Book Review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

10 Powerful Lessons from the book Atomic Habits

1. The Power of Compounding

Tiny changes in habits can change the trajectory of our lives in amazing ways. Success is not about massive actions. It is the tiny improvements that aren’t even noticeable at first. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.


2. The Habit Loop

A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.

Habit has 4 phases:

Cue: Triggers to initiate a behavior

Craving: Motivational forces behind every habit

Response: Action you perform

Reward: The end goal of every habit

3. Change Your Identity


The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.


3 Layers of Behavior Change:

– Outcomes: changing results

– Process: changing habits and systems

– Identity: changing beliefs

4. Goals vs System

We set goals, but forget the steps to achieve them, and sometimes when we reach them, we don’t know what to do next.

Goals are about the results you want but systems are about the process that leads to them.

Forget about goals and focus on systems instead.

5. Make It Obvious

The Implementation intention is a plan that you make about the time and location to act.

It is the lack of clarity that gets confused with the lack of motivation, holding us back from our new habits.

With a plan, there is no need to wait any longer.

6. Habit Stacking

No behavior happens in isolation. 

You often decide what you are going to do next based on what you just finished.

Each action becomes a cue that triggers the next action. 

So why not apply the same while forming new habits?

7. Temptation Bundling

It is easier to enforce something you need to do once you pair it with something you want to do.

For e.g: only watch your favorite show while doing household chores.

Doing guilty pleasures makes it easier to follow through on more difficult habits.

8. The Law of Least Effort

It is crucial to prepare your environment for future use to reduce the friction associated with good behavior and likewise increase friction for bad habits.

Want to exercise? Set out your workout clothes, and shoes ahead of time

9. Habit Shaping

The starting part of any new habit should take only 2 minutes.

If it feels like a challenge, it will be hard.

Improving a habit can only happen once it is established.

Plan it in an easier way and then focus on improving. Excellence will then follow.

10. The Goldilocks Rule

Whenever you are starting a new habit, set expectations that are not too high.

The goal is to start small, be consistent, and keep progressing.

Build up slowly so that these new challenges keep you engaged and motivated.