Form good habits and quit bad ones by this learned approach.

A Book Review – Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

By James Clear

The reward is so “satisfying”!

Short Summary

“Atomic Habits” is an International bestseller that teaches you how to form good habits. In the book, James sets out 4 simple steps (the 4 Laws) for readers to follow in order to form better habits over time.

I briefly summarize the 4 laws below:

The 1st Law – Make It Obvious. This is cue-oriented. Basically you needed to create an environment which constantly reminds you of practising such habit. When you receive the cue, you will automatically prompt yourself to start doing the habit

The 2nd Law – Make It Attractive. When you start to practise the habit after being prompted to do so, you should make sure that it is enticing enough for you to follow through and work towards completing it

“If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system.”

Chapter 2 – How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)

The 3rd Law – Make It Easy. James pointed out that the response to the practising habit is a key to keep it going. Make sure that the habit is easy to do and implement, and it will never put you off at the first place. The key is to start it easy and take baby steps to improve and put more weight on it over time

The 4th Law – Make It Satisfying. After practising the habit, make sure the end result is rewarding and will bring you positive feelings and results. This is important as this completes the habit cycle from start to end, and helps to keep your good habit ongoing

Atomic Habits

Form Atomic Habits. Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results.

(Paid link via Amazon)

Personal thoughts

“Atomic Habits” is a very good guidebook for personal growth. I would recommend this book to anyone who determines to change his/ her habits to lead a better life. This book inspired me a lot and I always follow the 4 Laws as suggested when trying to pick up a new habit. Some other thoughts about the books are:

1) Make habits obvious – Humans tend to get carried away by things happening around so if you wanted to form a new habit, you need to create very obvious cues to remind yourself. One personal example was that I decided to pick up reading again, so I placed books I intended to read at the cabinet which I must pass by every day at home. When I see the book I will pick it up and read, for a page or two. I gradually picked up the habit of reading daily again and I truly think this tip helps.

2) Build a system – We always have the impression that we form good habits by strong mental determination. The truth is, humans are lazy by nature so instead of relying on strong will and mentality, we should try to place our good habits under a framework that we cannot resist in performing. The same logic applies and can explain why we can manage to get up every morning for work.

3) Deal with boredom as compared to passion – Having passion on the things you are doing usually motivates you to continue with such habits. However we should remind ourselves that not everyday are these good days and your passion alone simply cannot carry you all the way. The key is to have the mindset of dealing with boredom. In order to become successful, you will need to overcome the boredom of continuing the habit so that you can proceed to the next level. The book Deep Work also suggested a similar idea.

What else to learn

  • If you understand the 4 Laws well, you can equally apply it to break all your bad habits (See the small summary table at the end of Chapter 3)

The Mouse talks to the Creator

The mouse

Around how long does it take a person to form a habit?

This really depends and varies from person to person. However based on informal statistics, it takes around 30 days for a habit to firm up and stick.

The Creator

Own the book

Atomic Habits

Form Atomic Habits. Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results.

(Paid link via Amazon)

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