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Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

  1. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    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 an 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hampus Jakobsson

    TLDR; - "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 TLDR; - "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 ----- *Identity* 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Before starting this book, write down some good habits you want to build and some bad habits you want to break. This book is filled with practical steps and examples. Yes, there are plenty of habit-building books out there (just as there are plenty of diet books but yet there are still more new books published every year). Plenty of people are seeking the right book that resonates with them. The key points in this book are: * Compound Effect - Very small changes over time will have a big impact. * Before starting this book, write down some good habits you want to build and some bad habits you want to break. This book is filled with practical steps and examples. Yes, there are plenty of habit-building books out there (just as there are plenty of diet books but yet there are still more new books published every year). Plenty of people are seeking the right book that resonates with them. The key points in this book are: * Compound Effect - Very small changes over time will have a big impact. * Habit Building Techniques - Make good habits into routines; use positive reinforcements and other techniques outlined in the book. * Monitor and Measure - Keep track of your progress and improvements.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Greg Swierad

    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 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: https://www.mentorist.app/books/atomi...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    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/philoso 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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positiv... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavio... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindful...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaytlin

    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 d 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    abigailscupoftea

    My 2019 girl boss recommendation. 💕 “Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. Building habits in the present allows you to do more of what you want in the future.” This book has helped me build a more productive morning routine and I love it! ☀️ Being a morning person has always been a struggle for me, but this book gives you very clear and very easy steps to create the life you’ve always imagined. When going through your daily habits, ask yourself, “Does this habit cast a vote for or again My 2019 girl boss recommendation. 💕 “Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. Building habits in the present allows you to do more of what you want in the future.” This book has helped me build a more productive morning routine and I love it! ☀️ Being a morning person has always been a struggle for me, but this book gives you very clear and very easy steps to create the life you’ve always imagined. When going through your daily habits, ask yourself, “Does this habit cast a vote for or against my desired identity?” Being more mindful about your day to day activities will open up so many doors. This is truly such a life changing book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Acordul Fin

    “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 a “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.” Why do I keep doing this to myself? I keep picking up these tired pop-psychology books just because they have high ratings and I keep hoping they might have something good. I should know better by now. This one was as much of a disappointment as the rest of "personal development" books I've read this year. It's the same superficial, regurgitated information I've been stumbling across on self-help blogs for the past 10 years. Robotic writing, highly repetitive, anecdotes taken out of context to conveniently prove the author's point, some shoddy "science". Most of the ideas in this have already been covered by other authors, in greater depth and with more skill. For me it read like an informational. This is essentially was this was, another platform to enhance his brand and add to his "passive income". The advice caters, as always, to this very specific group of people, the lifestyle-hacker extraordinaire - Tim Ferris wanna-bes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matias Andina

    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 w 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]

