seemingly unrelated filler chapters like some other self development books i've read.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
September 3, 2023
Can you get rid of your bad habits?
Or maybe more importantly, establish good habits?


This had some useful tips in it that may help some people improve their quality of life by slowly (but steadily) forging good habits.
One thing I felt would really work was the make it easy mentality. That's a big one. We're all lazy creatures at our core, but some of us are better at streamlining things we don't like to do to make them easier to accomplish.
What are you talking about, Anne?


Ok, so I noticed that my upstairs was a lot dirtier than my downstairs. If there was a pile of hair and fuzz on my bathroom floor, it would likely sit there until it became sentient. Why? Because my broom, mop, and cleaners were all downstairs. So, I went out and got the exact same stuff and set up a mini cleaning closet in my linen cabinet. And now that everything is within easy reach, my upstairs bathrooms look far less terrifying. Ta-da!
I'm keeping things clean using the power of laziness!


But the basic gist of what he talks about is really just not giving up. If you didn't go on a walk today, that doesn't mean that you are incapable of getting healthy. The plan is to just put on your shoes. If you can get up and put on your walking shoes, you're halfway there. Yes. Even if you just take your shoes right back off.
The goal is to begin the habit with (pun intended) baby steps.


As far as self-help books go, this one seems reasonable. There's no weird go-go-go mentality and you don't have to do anything differently, other than to make very small positive changes that will set you up for success. You don't measure your success daily, you look at how far you've come over the course of a year. And with the mindset that doing anything positive to work towards getting better will get more results than if you had done nothing at all.
In other words:


Some of his tricks and tips require a bit more structure (like getting someone to hold you accountable) but most of the things he tells you to do are pretty painless. And I've always found that sticking to simple, small, easy changes is the best way to get long-term results.
Going on some crazy diet that cuts out all {insert food I love here}, never lasts past a year. But cutting down on processed sugar, eating more veg, and going on walks is a long-term doable way to achieve better overall health in the long run. Those types of habits don't necessarily get any sort of flashy results right away but you'll be more likely to keep the results that you do get.

Profile Image for Alex Duncan.
42 reviews55 followers
August 26, 2023
This book and Emotional Intelligence Habits by Travis Bradberry are my two favorite self-improvement books. Atomic Habits teaches you how small habits (many of which you aren't even aware of) compound over time to make a huge difference in your life. When you work to form good habits they accumulate and build upon each other and you see major changes with very small actions. The book has some suggested habits, but I wish there were many more (specific recommendations for good habits to adopt). That's why I love Emotional Intelligence Habits so much. Emotional Intelligence Habits has more than 700 different habits targeting everything from happiness, confidence, likeability, relationships, leadership, productivity, dealing with toxic people, you name it. It's an incredible book and these two go great together.
409 reviews28 followers
August 21, 2018
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway yesterday and immediately settled down to read it. I am always very skeptical of self help books because they often do no get to the root of issues. This one did. James Clear's main arguments are that habits are the compound interest of self improvement and that your identify emerges out of your habits. So, you must expereince a shift in identity for your habits to hold. This made a lot of sense to me, but I do think that Clear should have addresses deeper emotional issues and gave readers resources so as not to mislead them into believing that they can change their identity by action (repeating new habits) alone.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,381 followers
February 28, 2022
I am in the mood for more non fiction lately, so I decided to read the books of Ali's book club. I wanted to read a book on habits for a long time now and Atomic Habits met all those criteria.

I am not gonna elaborate a lot since it is a well known book and there are a lot of YouTube videos that summed it up better than I can ever do including Abdaal's video here:

Check Video

Like all non-fiction books, I found most of the information in the book to be logical but the way it was written and ordered was pretty good. I found it engaging, easy to read and scientific. I enjoy it when authors provide data through real life stories and there was a lot of that here.

The book mostly discusses 4 laws to get into a habit or get out of one. These are: Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy, Make it Satisfying. And if you inverse those you get a way to lose bad habits. A very intriguing read!
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
January 13, 2023
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

I’ve been trying so hard lately to break out of a funk and every self-help book I read recommends starting at the most basic level. We must sort out our daily habits before we can begin to feel better and more fulfilled in our lives. But how do we do this?

