In this post, I will give my initial review of the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I’m going to be honest with you here, though. I haven’t finished reading this book yet. I’m only about halfway through. But it has already changed my way of thinking about building new habits.
James Clear talks about when we “normally” set habits, we first focus on the desired outcome. We figure out the process to reach the outcome. After achieving the outcome, we identify as the person we’re trying to become.
For example, we may want to learn to run a marathon. That’s our goal: the outcome. Then we decide how to achieve that outcome, what’s the training routine, etc. When we finally run that marathon, if we EVER run that marathon, then we consider ourselves a runner.
But he talks about starting with identifying ourselves as that person first, then working on the process, and then the outcome will find itself.
He said small little steps, called atomic habits, can help us change our identity. For example, if we are trying to stop smoking and someone asks us if we want a cigarette, we might respond, “No thanks. I’m trying to quit.” That person is still identifying as a smoker. But if they reply, “No thanks. I don’t smoke,” they identify as a non-smoker and will be more successful.
It’s SOOO logical, but why hasn’t anyone put it that way before!?
He then teaches us how to make good habits obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. And the inverse; how to make bad habits hidden, unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying. I love how he gets into brain science and dopamine. (Yeah, I’m a nerd like that.)
Atomic Habits is the kind of book you should take a little slow. I have a notebook where I take notes on how to apply these principles to my areas of self-improvement. I find the author’s ideas logical and easy to apply. I have already made a couple of changes in my daily life that have boosted my ability to begin new habits.
If you’ve read Atomic Habits, leave a comment and tell me your favorite part. If not, here’s a link on Amazon for you to pick it up. (For full disclosure, I am not affiliated with Amazon and get no bonus if you click the link or buy the book. I just want to make it easy for my readers.)
If you would like to learn more about setting good habits that you will WANT to keep, click here for my free course on how to set Value-Centered Goals. And as always, you can reach out to me on my booking site for a Free 30-Minute Consultation.