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Laing

    In an episode of the North Star Podcast with David Perrell, the software entrepreneur Daniel Gross said something that I thought was wise: The definition of a habit, for me, is something that doesn’t require willpower. How can I build a large collection of habits that are healthy—that are correct—and save them to RAM in my head so that I don’t have to think about them? I would like to have that done by the end of my 20s. I’d like to be in a good place in terms of body composition, in terms of wha In an episode of the North Star Podcast with David Perrell, the software entrepreneur Daniel Gross said something that I thought was wise: The definition of a habit, for me, is something that doesn’t require willpower. How can I build a large collection of habits that are healthy—that are correct—and save them to RAM in my head so that I don’t have to think about them? I would like to have that done by the end of my 20s. I’d like to be in a good place in terms of body composition, in terms of what I eat, in terms of how I work, so that I can spend the rest of my life not thinking about that stuff. I heard this a few weeks before the New Year, and I got to thinking about which habits I might want to build or break in 2019. I found the perfect companion to this reflection in James Clear’s new book, Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Break Bad Habits & Build Good Ones. The motivating idea behind the book is that habits are the compound interest of behaviour. Get 1% better each day and you will rarely notice a change on any given day, but by the end of a year you will be 38 times better than when you started (1.01^365 = 37.8). It’s often not possible or useful to try to quantify your skill level—maybe you just want to remember to floss—but the insight is that huge long-term differences can be born from barely perceptible but consistent short-term differences. Hence, atomic habits: pennies that grow into a fortune. Clear explains that all habits, good or bad, play out in four stages: - The cue. You perceive a specific signal. You see cookies on the kitchen table. - The craving. You feel a rush of desire for a specific reward. Your mouth starts watering as you imagine the chocolate chips melting in your mouth. - The response. You perform an action. You pick up a cookie and bite into it. - The reward. You experience pleasure as your desire is satisfied. Your taste buds send gushing thank-you notes up to your brain. Each stage of this cycle is a lever you can pull to influence your behaviour. To build a good habit, pull them one way; to break a bad one, pull them the other way. This is the essence of Clear’s method. To build a good habit: - Make it obvious (the cue) - Make it attractive (the craving) - Make it easy (the response) - Make it satisfying (the reward) To break a bad habit: - Make it invisible (the cue) - Make it unattractive (the craving) - Make it hard (the response) - Make it unsatisfying (the reward) The book is broken into four sections, one for each stage of the habit cycle. Each chapter begins with a short vignette about a historical figure, and then dives into a related piece of advice. If you’ve done some thinking or reading about habit formation before, then you might be familiar with many of these ideas already. This was the case for me. However, even if you feel like you know the landscape well, I think you would find at least one actionable idea in the book. For the rest of this post, I’ll describe the ideas that I’ve implemented myself since reading it. Habit stacking One of the easiest ways to build a new habit is to attach it to an existing one. By resolving to start performing a new habit directly following another one that is already ingrained, you turn the old habit’s reward into the new habit’s cue; you make it obvious. After enough repetitions, the new habit is woven into your life. Last year, I developed a stable habit of doing push-ups and kettlebell swings after every 25-minute work block throughout my workday. When I read about habit stacking, I recognized an opportunity to use these existing habits as foundations for a new one: drinking more water. Now, every time I do my push-ups and kettlebell swings, I drink a small glass of water. I’m more hydrated than ever. Implementation intentions In a study, two groups were asked to make to-do lists, but one group was given a small tweak that resulted in them accomplishing many more tasks than the other. They were told to write down with each task the time and location where they intended to complete it. They created an implementation intention. This is another way to make a behaviour more obvious, this time by associating the action with a context that can be perceived as the cue. I’ve started writing down implementation intentions every time I add an item to my to-do list. Instead of Call the bank to order a new debit card, it’s Call the bank to order a new debit card in the living room on Saturday morning. While there are still plenty of overdue tasks on my to-do list, this new habit of writing down where and when I intend to complete each task has helped me cross a number of them off. Prime your environment I first learned the value of this lesson three years ago when I lived in a tiny coach house in Welland, Ontario. I had always struggled to get out of bed on time, but I was teaching courses of my own for the first time and couldn’t afford to be late for class. So I came up with a solution. Each night before bed, I prepared my stovetop espresso maker and put it on the stove, alongside a clean mug and my phone (my alarm). When my alarm started ringing, I had to get out of bed and walk over to the stove to turn it off. Immediately, I would turn on the stove element and go back to bed for a snooze. Ten minutes later I would be woken again by the gurgling of the espresso, as well as the fear that it would boil over if I didn’t get up to turn off the element. My reward for getting up the second time was a fresh cup of coffee. Ever since then I’ve been completely cured of my snoozing habit. As Clear explains, priming your environment for its next use is a great way to make a desirable behaviour more obvious as well as easier. After reflecting on this, I’ve been experimenting with a few changes: - Pumping up my bike tires as soon as I get home from my evening bike commute. (This makes it easier to choose the bike as my mode of transport the next day.) - Repacking my gym bag as soon as I get home from the gym. (This makes it easier to go for a work-out whenever I feel like it.) - Filling up a big water jug next to my desk at the end of each work day. (This makes it easier to stay hydrated the next day. Note that putting the water jug there also makes my drinking habit more obvious.) - Placing a novel on my pillow after making my bed each morning. (I’m trying to build the habit of reading fiction before bed because I find that it helps me sleep.) Make it small I’ve used various habit trackers for about four years now, and I’ve just about settled on TaskLife as my favourite. I define a list of behaviours, and each day the app asks me whether I’ve done them. The beauty of it is that I can choose the frequency with which I want to perform each task, as well as the time period over which to calculate that frequency. It’s like Andy Matuschak’s system of smoothly ratcheting targets with teeth, minus a bit of smoothness and all the teeth. The most common reason that I’ve failed to hit my target frequency has been the size of my tasks—they have been too hard. For example, it’s often hard to find the time and motivation for one full hour of writing, so I would often skip that habit. Even before reading Atomic Habits, I had recognized this problem and made some changes, like cutting 60 minutes of writing down to 10. But Clear offered many more ways to break down a complex or challenging behaviour into a task that can be completed in under two minutes. Since getting started is by far the hardest part of most habits, I decided to change all my habits in TaskLife to 2-minutes-or-under tasks as a way of making it easier to spend time on the things that matter to me. Here is the current list of questions that TaskLife asks me each morning about my previous day, along with the frequency with which I aim to complete those tasks over a rolling window of 21 days: - Did you study at least one flashcard? (70%) - Did you read at least one page of fiction? (70%) - Did you write at least one sentence? (55%) - Did you read at least one Pocket article? (50%) - Did you play at least one chord on the guitar? (50%) - Did you write at least one sentence in your journal? (50%) - Did you go to bed by 9:30pm? (50%) - Did you send at least one message to a friend? (50%) - Did you read at least one page of nonfiction? (40%) - Did you walk through the doors of the gym? (25%) Automate it Lastly, the easiest way to make a task easier is to delegate it to a machine. As a data scientist, I have obviously implemented this one before, too. I’ve automated my health insurance payments, my donations to charity, my bus pass top-ups, my memorization efforts, my sleep tracking, my exercise tracking, and my rebalancing calculations in my investment accounts. But there are always more things to automate, and Clear’s chapter on the subject got me to reflect on what else I could do. Since reading the chapter, I’ve set up automatic payments on all of my regular bills, and on my to-do list (with an implementation intention!) is the task of setting up automatic monthly transfers into my investment accounts. In summary, I recommend Atomic Habits. If the topic of habit formation is new to you, I think this book is probably the best general resource you’ll find. And if the topic is already familiar, you’ll find that the book is a quick and engaging read with dozens of fresh ideas that you can consider implementing in your life. This review is also posted on my website.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    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 ho 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. Another 2021 top favourite!🌻 This one is already changing my 2021 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 🍂