Gradual change is the answer. If we improve each day by just 1% by the end of the year we will be dramatically and unrecognizably better. Winning tiny battles will determine our future self. Identifying bad habits that are ruining our potential is the key to change. We must eradicate them, slowly, if need be, and replace them with habits that allow us to grow each day. We must set goals and work towards them in a sensible and patient fashion.

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

We also need to design a system to achieve our goals. Simply having goals is not enough. We need to have an actionable framework on how we can move towards these otherwise we will never reach them. We must have a process to follow and daily habits that allow us to achieve them. Our level of commitment to the process will determine our level of progress. Sticking to healthy proactive habits with our end goals in mind is the key.

So, here’s a little bit about me and my goals for this year: I want to complete a 100-mile ultra-marathon and I also want to have written up a full draft of my PhD. How will I achieve these goals? Habitually running and writing each day, habitually working towards them and remaining committed to the process of daily improvement. I will also read everyday and review on Goodreads more frequently because it helps me remain focused on the process. Daily writing is so important for me as is learning and discovering more literature.

I quite enjoyed this. It proposes a very straightforward approach to being successful and one I am very keen to implement into my own life. So let’s do this 2023!


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Sara Kamjou.
612 reviews328 followers
July 29, 2020
یکی از بهترین کتاب‌های خودیاری که خوندم!
واقعیت اینه که خودم رو لابه‌لای قانون‌های کتاب پیدا می‌کردم و می‌گفتم چه جالب منم دقیقا همین کارا رو انجام می‌دم! از این به بعد اگر کسی ازم بپرسه چطوریه که تو این‌قدر به همه‌ی کارات می‌رسی و پشتکار داری، به جای نمی‌دونم، می‌تونم این کتابو معرفی کنم.
کتاب در مورد اینه که چطوری با قوانینی ساده، زندگیمونو بهتر کنیم و روزهامونو بهینه‌تر بسازیم تا بتونیم به کارهایی که دوست داریم انجام بدیم برسیم و جزء جدایی‌ناپذیر روزهامون بشن.
یادگاری از کتاب:
کیفیت زندگی ما غالبا به کیفیت عادت‌هایمان بستگی دارد.
عادت‌ها غالبا هیچ تفاوتی ایجاد نمی‌کنند، تا اینکه از یک مرزی عبور کنیم و سطح جدیدی از عملکرد گشوده شود.
تمام نتایج بزرگ از شروع‌های کوچک حاصل می‌شوند.
هر قدر یک رفتار را بیشتر تکرار کنید، بیشتر هویت مربوط به آن رفتار را تقویت می‌کنید‌
موثرترین راه برای تغییر عادت‌ها، این است که نه بر روی دستاوردهای مدنظرتان، بلکه روی شخصیتی که دوست دارید تمرکز کنید.
چگونه یک عادت خوب بسازیم: اولین قانون (سرنخ): آن را شفاف و آشکار کنید. دومین قانون (تمایل): آن را جذاب کنید. سومین قانون (پاسخ): آن را ساده کنید. چهارمین قانون (پاداش): آن را رضایت‌بخش کنید.
چگونه یک عادت بد را از بین ببریم: اولین قانون (سرنخ): آن را مخفی (پنهان) کنید. دومین قانون (تمایل): آن را لوس و غیرجذاب کنید. سومین قانون (پاسخ): آن را دشوار کنید. چهارمین قانون (پاداش): آن را عامل نارضایتی کنید.
عادت‌های شما راهکارهای مدرن ��رای تمایلات دیرین هستند.
هر قدر یک عادت به انرژی کمتری نیاز داشته باشد، احتمال وقوع آن بیشتر است.
بهترین راه این است که همواره در اوج و زمانی که عملکردتان خوب است، متوقف شوید.
مغز انسان چالش را دوست دارد، اما چالشی که میزان دشواری آن در یک حد بهینه و معقول باشد.
بالاترین تهدید برای موفقیت، نه شکست بلکه بی‌حوصلگی است. از عادت‌هایمان خسته می‌شویم، زیرا دیگر ما را مجذوب نمی‌کنند.
Profile Image for Odai Al-Saeed.
876 reviews2,485 followers
October 18, 2019
يرتبط الكتاب بتجربة صاحبه التي ومن ثم صقلا لتكون له أسلوب حياة وعندما يعنونها بالذرية فهو يقصد المقدار التراكمي للذرة الصغيرة لتصبح كتلة , عندما يكون التوق لدينا في انجاز هدف معين ( انقاص وزن, تأليف كتاب , لياقة بدنية عالية ) يجب علينا حسب الكاتب أن تنشئ عادة متراكمة لهذا الفعل لأن الهدف قد يحقق ومن السهولة فقدانه متى ما أنهينا العادة ورجعنا لنفس الأسلوب , بمعنى قد تستطيع تحقيق هدفك بانزال وزنك في فترة وجيزة ولكن بمجرد عن تخليك عن هذه العادات الصحية فسرعان ما يعود الوزن الى عهده السابق
يتطرق الكتاب الى استراتيجيات مقرونة بقصص وبراهين كتبت بأسلوب شيق ونقاط محددة وواضحة لتغيير اتجاهات وعادات خاطئة اعتدنا عليها ويشرح بطريقة مبسطة استراتيجيات مبسطة للاقلاع عنها وهو من أجمل كتب تطوير الذات التي مرت علي
Profile Image for Tanu.
355 reviews422 followers
August 22, 2023
"Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations."

