Book: Atomic Habits
Author: James Clear
Who should read this book: I say this a lot but probably everyone, especially if you’re interested in life hacks.
I finished Atomic Habits by James Clear this weekend! It was really good. Definitely forced me to look more closely at my daily habits, most of which I barely notice. I like to think I live a fairly healthy, balanced life but while reading this book, I slowly started to notice some of the bad habits I have. For example, I never floss my teeth…I think about it sometimes but then don’t do it. I drink too much caffeine, I never do any strength training. The list goes on…and these aren’t terribly bad habits but they are things that I sometimes think about changing…but then don’t.
James Clear in this book breaks down the way we develop habits (good or bad). He gives you 4 laws to create new good habits or stop current bad habits. The book is well written and very clear. The examples provided are very relatable and interesting as well. He starts out by telling us that all we have to do is improve by 1% each day. If we can do that, we can do anything. I flew through this book because it was easy to read and very clearly laid out.
My favourite thing about this book, isn’t even in the book! Clear has templates on his website for all the different tips and tricks he gives you. I downloaded the habits scorecard from his website and used to keep track of my automatic habits for a day (this was the day I discovered most of my bad habits). Throughout the book he gives links on the bottom of the page to templates you can download and print for free to help you with your habits.
My other favourite thing about the book was something I really needed to read. “…goals create an ‘either-or’ conflict; either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are disappointed.” (Atomic Habits pg. 26) Clear talked a lot about not letting your goals be the only thing that bring you joy. The process of achieving those goals should also bring you joy. (This was also pointed out in The Happy Runner.)
I will leave you with an example of just one of the new tricks I’m taking away from this book. I’ve decided to start doing the “Two-minute Rule”. Clear says that if you’re trying to start a new good habit, tell yourself you only have to do it for two minutes. Then each day when you decide you’re going to do this new habit (best to use the habit stacking technique and attach it to an already existing habit), you only have to do it for two minutes. My new habit I want to do is toning. I run all the time but I avoid calisthenics because they are hard! Running is easy for me…but I cannot even do 1 push up. So I’m attaching toning to my existing good habit of running. After every run, I have to do at least 2 minutes of toning!
If you enjoy life hacking and generally improving your mind and body, you should check out this book. If you’ve read it and had some success with your habits, I’d love to hear from you!