Atomic Habits Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Atomic Habits Summary

About Atomic Habits Book

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 10 million copies sold!

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

Learn how to:

  • make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
  • overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
  • design your environment to make success easier;
  • get back on track when you fall off course;
...and much more.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits--whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

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Atomic Habits by James Clear
Habits are mental shortcuts

Habits are mental shortcuts

A habit is a routine or behavior that is carried out repeatedly and most of the time automatically.

When you are faced with a problem repeatedly, your brain starts to automate the process of solving it. Your habits are sets of automatic solutions that solve the problems you come across regularly.


Focus on systems, not on goals

Goals are good for establishing a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

Goals are about the results you hope to reach. Systems are about the mechanisms that lead to those results.


The layers of behavior change

The layers of behavior change

  1. Changing your outcomes. This means changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book, etc.
  2. Changing your process. This means changing your habits and systems: for example, developing a meditation practice.
  3. Changing your identity. This means changing your beliefs: the way you see yourself and the ones around you.


Habits Shape Your Identity

Habits Shape Your Identity

Your actions define who you are. Our habits are a reflection of our identity. The more we repeat a behavior, the more we reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.

For example: if you make your bed every day, you are reinforcing the identity of someone who is organized and tidy. If you exercise regularly, you are reinforcing the identity of someone who is fit and healthy.

James Clear argues that the best way to change our identity is to focus on changing our habits. By starting with small, easy habits, we can gradually build up a new identity that is more aligned with our goals.


The 4 Steps of Habit Change

The 4 Steps of Habit Change

Habits exist in order to help us do repetitive things automatically.


1 - Cue:聽the cue triggers the brain to a certain behavior, like you walk into dark room.

2 - Craving: this is the motivation behind the habit, like you want to be able to see


3 - Response: this is the action to perform, like you flip the light switch.

4 - Reward:聽it has two purposes - to satisfy us and to teach us, like you satisfy your craving to see.



鈥淚f you can get 1 % better each day聽you will end up 37 times better by the time you鈥檙e done.

If you get worst 1% every single day end up reaching nearly 0"



James Clear

"Habits are the compound interest of Self-Improvement."



1% Improvement

1% Improvement

Getting 1% better every day is for the long run. You will able to see the results after a while. If you wait for a year you will be 37% better than the previous year.

Just remember one thing, there will be one time during this long run when you don't be able to see any progress, but then also you have to carry on.聽


Identity Change = Habit Change

To create a new good habit or destroy an old bad one you just need to change your identity to yourself and others.

If you want to quit smoking, then whenever anyone offers you a cigarette, say "I'm not a Smoker."

If you want to build a good reading habit, tell others that you are a good reader.

When you start saying like that your subconscious takes it as an order and tries to act according to that.


1% better every day

1% better every day

The effects of small habits compound over time.

They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. A slight change in your daily habits can guide your life to a very different destination.

Making a choice that is 1% better or 1% worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be.


To form habits, you must make them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying.

  1. Make it obvious. Don鈥檛 hide your fruits in your fridge, put them on display front and center.
  2. Make it attractive. Start with the fruit you like the most, so you鈥檒l actually want to eat one when you see it.
  3. Make it easy. Don鈥檛 create needless friction by focusing on fruits that聽are hard to peel. Bananas and apples are super easy to eat, for example.
  4. Make it satisfying. If you like the fruit you picked, you鈥檒l love eating it and feel healthier as a result!


A habit tracker is a fun and easy way to ensure you stick to your new behaviors

The idea is simple: You keep a record of all the behaviors you want to establish or abandon and, at the end of each day, you mark which ones you succeeded with. This record can be a single piece of paper, a journal, a calendar, or a digital tool, like an app.


"If you are 1% better every day, after a year you will be 37.78 times better"



"Success comes from daily habits, not from one-time transformations"



"Habits do not seem to have a significant impact until you get to a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance"



Chapter 5 The Best Way to Start a New Habit

The best way to start a new habit is by Implementation Intention.

It is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act. That is, how you intend to implement a particular habit.

The format for creating an implementation intension is :

鈥淲hen situation X arises, I will perform response Y.鈥


The punch line is clear:

"People who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through."

We tell ourselves, 鈥淚鈥檓 going to eat healthier鈥 or 鈥淚鈥檓 going to write more,鈥 but we never say when and where these habits are going to happen. We leave it up to chance and hope that we will 鈥渏ust remember to do it鈥 or feel motivated at the right time".

"Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity".


Once an implementation intention has been set, you don鈥檛 have to wait for inspiration to strike.

The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

People are more likely to take action at those times because hope is usually higher. If we have hope, we have a reason to take action. A fresh start feels motivating.


Get 1% better every day

Get 1% better every day

It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that a massive success requires massive action.

We often dismiss small changes because they don't seem to matter very much in the moment.

Success is the product of daily habits.


The Plateau of Latent Potential

The Plateau of Latent Potential

People make a few small changes, fail to see a tangible result, and decide to stop. But in order to make a meaningful difference, habits need to to persist long enough to break through this plateau.

If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential.


Jacob riis

"When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it-but all that had gone before."



The secret to having a successful life is not a single habit. It's many habits that compound and create a system of living. One single habit may change your life by 1%-it's too small to notice. But what if you create one habit every day for 365 days? You will become 37x better.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

The secret to having a successful life is not a single habit. It's many habits that compound and create a system of living. One single habit may change your life by 1%-it's too small to notice. But what if you create one habit every day for 365 days? You will become 37x better.


The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits

  • 鈥淚f you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you're done.鈥
  • What people see is a breakthrough. What people don't see are all the small details that happened before it.
  • Small actions and habits one establishes are what drove one toward success every single day.


How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)

  • The foundation of every lasting change is identity.
  • Lasting change can only come through an identity change.
  • If good habits are in conflict with your identity, you will fail to establish them.
  • Actions prove your identity鈥攃hanging your actions proves you are a writer.



"We all deal with setbacks but in the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits".



Power Of Tiny Habits

Power Of Tiny Habits

Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. You get what you repeat.

If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed what James calls, Plateau of Latent Potential.

When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success.


1% Improvement Everyday

1% Improvement Everyday

The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It鈥檚 not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement.

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run.


These are all the things that I learned and things that resonated with me. I hope that the book helped you as much as it helped me. Enjoy reading <3

Four-Step Model Of Habits

Cue, Craving, Response, Reward

- Readers with psychology background may recognize these terms from:

  • "Stimulus, Response, Reward" - B.F Skinner 1930s
  • "Cue, Routine, Reward" - Charles Duhigg



  • Success is the product of daily habits- not once-in-a-lifetime transformation
  • Success is not a goal to reach or to the finish line to cross. It is a system to improve an endless process to refine.



Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it


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