Goals are useful for charting a course, but systems are the most effective in moving forward. When you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time creating your systems, you'll run into a few issues. The antidote is a systems-first mentality. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to permit yourself to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.

My 3 major takeaways from this  book are:

1. An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is small and easy to do and is also the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth.
2. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.
3. Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.

Highly recommended to understand the science behind habit building and practically implement those baby steps to build or break a habit.

Grab your copy here or here.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews47 followers
October 27, 2021
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear

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.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «عادت‏‌های اتمی؛ تغییرات کوچک و نتایج چشمگیر راهی آسان و اثبات‏‌شده برای ایجاد عادت‏‌های خوب و ترک عادت‏‌های بد»؛ «تغییرات جزئی، نتایج چشمگیر»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی‮‬‏‫: یک راه ساده و اثبات‌شده برای ایجاد عادات خوب و شکستن عادات بد، تغییرات کوچک، نتایج قابل توجه»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی»؛ «راه آسان و اثبات شده برای ایجاد عادت‌های خوب و شکستن عادت‌های بد، تغییرات کوچک، نتایج قابل توجه»؛ «جورنال خرده‌ عادت‌ها»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی: خرده عادت‌ها»؛ «عادتهای اتمی: تغییرات کوچک، نتایج چشمگیر»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی: راهی آسان و اثبات شده برای ایجاد عادت‌های خوب و ترک عادت‌های بد»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی: عادت‌های کوچک شخصیت شمارا شکل می‌دهند راهکارهای موثر برای جذب عادت خوب و ترک عادت‌های بد»؛ «عادت‌های اتمی : تغییرات کوچک، نتایج چشمگیر روشی آسان و اثبات‌شده برای ساختن عادت‌های خوب و شکستن عادت‌های بد»؛ و ...؛ نویسنده: جیمز کلییر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و ششم ماه اکتبر سال 2018میلادی

عنوان: عادت‏‌های اتمی؛ تغییرات کوچک و نتایج چشمگیر راهی آسان و اثبات‏‌شده برای ایجاد عادت‏‌های خوب و ترک عادت‏‌های بد؛ نویسنده: جیمز کلیر؛ مترجم هوشمند دهقان؛ تهران، هورمزد، سال1397؛ در320ص؛ شابک9786226010221؛ موضوع: ترک عادت از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

عنوان: ‏‫عادت‌های اتمی‮‬‏‫: یک راه ساده و اثبات‌شده برای ایجاد عادات خوب و شکستن عادات بد ، تغییرات کوچک، نتایج قابل توجه‮‬‏‫؛ نویسنده: جیمز کلیر‮‬‏‫؛ مترجم هادی بهمنی؛ ویراستار مصطفی طرسکی؛ تهران، نوین توسعه، سال1397؛ در283ص؛ شابک9786008738701؛ چاپ چهارم سال1398؛ چاپ یازدهم تا چاپ پانزدهم سال1399؛ چاپ شانزدهم سال1400؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر؛ مترجم نغمه نورمحمدنوری؛ تهران، آسو، سال1397؛ در300ص؛ شابک9786008755777؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر؛ مترجمها: روزبه ملک‌زاده، شمس‌الدین باپیری؛ ویراستار شبنم باقری؛ [برای گروه رویال مایند]؛ تهران؛ انتشارات پردیس آباریس، سال1398؛ در288ص؛ شابک9786229531488؛ چاپ دوم سال1399؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی: راه آسان و اثبات شده برای ایجاد عادت‌های خوب و شکستن عادت‌های بد، تغییرات کوچک، نتایج قابل توجه؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر؛ مترجمها: محمدهادی آقاجانی، علی آقاجانی؛ ویراستار مرضیه احمدی؛ تهران، انتشارات دیموند بلورین‏‫، سال1398؛ در364ص؛ شابک9786222100087؛