  12. 4 out of 5

    CaptainWolfsborg

    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 al 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    Shit I am enjoying Non-Fiction more and more nowadays!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brandice

    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 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This life-changing non-fiction title is one often spoken of, highly praised, and much recommended. I would say it is well-deserving of all this celebratory hype it has garnered over the years for how concise and yet detailed its content are, how many different suggested areas of daily improvement are included, and how easily implemented Clear makes them appear.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This is basically reinforcement for Duhigg's books on habits. There is some good advice--get rid of obstacles, use cues of things you like to do with things you need to do (i.e., everytime you check facebook, do pushups or whatever). It's good advice, but nothing new or unique. This is basically reinforcement for Duhigg's books on habits. There is some good advice--get rid of obstacles, use cues of things you like to do with things you need to do (i.e., everytime you check facebook, do pushups or whatever). It's good advice, but nothing new or unique.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    It's complicated ... my relationship with self-help books that is. On one hand, I'm one of those people who always wants to learn and improve, while also getting in my own way due to character/personality flaws, which I'm well acquainted with, which is why, occasionally, I read yet another self-help book, hoping to get inspired or to learn something that will result in me taking action. I heard about this book from different sources which propelled me to put it on hold. My usual scepticism was p It's complicated ... my relationship with self-help books that is. On one hand, I'm one of those people who always wants to learn and improve, while also getting in my own way due to character/personality flaws, which I'm well acquainted with, which is why, occasionally, I read yet another self-help book, hoping to get inspired or to learn something that will result in me taking action. I heard about this book from different sources which propelled me to put it on hold. My usual scepticism was pretty quickly sent to smithereens. First of all, Clear is a very good narrator, he's got a lovely voice and accent. Second, he didn't try to sell me anything. Third, the book is very matter of fact, with a mix of psychology, examples and, most importantly, actionable steps. Also, it didn't have any spiritual mambo jumbo something that grinds my gears. So if you want to acquire new habits or drop some bad ones, this might help you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark Kater

