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Book Review: 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear

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Habits, habits, habits. Everyone wants to form good habits and kill bad habits. But it’s easier said than done. James Clear’s Atomic Habits is one of the best-selling books on habits. Something that’s interesting for anyone to read. Clear is one the world’s most renowned experts on studying habits. He developed this book by observing people as wide as artists, athletes, physicians, comedians and business leaders among others. The premise of the book is that small, tiny changes can lead to big, remarkable results. Clear notes that changing your habits isn’t about you, the person, but about the system within which you operate. So to change habits is to change the way you operate. The book condenses complex topics into simple behaviors that can be applied in the things we do everyday, inspiring better habits, and eliminating bad habits. The book explores themes such as how to make time for new habits, how to overcome motivation and willpower, how to design the right space to achieve better habits and how to get back on track when you slip. It’s a book that can transform your habits, and make you more successful in all sorts of life challenges: quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, do more, do less, learn something new etc.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits explores the power of habits in transforming life. Clear taps in real scientific research to develop ways to battle everyday human frustrations to accentuate our ability to embrace more positive habits, like we wish to. This is a book that's a must for anyone seeking to use habits as a means to influence better personal and professional success.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits introduces the core concept of habit stacking; that to anchor better habits, one should base their habits to meet current routines and environments rather than create new ones. Clear makes the case that by incorporating new habits into existing routines, people can integrate their habits more seamlessly, rather than the need to change things, which is a lot more difficult. Barriers like willpower and motivation — which are fleeting — can be avoided by stacking habits on existing routines. 

James Clear’s Atomic Habits makes the point that habits are more likely to succeed when it’s designed with the end in mind; that is to consider what we want to become. When people consider habits as identity-based (what we want to become), they are more likely to pursue and complete it rather than carrying out habits that are just based on what we want to achieve. When people frame habits based on what they want to become rather than what they want to achieve, they are motivated by a greater sense of purpose. Which makes the difference in the successful incorporation of that habit. The book provides practical strategies and tactics to inform and integrate habits-formation and habits-completion by reinforcing the desired self-image.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits unfolds at least four ‘laws’ of behavioural change through habits. He explains those laws as make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying. Each of these laws are drivers of change in itself, and Clear provides step-by-step advice on each of these laws and how to incorporate them in our daily lives. Whether that is to create small cues or big systematic changes, when people are able to frame their habits by these simple laws, they are more likely to be completed and influence personal growth.

One of the biggest barriers to forming and executing habits is the temptations of instant gratification. Even people who follow their habits religiously can’t resist escaping the trap of instant gratification. James Clear’s Atomic Habits lays out a number of strategies to overcome instant gratification by exploring the concept of habit reversal. Which is to do with swapping habits — replacing negative with positive actions — and resetting the mindset with automatic responses that play out our actions and behaviors alternatively.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits emphasizes the importance of keeping a track of habits. That by measuring and knowing how people are following their habits, they’re realizing incremental progress that keeps them doing. The book offers strategies and practical tips on adapting concepts like habit stacking and habit tracking to build personal growth momentum. Clear also highlights the power of celebrating small wins because they reward intentions and actions, and motivate people to keep at, and convert new habits into natural, long-lasting activities that bring significant positive change.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a refreshing read that inspires people to form and sustain habits. The book reveals a lot of interesting stories and examples drawn from real life to inspire readers, including Jerry Seinfeld’s personal habit strategy that turned him into an ace comedian. Besides these examples, Clear underpins his arguments and strategies based on well-researched, scientific findings that make this a compelling book. By releasing the power of small changes to thinking of habits from the perspective of the end (what will the person become by following that habit) and incorporating the basic laws of habits to structure and sustain change, this book offers a fresh guide for continuous personal improvement.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a book that lays out the essential framework for habit formations, to build good ones and break away from bad ones, to influence change — small, big and incremental. Habits, he observes, are most successful, when they follow the basic laws: such as thinking of desired habits, from the context of what that habit will achieve; making the habit obvious, so it’s easy to start; making it attractive, so the habit is appealing; and making it easy to measure and track, so progress is felt, and the motivation to sustain it is realised. James Clear’s Atomic Habits points to many little tactics to build good habits, including the need to start small, swapping habits, basing habits on existing routines and so on. Overall, the book is a highly engaging read designed to change the habits of the reader, and achieve the desired goals, in ways that are easy to follow and sustain. Get your copy here:



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