عنوان: تغییرات جزئی، نتایج چشمگیر؛ نویسنده: جیمز کلییر؛ مترجم سمیه‌سادات آل‌حسینی؛ قم، آلاچیق کتاب، سال1399؛ در360ص؛ شابک9786229600320؛

عنوان: جورنال خرده‌ عادت‌ها؛ نویسنده: جیمز کلییر؛ مترجم فاطمه جابیک؛ ویراسته‌ی مینا محمدیان؛ تهران، انتشارات میلکان، سال1399؛ در219ص؛ شابک9786222540319؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی: خرده عادت‌ها؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر‏‫؛ مترجم غزال پارسا؛ تهران، انتشارات شیرمحمدی؛ سال1399؛ در237ص؛ شابک9786008981725؛

عنوان: عادتهای اتمی: تغییرات کوچک، نتایج چشمگیر؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر؛ مترجم زهرا بختیاری؛ قم، آستان مهر، 1399؛ در224ص؛ شابک9786226699174؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی: راهی آسان و اثبات شده برای ایجاد عادت‌های خوب و ترک عادت‌های بد؛ جیمز کلیر‏‫؛ ترجمه موسسه ترجمیک؛ ‬تهران، آدینه، سال1399؛ در63ص؛ شابک دوره978600861090؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی: عادت‌های کوچک شخصیت شمارا شکل می‌دهند راهکارهای موثر برای جذب عادت خوب و ترک عادت‌های بد؛ نویسنده جیمز کلیر ؛ مترجم طیبه احمدوند؛ قم: یوشیتا‏‫، ‏‫سال1399؛ در272ص؛ شابک9786226412773؛

عنوان: عادت‌های اتمی : تغییرات کوچک، نتایج چشمگیر روشی آسان و اثبات‌شده برای ساختن عادت‌های خوب و شکستن عادت‌های بد؛ جیمز کلیر ؛ ترجمه زردی؛ قم، الماس سرخ؛ سال1400؛ در216ص؛ شابک9786229807576؛

و ....؛

بسیاری در زندگی برای دیگر کردن عادات بد خود تلاش می‌کنند، اما شکست می‌خورند و پیروز نمی‌شوند؛ چرا که تنها تلاش آن‌ها برای دیگر کردن یکباره ی عادت‌هایشان است؛ «جیمز کلیر» در این کتاب «عادت‌های اتمی» خویش می‌نویسند: چگونه بایستی این الگو را شکست دهیم، و با تغییرهای ریز و کوچک، در رفتارها و عادت‌های بدمان؛ چگونه میتوانیم از نارواییهای وجود خویش آزاد و عادت‌های خوب را بر تن ذهنمان بپوشانیم، و آن‌ها را گسترش دهیم تا به پیروزی و دارا بودن عادتهای نیک برسیم

نقل از متن برگردان جناب دهقان: (عصب شناسان کشف کرده‌اند وقتی عواطف و احساس‌ها مختل می‌شوند، عملا توانایی تصمیم‌گیری را از دست می‌دهیم؛ زیرا علامتی در دست نداریم که چه کاری را دنبال و از چه کاری حذر کنیم؟ به قول یکی از عصب شناسان به نام آنتونیو داماسيو «احساس است که به شما امکان می‌دهد تا چیزها را خوب، بد و خنثی دسته‌بندی کنید»؛

