Atomic Habits by James Clear6 min read

Published by Zach on


If you do small changes, daily, you can have life-changing results. This is what Atomic Habits promises.

What Did I Learn?

How To Create a Good Habit

He released a cheat sheet here, this is what it outlines:

  1. Make It Obvious – Be tactical about the environment you are in. Make the habit obvious and visible.
  2. Make It Attractive – Pair a habit you want to do with something you already do. Motivate yourself with a reward in some way.
  3. Make It Easy – Get everything ready for you to do that habit immediately and easily. If it’s running early in the morning, lay out your clothes and shoes, set your alarm (on the other side of the room), and prepare an amazing playlist.
  4. Make It Satisfying – Give yourself a reward when you complete the habit. Track your habit, I think a physical journal is your best bet. Don’t miss twice in a row. It’s ok if you miss it once, or even twice, it’s about the sum of everything you do.

Habits I Want to Add

  • Consistently reading
  • Writing More (Blog posts, ebook, SciFi Book)
  • Practice/Learn to code (I’m using freecodecamp)
  • Start recording a podcast
  • When I walk into a new situation (party, grocery store, uber) I will introduce myself to someone I don’t know and try and create magic for the other person.

How To Break A Bad Habit

  1. Make It Invisible – Remove anything that links you do the bad habit. Put time limits on your phone, on your apps, throw out all food that’s junk. You know what that food is. Move to a new city. Drastic results sometimes need drastic changes.
  2. Make It Unattractive – Why is it so good to avoid your bad habit? What benefits do you get? If it’s smoking you can breathe easier, smell better, have nicer looking teeth; think about the positives. Change your mindset. You aren’t trying to quit you are not a smoker.
  3. Make It Difficult – Increase the friction between doing your bad habit. James talks about moving his TV into different rooms after unplugging it. So every time you want to watch TV you have to replug in your TV, that’s a pain.
  4. Make It Unsatisfying – Give yourself a contract, make someone else, hold you accountable. If you don’t go to the gym 5 days a week, you have to wear your sport’s rival’s hat for a week straight.

Habits I Want to Break

  • Playing video games
  • Watching TV
  • Checking Phone Consistently

Other Things

  • Don’t have goals, fall in love with the process.
    • The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner
    • (For me): The goal is not to get a million views on YouTube, the goal is to become a video creator.
  • Ask yourself, “Who is the person that could get the outcome I want? What would [X] do?”
    • If you want to lose weight, ask yourself, “what would a healthy person do?” Would they eat fries or a salad? Go for a run or watch TV?
    • I personally am asking myself right now, what would Tim Ferris Do?
  • Create a habit scorecard. What do you do every morning? Every Day? Is this specific thing a good thing, a bad thing, or neutral? This is a great way to identify what you are doing, take some time, think about this.

My Scorecard


  • Look at Phone
  • Lay in Bed
  • Check Phone
  • Watch TV


  • Wake Up
  • Turn Off Alarm
  • Pee
  • Shower


  • Drink Water
  • Journal
  • Run
  • Clean
  • Eat
  • Listen to Podcast
  • Meditate
  • Anki
  • Practice Handstanding
  • Record / edit a YouTube Video
  • Write a Blog Post
  • Read
  • Sleep 7+ Hours
  • Floss

  • Stack Habits – do a habit you want to add after a habit you always do
    • After I finish school work I will write
    • After I shower I will meditate
    • After I wake up I will drink 500mL of water
    • After I drink water I will write in my Journal
  • Have a location for every aspect of your life and only do that work at that location; “One space, one use.”
    • A desk for work (I use my regular desk)
    • A table for your side-hustle (I use my kitchen counter)
    • A place for relaxing (I use the left side of my sofa)
    • A chair for reading (I use the right side of my sofa)
  • Look Internally, try and find what comes naturally to you.
    • When have I felt alive?
    • When I have felt like the real me?
    • “Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction.”
  • Perform an annual review.
    • In combination with the above Tim Ferris post, Atomic habits suggest you ask: What went well this year?
      • What didn’t go so well this year?
      • What did I learn?
      • What are the core values that drive my life and work?
      • How am I living and working with integrity right now?
      • How can I set a higher standard in the future?

Quotes I Liked

  1. if 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.
  2. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
  3. The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.
  4. The people with the best self-control are typically the ones who need to use it the least
    • i.e. my phone distracts me, whenever I need to get work done I literally chuck it to another place in the room
  5. You get to wake up early for work. You get to make another sales call for your business. You get to cook dinner for your family. By simply changing one word, you shift the way you view each event. You transition from seeing these behaviors as burdens and turn them into opportunities
    • “I am nervous” becomes “I am excited and I’m getting an adrenaline rush to help me concentrate.”
    • Me personally: Sometimes editing videos is a pain, “I get to edit videos, to create something cool, and learning every time I edit a video.”
  6. If you are currently winning, you exploit, exploit, exploit. If you are currently losing, you continue to explore, explore, explore.
  7. Work hard on the things that come easy.
  8. Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find a game that favors you, create one.
  9. Stepping up when it’s annoying or painful or draining to do so, that’s what makes the difference between a professional and an amateur.
  10. Paul Graham, “Keep your identity small.” […] When you cling too tightly to one identity, you become brittle.


Arthreya · June 14, 2021 at 5:29 am

I just finished reading the book , the review just perfectly summarizes the book✨

Madhup · April 23, 2023 at 11:30 am

The book was amazing and I like the way you have summarized the key points. It is awesome <3

    Zach · June 4, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Great book right? Thanks for the nice words.

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