    This book is what I expected "The power of habit" to be. Where TPOH mostly is a collection of stories/anecdotes, Atomic Habits actually goes over practical ways of implementing your own system. It's great! Here's to stop reading and to start doing... :) This book is what I expected "The power of habit" to be. Where TPOH mostly is a collection of stories/anecdotes, Atomic Habits actually goes over practical ways of implementing your own system. It's great! Here's to stop reading and to start doing... :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Britt / Basically Britt

    Randomly started listening to this one because I'm trying to get out of my reading slump and I reaaaally enjoyed it! Some tips were super helpful! Randomly started listening to this one because I'm trying to get out of my reading slump and I reaaaally enjoyed it! Some tips were super helpful!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Very Clear.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ladan

    It was quite an easy read and I enjoyed Clear's honesty.Despite other self helps which try to impose that they hold the secret to success and try to blame one for not acting accordingly and leaving one with a sense of guilt, Clear just comes up with a bunch of effective strategies (borrowed from other books and researches, and organized very well by him) and indicates the importance of daily improvement. Sticking to the daily routine is boring and all of us may get stuck, bored, want to go back It was quite an easy read and I enjoyed Clear's honesty.Despite other self helps which try to impose that they hold the secret to success and try to blame one for not acting accordingly and leaving one with a sense of guilt, Clear just comes up with a bunch of effective strategies (borrowed from other books and researches, and organized very well by him) and indicates the importance of daily improvement. Sticking to the daily routine is boring and all of us may get stuck, bored, want to go back to the normal routine, yet the ones who keep on undergoing the pain of discipline win. That's the only difference between losers and winners! This provides one with the opportunity to choose. And when one is provided with options, one feels powerful and more receptive to change. For more details on how to build effective habits and get rid of the old dysfunctional ones please read the book! So far I have read compound effect and seven habits of highly effective ppl on building habits yet I prefer atomic habits.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Les

    I was enlightened by "Willpower" and got some great takeaways from "The Power of Habit", but this is next-level in terms of practical steps and also generating pivotal mental shifts both for the immediate and long terms. Important note: it gets better with each successive chapter - something critical to know since the opening is understandably crucial to the author, but not so much to many readers. Read it. I was enlightened by "Willpower" and got some great takeaways from "The Power of Habit", but this is next-level in terms of practical steps and also generating pivotal mental shifts both for the immediate and long terms. Important note: it gets better with each successive chapter - something critical to know since the opening is understandably crucial to the author, but not so much to many readers. Read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Valeria Lipovetsky

    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 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

  24. 4 out of 5

    Boston

    4.5 stars. Who bet the author that he couldn’t slip multiple porn references in? Who was it?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    3 stars Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. I liked this one. I was expecting to get a little more out of it, but it was still a solid listen. Audio book source: Libby (library borrow) Story Rating: 3 Stars Narrators: James Clear Narration Rating: 4 Stars Genre: Non-fiction Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    I used to follow James email letters, so I knew already something about his philosophy. The first part of the book, where he talks about principles of habits ( in theory ), is the best, and I loved it. However, subsequent parts are about application of those principles, which are quite useful, but not mind blowing. Overall not bad.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amir Tesla