خلاصه، اشتیاق‌های خاصی که دارید و احساس و عادت‌هایی که اجرا می‌کنید، در حقیقت تلاشی برای پاسخ‌گویی به انگیزه‌های اساسی و زیربنایی‌تان است؛ هرگاه با کمک یک عادت به انگیزه‌ای پاسخ موفق دهید، به انجام دوباره آن عادت اشتیاق پیدا می‌کنید؛ به مرور یاد می‌گیرید که پیش‌بینی کنید؛ چک کردن رسانه اجتماعی کمکتان می‌کند تا احساس عشق‌ورزی داشته باشید و تماشای یوتیوب مجال می‌دهد تا نگرانی‌هایتان را به دست فراموشی بسپارید؛ عادت‌ها وقتی جذاب می‌شوند که آن‌ها را با احساس‌های مثبت مرتبط سازیم؛ ما می‌توانیم از این بینش بیشتر به نفعمان استفاده کنیم تا به ضررمان

چطور مغزمان را از نو برنامه‌ریزی کنیم تا از عادت‌های دشوار لذت ببرد؟

گاهی اوقات همه ما به تغيير خفیفی در قالب ذهنی نیاز داریم؛ برای مثال اغلب پیرامون کارهایی صحبت می‌کنیم که مجبوریم در زمان معینی انجام دهیم، برای رفتن به سر کار مجبورم زودتر بیدار شوم. برای رونق کسب وکارم مجبورم بیشتر تماس‌های فروش بگیرم؛ برای خانواده مجبورم شام درست کنم

اکنون فقط تغییر یک کلمه را مجسم سازید: «مجبور» نيستم، «می‌توانم»؛ برای رفتن به سر کار می‌توانم بیدار شوم؛ برای رونق کسب وکارم، می‌توانم بیشتر تماس فروش بگیرم.؛برای خانواده‌ام می‌توانم شام درست کنم؛ با تغییر ساده یک کلمه، طرز نگرشتان را به هر رخداد عوض می‌کنید؛ به جای آنکه این رفتارها را باری بر دوش خود تصور کنید، آن‌ها را فرصت‌هایی برای خود می‌بینید؛ نکته کلیدی این است که هر دو شکل واقعیت، حقیقت دارد؛ شما مجبورید این کارها را انجام دهید و شما می‌توانید این کارها را انجام دهید؛ برای هر نوع قالب ذهنی‌ای که اختیار می‌کنیم، می‌شود شاهدی پیدا کرد.)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 04/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
204 reviews936 followers
June 29, 2022
Muy buen libro. Todo el mundo debería leerlo.

Este es otro gran amigo de papel que me encuentro en el camino; amigo que me otorga multitud de enseñanzas para practicar en mi vida personal. ¡Qué satisfecho me siento! Había leído y escuchado muy buenos comentarios de este libro por lo que mis expectativas eran altas, pero afortunadamente fue mejor de lo que esperaba.

Desde la introducción me he sentido fascinado por la historia del autor, pero después, cada historia real y cada recomendación me ha parecido fantástica. El autor todo lo presenta de una forma tan sencilla, cada consejo parece ser mejor que el anterior, todo parece ideal; fórmula perfecta para alimentar el interés del lector no solo para seguir leyendo sino también para practicarlo en su vida real.

Siempre había tenido la creencia de que crear un hábito es algo supremamente difícil pero después de esta lectura siento que he estado errado muchísimos años y que realmente es bastante sencillo. Siempre había buscado un método que me ayudara a centralizar mi vida, a clasificar lo bueno y lo malo, a encontrar un fortín desde el cual dirigir, y creo que eso es exactamente lo que he hallado en esta ocasión.

Motivación, pragmatismo, sabiduría. Todo eso lo encontré aquí. Cuando realice la reseña completa contaré un poco cómo me ha ido después de aplicar en mi vida personal los principios de esta obra. Les contaré que buenos hábitos he logrado establecer. También les contaré cuáles han sido los negativos que he logrado abandonar.

Libro súper recomendado. Reseña completa más adelante.
Profile Image for Jen (Better Off Read).
67 reviews21 followers
December 19, 2022
DNF at 45% I don't even want to waste any more time on this book with a full review. Here's a quick rundown of why I hated it:
Ableism throughout
Bootstrap mentality
Fatphobia throughout
Condescending, patronizing tone from the author (even, or maybe especially, on the audio version.)
I could go on...

This book had some valid, common sense points, but its flaws far overshadowed any redeeming qualities. Just...nope.
Profile Image for Amir Tesla.
161 reviews682 followers
April 11, 2020
Well, there’s almost no single shred of original content here. It could be a fine book if it’s the first self-improvement book you have started to read.

