Clear, James “Atomic Habits: an easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones”

Most people don’t even consider identity change when they set out to improve. They think, “I want to be outcome …”. They set goals and determine actions they should take to achieve those goals without considering the beliefs that drive their actions. They never shift the way they look at themselves, and they don’t realise their old identity can sabotage their new plans for change.

Essential book information

Basic plot summary

A guide on changing one’s life by adhering to four simple habit building (and breaking) rules.


James Clear hands out a simple guide on how to make new habits stick (and how to achieve the opposite – how to make bad habits go) by laying out four simple steps – 1) revise existing habits, make acting upon new habits 2) attractive, 3) easy and 4) satisfying. He also provides just enough theoretical explanations not to scare the reader off.

And yet, this book is so much more. Systems instead of goals, personality change, continuous self-development, behavioural theory and our general underestimation of how much we are slaves to our unconscious mind – these are just a few of the topics James Clear touches upon in his book.

My recommendation

I have to admit it took me almost a year to decide to read this book. I prefer to avoid “bestsellers” because often they are a disappointment to me (my latest attempt to read the best novel 2000 something). Long after the book became a bestseller, I have read James Clear on Twitter and even subscribed to his 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter. Finally, I purchased my kindle copy of the book and set out on reading it.

I cannot recommend it enough now, though. In this book, James Clear explains what everyone who wants a fulfilled and exciting life should know – how our lives result from our choices.

Quotes (just a few, as a teaser)

  • Many people think they lack motivation when what they lack is clarity
  • Focus on who I want to be instead of what I want to achieve
  • Your habits are how you embody your identity
  • All habits serve you in some way
  • What we really want is to feel differently

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