    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 wit 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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    Enjoyed this one much more than The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, as it's more to the point. Some great takeaways and excellent reminders. Each chapter succinctly summarized at the end, very quotable. Highly recommend. 1-Sentence-Summary: Atomic Habits is the definitive guide to break bad behaviors and adopt good ones in four steps, showing you how small, incremental, everyday routines compound and add up to massive, positive change over time (via Four Minute Books' Enjoyed this one much more than The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, as it's more to the point. Some great takeaways and excellent reminders. Each chapter succinctly summarized at the end, very quotable. Highly recommend. 1-Sentence-Summary: Atomic Habits is the definitive guide to break bad behaviors and adopt good ones in four steps, showing you how small, incremental, everyday routines compound and add up to massive, positive change over time (via Four Minute Books' excellent review). Favorite Quotes: “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.” “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” “When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Naoise

    James Clear has a big following because of his newsletter –which I am subscribed to–, and that can probably explain the many good reviews. But this document, which is already only a 45-page free-to-download "ebook", is too long and could be synthesized in a 3 page tryptic. Although the intention is good and the concept an important one, and the proposals described to get rid of bad habits and attain desired ones are with no doubt good ones, it's a full blown action of "copy-writing": self-help m James Clear has a big following because of his newsletter –which I am subscribed to–, and that can probably explain the many good reviews. But this document, which is already only a 45-page free-to-download "ebook", is too long and could be synthesized in a 3 page tryptic. Although the intention is good and the concept an important one, and the proposals described to get rid of bad habits and attain desired ones are with no doubt good ones, it's a full blown action of "copy-writing": self-help mumbo jumbo that goes over and over again through the same concepts in an attempt to spin out something akin to a book to get people to give their emails in exchange of a free copy. I do appreciate the contents, I certainly don't appreciate that I need to skim through the text searching for the meat. Fortunately this is not a full-blown book, which I am sure some authors would pull off delivering exactly the same meaningful information. Moreover, it promises on talking about "the science of habit" and there is nothing even close to science or scientific references on it. The only references are other books on habits which presumably don't have sources in them either. I am not saying it's nonsense, I apply the techniques described in it and I can attest to its effectiveness, but there's no scientific proof here if that's what you are looking for. Whoever is interested in an abridged version of the WHOLE thing, here it is: How to build new habits: Three step process (3 Rs): - cue/reminder: don't wait to be motivated, associated an habit with an every-day trigger. - routine: do it, no matter what, even if it's a minimal version of what you want to achieve. - reward: associate doing it with a reward, which can simply be saying "success" to yourself. Start small, make it easy so you never avoid the habit. Identity-based habits: The goal must not be the habit itself, nor what people think of you, or a deadline nor even what you want to achieve. Focus on who you want to be (or go back to being) and work towards that through the habit. (I.e. "I want to loose 10 kg" wrong, "I want to be a person that eats less junk" right). Set schedules (habit), not goals (achievement). How to break bad habits: We have bad habits because we are rewarded by them. They are normally associated with stress and boredom. Thus, "just stop doing it" never works. You need to substitute a bad habit with a different one. How to: - Choose a substitute. - Cut out the triggers. - Don't do it alone, commit to it with or in front of other people. - It's ok to slip, just keep at it. That's it. You may find some other things, but this is the important part, really.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ali Spittel

    I love how actionable the advice in this book is. There's no fluff -- just straight up information about habits. The psychological, scientific, and anecdotal evidence presented is great. I also love the chapter summaries -- great teaching tool! That being said, the constant plugging of his site and other products bothered me, this may have been more apparent in the audiobook though. All of the referenced links require you to sign up for his email list, which, as a content-creator I understand, b I love how actionable the advice in this book is. There's no fluff -- just straight up information about habits. The psychological, scientific, and anecdotal evidence presented is great. I also love the chapter summaries -- great teaching tool! That being said, the constant plugging of his site and other products bothered me, this may have been more apparent in the audiobook though. All of the referenced links require you to sign up for his email list, which, as a content-creator I understand, but it still feels weird for me in a book you pay for.

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