The science is also flawed. He presents the following elements for habit:
1. Cue
2. Craving
3. Action
4. Reward
Not to mention that its a skewed copy of principles presented in Power of Habits (to authors credit, he mentions it), craving starts to appear strongly only when your brain has learned to associate the cue, action, reward which happens with repetition.

Two star is a good score. It was merely okay. Given the earth-shattering noise it had made, I simply expected more.
Profile Image for Brandice.
911 reviews
July 26, 2020
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones is a practical framework for how to build and keep new habits. To create a good habit, author James Clear suggests:

- Make it Obvious
- Make it Attractive
- Make it Easy
- Make it Satisfying

While at first glance these may seem overly simplistic, Atomic Habits delves into each of these concepts and also describes how these same ideas can be inverted to break bad habits. The content is easily digestible.

Different parts are likely to resonate with different readers but I found a lot of helpful information in this book, especially in one of the final chapters about how to stay motivated — Mastery requires practice. ”The only way to become excellent is to become endlessly fascinated with doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom.”

Atomic Habits is a read I recommend for anyone trying to step up their game, in any facet of life, with the reminder that refinement and improvement are continuous, long-term processes.
Profile Image for Renee Gillette.
41 reviews8 followers
September 18, 2023
The book was overwhelmingly male-centric. Most of the examples he put forward (other than ballet dancer Twyla Tharp and doctor Anne Thorndike), were about male stockbrokers, scientists, businessmen, sports figures (Michael Phelps, Magic Johnson) and comedians (Steve Martin, Chris Rock). Where are the successful women? Also, it was more about using habits to be "successful" in a traditional sense, by making your way to the top of the corporate ladder or excelling in whatever you do, being fit or elite or whatever, instead of improving relationships, decision making, work/life balance, or overall, just being a good person.

Funny, I was highlighting a bunch of material (a signal that I was full of hope!) in the first chapter, then it abruptly stopped, and I never highlighted another item in the whole book. The last thing I noted was on page 33, where some guy/entrepreneur says, "I asked my wife to schedule my first-ever manicure. My thought was that if I started paying to maintain my nails, I wouldn't chew them. And it worked, but not for the monetary reason. What happened was the manicure made my fingers look really nice for the first time.... Suddenly, I was so proud of my fingernails." Here, I wrote, "WTF?" Sorry, but a statement like this reeks of privilege and frankly, makes me want to puke. I am concerned about his wife, and I can't believe it got past the editors. Was this written in 2018 or 1988? In retrospect, this was the moment I should have abandoned the book and opted for something more relevant to my life.

Another problem I have with this book.... he talks much, in the beginning of the book, about identity change. "The goal isn't to read the book, it's to become a reader." Or "The goal is not to run a marathon, it's to become a runner..." Then in the last chapter, in his "downsides to habit change" he discusses how identity can hold you back. The key is to "keep your identity small," (some investor guy says) because your identity will change as your role changes (or with age). So, "I'm an athlete" becomes "I'm a person who is mentally tough and loves a challenge." "I'm a soldier" becomes "I'm the type of person who is disciplined, reliable and great on a team." "I'm the CEO" translates to "I'm the type of person who builds and creates things." So, the message is to have a flexible identity. I actually think this is key information that provides a healthy balance in life, and belongs right up there in chapter 1 with all the other information about identity. Rather, it's an afterthought at the very end of the book. And it's contradictory. Also, where is the "I'm a good listener. I'm there for my kids. I make time to help others. I'm a good friend." Are all habits so.... macho and self-centered? Maybe I missed the point, or maybe it was just the wrong book for me.

That said, I did pull some good information from chapter 13, the two-minute rule/habit shaping. When I opened it to this chapter in the book store where I bought it, I was intrigued. I thought this type of information could help me with my 2021 goals (which have been blown to bits). But I found it the most helpful chapter in the book, overall. I can use the "art of showing up" and the concept of not being consumed by the end goal in my life.

I learned: If you're a woman and you're looking for a book on habit change, pick up a book written by a woman; preferably one who has done her research and with whom you have something in common.
Profile Image for RoWoSthlm.
97 reviews18 followers
January 6, 2019
This is a dual review of two books about habit. Habits are important things in one’s life and there are numerous books on the subject. The classic book, a must read, is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Another two popular books about habits are The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Atomic Habits by James Clear, that came out very recently. Having read all three of them I combined my notes for the last two in this post. No matter what stage in life you are, it is always good to review one’s habits and behaviour – these books provide a good framework for doing it.

