I’ve subscribed to James Clear‘s weekly email newsletter for years. Honestly, I can’t recall when or how I discovered his writing. He writes thoughtfully about productivity and often his newsletter touches on topics that I’m mulling over that week. When I saw he had a book coming out, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones I was curious if it would hold up to the high bar I expect or if it would somehow loose something in its translation to book form.
I’ve finally had a chance to read it, and can say yes I recommend this book! It’s one that will help you hone your good habits and make them better, nudge you on ways to break bad ones, and overall improve your life.
Readers familiar with Clear’s writing may recall reading much of this before. However it doesn’t read as a bound printout of his newsletters. Yes, it reiterates his four simple steps (aka laws) that help to build good habits and break bad ones. However, it is reorganized and edited to fit together in a way to help you to build better habits and change your behavior.
The book is grouped around these four laws. Several chapters are devoted to each step, for example Law 3 “Make it Easy” includes chapters on why practice > planning, making the right action as easy as possible, standardization before optimization, and automation.
Each chapter begins with a small story about the topic and the processes utilized in that story are then discussed in detail. There are approachable charts and diagrams to help clarify the ideas. At the conclusion of every chapter is a short bullet point summary to reinforce what you read.
Could you read every article Clear’s written online for free? Yes. However, I urge you to request the book from your local library instead. Why? The order is thought out to help guide you through improving your habits with small accessible, approachable, and maintainable steps. Additionally, there is a massive appendix that includes greater insights to human behavior and an extensive EndNote section.
I highly recommend Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.