By: James Clear
Reviewed by Shelby Gobbo
James Clear wastes no time in digging right into practical ways to create habits. This book, Atomic Habits, caught my attention, not only because it was a New York Times bestseller, but as the perfect way to kick off the new year and shed the “bad Covid-19 habits” that surfaced over the last year. Right from the get-go, Clear launches into his framework for creating successful habits and making them stick. What is most helpful about this book is his approach to encourage tiny, maintainable changes, to act as a catalyst for those bigger, more remarkable changes.
The Bottom Line
One of the first chapters in the book focuses on the fact that small adjustments will lead to massive transformation. Using both personal and third-party examples, Clear provides a “show and tell” approach to how these little tweaks to your everyday life and routine can have a big impact. The book highlights the connectedness of everything; how certain actions dictate what actions will follow. It sounds simple enough, but when taken to heart and applied it’s a profound way of creating habits that place the focus on who you wish to become.
Throughout the book James Clear provides with practical strategies for new habit formation – and of course, how to break the ones that aren’t serving us. This isn’t a book for anyone looking for a quick change – creating systems takes time. James Clear breaks his teachings on habits into four laws:
- The 1st Law: Make it Obvious.
- The 2nd Law: Make it Attractive.
- The 3rd Law: Make it Easy.
- The 4th Law: Make it Satisfying.
Some of the best advice for me personally came out of the 3rd Law: Make it Easy. Clear says, “Energy is precious, and the brain is wired to conserve it whenever possible. It is human nature to follow the Law of Least Effort, which states that when deciding between two similar options, people will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.” He suggests piggybacking new habits on things we already do and shifting our intentions vs. creating something brand new that is not natural – or easy, for us to remember, action or complete.
I recommend this book for anyone looking to get that fresh start to the new year – or at any time, with the right habits to get in a place to succeed!