One of the habits I’m struggling with is to get rid of the reading of self-help books. Thus, reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and parallelly Atomic Habits by James Clear became a sort of a meta enterprise. Would these self-help books about habits help me to get rid of the habit of reading self-help books? There’s nothing wrong with the self-help genre per se. I believe, everybody should strive to become a better version of themselves. Evidently, there’s a lot of great wisdom in this type of books – many prominent figured refer to them when they tell the story of their success. However, having read tons of them, one would usually circle around the same known stuff and shabby ideas wrapped in different narratives and supported by different anecdotes. The trick here is to know when to stop and, actually, go out and do something by using the knowledge and inspiration gained.

My own habit of falling back to self-help books is, obviously, grounded in the alluring products of the habit loop driven by the craving for knowledge on self-improvement. We can use the basic members of the habit loop – cue, routine, and reward – well covered in the Duhigg’s book and analyse the situation with the reading of self-help books. For this type of products, the cues (triggers) are everywhere, and who can ignore the wish for excellence? Then, the routine is easily carried out – the messages in those books are straightforward that doesn’t require a very deep thinking and reading between the lines. It just assumes the acceptance in many cases, and, finally, the reward is instant – the feeling of getting something very valuable – a digested wisdom and not seldom a bit of inspiration. It can be compared to junk food (which by the way is almost gone from my life thanks to this kind of books). However, my point is not to pick on this genre, but rather to stress the importance of not getting stuck in it, as in my previous point.

Habit as a phenomena humans and other living creatures are equipped with is one of my favourite subjects. I strongly believe, in the end, habits defines us and our destiny. The subject of habit covers several interesting areas as neuroscience, biology, psychology, and more. The basic mechanics of habit system can be described through the theory of operand conditioning, a term coined by B.F. Skinner back in 1930. It is a technique of learning that occurs through reward and punishment for behaviour. Through operand conditioning, an individual makes an association between a behaviour and a consequence. A relatively simple feedback loop forming habits of an individual can be described in terms of drive, stimulus, response, reward with different kind of reinforcers – positive or negative.

What was lacking in the model of operand conditioning was other influencers like feelings, thoughts, and, very importantly – beliefs. Moreover, human behaviour is so complex that factors as the environment and group psychology are of crucial importance when it comes to the habit science. Modern behavioural science takes these terms into account and they are very important in the habit theory. The authors of both books did a great job addressing these factors in their respective methodologies.

Based on the early theory of operand conditioning, different models around habits and behaviour (in my interpretation, behaviour is a series of actions evoked by habits) are developed and fundamental terms are just called different names. Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit grounds his model on the habit loop consisting of cue-routine-reward parameters which are driven by craving. James Clear in Atomic Habits suggests his model consisting of four steps called cue, craving, response, and reward. These factors are systematically analysed by respective author and the steps how to build good habits and remove the bad ones based on these models are suggested. In both books I found some valuable and interesting points as well as good tips on how to keep one’s habits on the right track.

As one can see from the parameters in each model, there’s a difference in the arrangement of them making some differences in application of the methodologies of habit treatment. Duhigg sees the term craving as a driving force for the members in the habit loop – cue, routine, reward. Clear suggests that craving is simply a second stage in his model of habit. This is the main difference, and I need to admit I haven’t put enough time to analyse which model is right – both make sense. We would need some deeper diving in relevant disciplines and get help from ontology of the actual things here. Anyhow, I tend to believe that a craving lies above cue, routine, and reward. Cues alone without craving are meaningless. Nevertheless, both models are very useful for working on one’s habits. Duhigg argues that the way of changing or replacing of habit is to focus on the routine parameter, or the response part according to the terminology or Clear. Clear gives a lot of examples on how the cue and reward steps can be worked on. I completely agree that even these parts can be influenced, whereas Duhigg argues that the most important thing is to focus on routine leaving cues and rewards unchanged. I believe, we can remove unwanted triggers. Like making the tempting things like candies hard to reach and out of sight, etc. This has been well researched in a very interesting work by Richard H. Thaler for which he was awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017. Then, we can reprogram our brain to think about rewards differently – change the mode of them or reinforce the distant rewards requiring immediate sacrifice by some direct reward. Clear has a lot of good examples how to do it.

