Atomic Habits by James Clear

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you already follow author James Clear, Atomic Habits will feel familiar. For those who are new to his content, it’s a great introduction! Atomic Habits is a testament to James’ expertise in the art of productivity and effectively leads the reader from context to concrete strategy in an approachable and practical way.

Atomic Habits is the book for you if, like me, you’ve got a history of dropping new habits before they have a chance to stick. In all seriousness, this book isn’t a magic pill for better habits (because there’s no such thing), but what it will do is give you the tools you need to start building habits that you will finally be able to stick to.

hand holding a hardcover copy of Atomic Habits

James includes many anecdotes in his writing, but there’s no room for magical thinking here. There is always a clear throughline, an obvious purpose for why a story makes it into a chapter— it provides real and relatable context to each of the Four Laws of Behavior Change. A story is never told just to tell it. Every snippet and narrative he includes illustrates the very concepts he teaches.

If we have hope, we have a reason to take action. A fresh start feels motivating.

Atomic Habits, James Clear

Admittedly, I initially had a hard time getting into the book, so I picked up a copy of the audiobook to help me along. I’ve found that with non-fiction, I’m more engaged in the book if I listen to the audiobook while reading. Listening while reading allows me to focus more on highlighting or taking notes— a habit I’ve found helpful, especially with personal development and business topics.

This book isn’t just theory, nor is it just a bunch of feel-good stories strung together in an attempt to be “motivating.” Instead, Atomic Habits provides a mindset-shifting, habit-sticking strategy that’s rooted in insights gleaned from academic research and tried-and-true success stories.

Something to think on when you get to where he touches on the idea of emulation— did you ever stop and think why books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Think and Grow Rich continue to top personal development charts?

If you’re looking for a substantial, science-backed, and truly motivating addition to your personal development library, then Atomic Habits is the book to get! More than just mindset (though that plays a significant role), this book will teach you how to establish a sustainable system for creating new or unlearning old habits. You’ll truly feel equipped and empowered to do something concrete today— starting with small (eponymously atomic) steps.

Standardize before you optimize. You can’t improve a habit that doesn’t exist.

Atomic Habits, James Clear

Where to find Atomic Habits