Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book provides some very reassuring insights explaining how small changes can make a big difference. James Clear uncovers a handful of simple life hacks and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they work. Along the way, he shares the stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.
People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But Clear has discovered another way. He argues that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes earlier, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits.
There is more to the book than this one idea. Clear also explains other concepts such as the three-later concentric circle for behaviour change, which divides into outcome, process and identity change. People usually address these levels of change in this order, however, Clear says that the best way to drive yourself is through identity first, focusing on who we wish to become. There’s some other great and seemingly simple advice, like tying an old habit to a new habit you want to create. For example, after I have my morning coffee I spend ten minutes studying Chinese.
Another hack is to apply a two-minute rule this means that a new habit should be very achievable at first, once that is established it should be built up, but the first two minutes should always be easy. We also need to reward ourselves, that can be by simply noting that we’ve performed the habit. This very achievable and rewarding nature of a habit creates a positive state of mind and the desire to really make a task or a behaviour a habit for life.