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Old Friday, May 01, 2020
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Default Book Review and Recommendation-Atomic Habits by James Clear

In the arena of personal development, only a few books have been written so succinctly and accurately as Atomic Habits. The ability of James Clear to combine knowledge, experience and expression with the art of storytelling has definitely made this book a top favorite choice of not only the working individuals but also a common man. From the start to the end of the book, James Clear relies on experience and stories to instill the concept of habit formation. I have read other books too on habits but I found this book to be different. Other books only relied on either the opinion or scientific knowledge to debunk the myths of habit. However, James Clear relies on both of them. The practical insights offered by this books for habit formation are good and easy to implement. The one aspect of this book that I admire the most is the set of strategies or hacks one can apply in life to adopt new habits and forgo old and bad ones. These set of strategies are highly practical and easily adoptable. Moreover, this book is written by taking into consideration a wide variety of audiences. Therefore, it is a worth read for people from all walks of life and age.

The writer starts off by narrating his story from college where he met an unfortunate incident and his future in baseball, his favorite sports, looked grim. However, he overcame both the physical disabilities and mental challenges and reentered sports and attained fame and success in university despite having being physically crippled only a few years ago. James Clear dedicates his success to the art of habit formation and small daily changes in his routine.

James Clear postulates that people should focus on habits rather than the goals for following reasons.
• Winners and losers have the same goals.
• Achieving a goal is only a momentary change
• Goals restrict your happiness
• Goals are at odds with long-term progress

Just as Atoms made up the building blocks for molecules, habits are the building blocks of remarkable results. Hence, habit formation is more important than goal formation. James Clear uses the example of the wins of British Cycling Team to demonstrate that tiny changes in each sphere of life when compounded over time yield remarkable results.

Behavior change is difficult and is rooted in 3 concentric layers. Most people only change behavior by the outcomes while only a few by changing the process. However, in order for the behavior to change and yield remarkable result, changing the identity is must. Unless we change the our identity, habit won’t survive for long. Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. Habits matter because they can change your beliefs about yourself.

The ultimate purpose of a habit is to solve the problems of life in the best way with least energy and effort through task automation. Habit is an automatic response offered by our mind and body to external stimulus. Habit is made up of 4 parts. Cue, Craving, Response and Reward.
In order to make new habits, we can apply the following hacks.

• Cue-Make it Obvious
• Craving-Make it Attractive
• Response-Make it Easy
• Reward-Make it Satisfying

James Clear introduces various concepts including habit scorecard, implementation routine, habit stacking, temptation bundling, motivation ritual, 2 minute rules, reinforcement, habit tracker and Goldilocks rules and many more. In short, this book is a must read especially for those who tend to waste much of their precious time in social media. Just be implementing a handful of techniques and applying them over long period of time, we can see remarkable results in our personal and professional lives.


DM for discussion on the science of Habit formation.
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