Book Review: Atomic Habits
Been meaning to read this productivity books called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear – and it was definitely worth the time and investment (I consider the 10usd or so I paid for the Kindle book nothing compared to the time someone invests in reading an actual book).
Here are my key takeaways of the book
Time Magnifies margin between success and failure. Good habits compound our progress to success. Bad habits push our chances for success further away and down.
Bamboo spends 5 years underground and then only 6 weeks it grows above ground 90 feet into the air. Meaning – you need to build systems and a strong foundation and then suddenly the world will see you come out of nowhere. (This one is so exciting I will write a whole blog post about it on Mike’s blog).
Forget goal setting – spend time building systems instead. Systems are a lifetime tool to continuously improve. Goals are about winning something and being done with it, or setting another goal. Systems keep us in the game of continuous improvement.
Habits put us on the path to changing our identity. I have to admit, over the past five years I have actively been building habits, and it is true. It has changed who I am, how I talk to people, how I think (wife calls me a robot now). Habits are pre-programmed decisions, mental shortcuts.
Create a habit by 1. Cue (make it obvious), 2. Crave (make attractive), 3. Response (make it easy), 4. Reward (make it satisfying).
Stack habits – the best way to make a new habit is to add it to a habit we already have.
Just takes a slight mind shift often. Instead of thinking “I have to do something”, think “I get to do something”. Make that burden an opportunity.
Walk slowly, but never backwards.
Make it easy to decide something that will benefit us in the LONG TERM rather than short term. If it is an easy thing to decide, check to see if it is resulting in a short term gain or a long term one. Long term ones most people are not aiming for, most people are looking for short term gain.
Never miss 2 days / 2 reps in a row. We are all human, we miss one due to life, but don’t let it turn into 2 – as then it easily becomes 3, and then 4, etc.
Big 5 personality traits: 1. Open Minded vs Closed, 2. Conscious (organized vs easy going), 3. Extrovert/Introvert, 4. Agreeable/challenging, 5. Neuroticism (anxious/sensitive or confident and cool).
Greatest threat to success is BOREDOM. Not failing to do something, but getting bored of doing it. Makes me think of entrepreneurship, many of us start a business, but once it gets repetitive we can’t keep focused on it. Have to admit this is my problem often. We need to fall in love with boredom.
Need to also stay on track with our habits with reflection and review. James does 2 reports, one for year end and the other in the summer (mid-year). What is working, what isn’t, what are we learning.
Keep your identity small. This is the final point I learned – and one I realize I have a personal issue with -because I am well known in a specific industry, it makes it harder to adapt to changing times. We need to try to keep our identity small so that we are more nimble. Need to be more overarching in our identity, not a sports player, but a strong minded and capable person.
This was pretty intense book. I hope to read it again and do recommend you check this out. Keep an open mind, and as you read it decide if you are really working on making habits to improve your personal and professional life for the long term.
Buy Atomic Habits Book Now
So make the right move and pick up this book and start changing your life with better habits today