Habit should be seen as one of the essential parts forming an individual. A brilliant quote by Margaret Thatcher shows the operational importance of habits: “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they'll become... habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” If we put those terms it in a different order, we can see that habits are very important, perhaps more important than one’s thoughts, because they are operational tools defining which actions one will take and what destiny those actions will form.

In summary, if you are somehow unsatisfied with any of your habits and would like to actively and effectively change them and thus become an individual you’d like to be, I strongly recommend both books. I would read The Power of Habit book first, this book is longer, has more stories, and has more research behind it. Atomic Habits book is easier to get through, especially after reading Duhigg’s book. Both books, as you might have guessed, are clear, easy to read and grasp. They will give you the right mindset to approach your behaviour and provide valuable tools to shape your personality.
Profile Image for Ramzy Alhg.
449 reviews137 followers
January 15, 2023
من أروع كتب تطوير الذات التي قرأتها على الإطلاق .

يعرض الكاتب الأمريكي جيمس كلير أدواته المجربة والمطبقة في الحياة موضحة بقصص حقيقة، وذلك عبر تقديم قوانين تُساعد الفرد على التخلص من عاداته السيئة وإكتساب عادات جديدة تطوّر جودة الحياة، بمختلف جوانبها .

أحد أهم النصائح في الكتاب تقول أن كل الإنجازات الكبيرة تأتي من بدايات بسيطة، وبداية كل عادة تكون من خلال قرار بسيط وثابت لآتغيره أيّ ظروف.

التغيّرات التي تبدو بسيطة وغير مهمة في البداية، ستتراكم وتتحول إلى نتائج مذهلة لو أنك واصلت الإلتزام بها على المدي البعيد، فجودة حياتنا بالأساس تعتمد على جودة عادتنا.

يمكن تلخيص الكتاب في بناء عادات جيدة أو التخلص من عادات سيئة في أربعة قوانين وعكسها:
فالعلم الكامن في بناء العادات أو التخلص منها يتلخص في أربع نقاط رئيسية هي بشكل تراتبي :

الاشارة - التوق - الإستجابة - المكافأة
والتي يمكن للقوانين التاليه أن تعمل من خلالها .

القانون الأول لبناء عادة جيدة "إجعلها واضحة" ولتجنب عادة سيئة "إجعلها خفيّة".

القانون الثاني لبناء عادة جيدة "إجعلها جذّابة"
ولتجنب عادة سيئة "إجعلها غير جذّاية".

القانون الثالث لبناء عادة جيدة "إجعلها سهلة" ولتجنب عادة سيئة "إجعلها صعبة".

القانون الرابع لبناء عادة جيدة "إجعلها مُشِبعَة" ولتجنب عادة سيئة "إجعلها غير مُشبِعَة".

من أكثر ما أقنعني في الكتاب إنك لو إستطعت التحسن بنسبة ١% في اليوم، على مدار عام فأن العام سينتهي بك وأنت أفضل بسبعة وثلاثين ضعفاً في ماتفعله . فالعادات تساوي الفائدة المركبة للتحسن الذاتي .

الكتاب ممتلئ بالامثلة المعاصرة التي تحيط بنا ،فعلى سبيل المثال تغير مصير الفريق الإنجليزي للدراجات بسبب إستراتيجية بسيطة جداً تدُعى "تراكم المكاسب الهامشية" وهي فلسفة تُعنى بالبحث عن التحسينات الهامشية البسيطة في كل شئ تفعله .

كتاب ممتاز ويستحق القراءة .
Profile Image for Valeria Lipovetsky.
19 reviews7,207 followers
April 12, 2020
I really enjoyed how easily digested this book was. We all have certain habits we want to learn or unlearn and we usually start strong but lack the motivation to stick to it. This book really expanded my mind about what it actually takes to make habits stick and how motivation has VERY little to do with it.
I added a few of key quotes from the book that touch on some of the steps: why the smallest habits matter, awareness, repetition over perfection, focus on environment, how to keep going when the initial flame of motivation dies down, learn / unlearn your identity, pay attention to the words you use. #vlbookclub
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