Book Review: Atomic Habit by James Clear

You say you want to do something – but you find yourself doing something completely different. Has this ever happened to you? You say you’ll finally get around to exercising. You block off an hour after work just for the sole purpose of following an exercise video on YouTube. But then a movie trailer caught your attention and you decided to watch it first. One trailer led to another until, after more than an hour catching up on several new trailers, you push back the idea of exercising to a later date – yet again.

THAT’S the power of habits, and that is what the book Atomic Habits by James Clear is about.

Why take the time?

Well, to put it straight-forwardly, if you want to finally overcome your habits that have been holding you back for years, then you would need specific and actionable steps that actually work. You can technically do it on your own. But if you’ve tried – and of course you have – you know that it’s not an easy feat to accomplish. On the contrary, you may find that you start building a new habit on a good note, only to backslide to your old ways in about a week. So you start again – and again, and again, and again. It’s like a never-ending cycle, and it drains you of your motivation and drive to even make a go for it after years of trying.

That’s where Atomic Habits comes in. It comes off as authentic and credible, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, James Clear is one of the notable names on habits and continuous improvement. You’ll read from a guy who actually knows what he’s talking about from experience – not just theories.   

Make it work  

What we at #LaurusPH like about Atomic Habits is that it doesn’t paint a rosy picture of somehow magically transforming your life overnight. It gives a very real, no-nonsense talk about what you CAN do in spite of all the crazy things around you.

Yes, life happens. There’ll be times when you’re swamped, overly exhausted, and just plain frustrated. You may find yourself stuck and demotivated to push forward. But despite all these factors, it IS possible to still be intentional about creating an immediate environment that’s conducive to personal growth and development. And yes, expect to fall on track sometimes (it happens even to the best of us), but you can get the drive to get yourself on track. 

Here are some of the passages that really made us think and reflect:

  • Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.
  • You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
  • Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
  • Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

What are the habits you want to change? And what are you doing to make it happen? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Remember that breaking bad habits spells out one thing: it means you’re making room for good ones.

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