• Tiny, incremental changes to one’s habits and routines over an extended period of time, even if it is only by 1%, can lead to remarkable results.
  • Focus on the process rather than the goal, building good habits and breaking your bad ones through actionable, realistic, and achievable steps/strategies.
  • By understanding how your habits are formed you can better and more efficiently transform your behaviours, leading to greater success and fulfillment in various aspects of your life.


I read this book at a time when I was struggling with my personal identity and circumstances and felt like I needed a change. It was during the second covid lockdown in the UK and, in an effort to fully prepare myself for the lifting of the restrictions and put myself in the best position to achieve something, I decided to critically evaluate my habits and the things I found important. By doing this I felt like I could make my day-to-day life more efficient and cut out the habits and practices that were potentially hindering me.

In comes Atomic Habits by James Clear. A book that I had seen constantly on the internet with productivity and mindfulness gurus recommending it on every YouTube video you watch and preaching about its effectiveness. And to my pleasant surprise, the hype was real. This book was well crafted, well thought out, and an easy and informative read.

The books main points and primary message focuses on the idea that small incremental changes will compound over time into significant improvements. With concepts such as the 1% rule, habit stacking, environment design, the two minute rule, and feedback loops, Clear outlines a clear and actionable strategy to first understanding your current habits and charting a roadmap to effectively changing them in a meaningful way and not simple short team achievements. The 4 lawas of behaviour change was particularly interesting and one of the most critical components of the book. If you read nothing else other than this section I believe you would still be able to make progress. The 4 laws include make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying. These laws represent the fundamental pillars of behaviour and habit change for Clear and can greatly impact your habit changing journey.

Overall, this was a detailed and informative read and never felt preachy or judgemental. I would definitely recommend this if you are struggling with your own habits or would like to implement new habits into your routine. This book is an excellent tool for understanding, building, and changing habits, and can be an excellent companion on your habits journey.

How I Discovered It

I discovered this book on YouTube following productivity YouTubers such as Thomas Frank, Matt D’Avella, and Ali Abdaal. They all have great YouTube channels if you are interested in productivity, optimising your life, and concepts such as minimalism. I recommend them if you are looking for new perspectives on life or information of productivity.

Who Should Read It?

If you are someone struggling with a habit you would like to break, whether smoking, drinking, gambling, procrastinating etc, or you are someone that would like to start a new positive habit, such as going to the gym, reading more, sticking to a diet etc, then you should definitely give this book a read. There are many habit building books and formulas out there but, from what I have read, none of them tackle habits in the same way that this book does. 

This book is a guide to understanding your behaviours and habits and provides actionable steps to positive personal development rather than abstract concepts and ideas. By pryoritising systems over goals, it makes it less daunting and more achievable to change the things you want and provides a framework to operate in along your self improvement journey. If changing, or the idea of change, overwhelms you then this book, in my opinion, can help.

My Top 4 Quotes

  1. The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.
  2. You do it because it’s who you are and it feels good to be you. The more a habit becomes part of your life, the less you need outside encouragement to follow through. Incentives can start a habit. Identity sustains a habit.
  3. The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. If you’re willing to wait for the rewards, you’ll face less competition and often get a bigger payoff. As the saying goes, the last mile is always the least crowded.
  4. What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.

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