Atomic Habits: A Review
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
We all have at least one habit we are struggling with. Hi, my name is Getrude and I'm an addict. My addiction is binge watching. And more specifically, binge watching in bed. 3 out of 4 of of my off days were spent in this fashion. But growing up comes with lots of pressures and the gnawing urge to do "something", as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs dictates. Atomic Habits by James Clear was just the impetus I needed. And to read it at the beginning of the year when resolutions are being drafted was just the cherry on top.
The first three chapters of the book focus on why making small atom-sized changes is key. "You should be more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current successes". Literally every success in your future will be as a result of the tiny changes you make in your routine. You weight, your net-worth, your knowledge a year from now result from your daily eating habit, spending habits and learning habits respectively. As such, every minuscule action you take today has gravity a month, a year or a decade from now.
The next chapters outline the laws of habit change. One: Make it Obvious. Clear believes that people often think they lack motivation, yet what they are missing is clarity. For us to develop new habits we must know when and where to take action. Two; Make it attractive. It is easier to do what we find desirable. He suggests ways to make this happen. Such as connecting our habits with something we already want, joining a tribe of people with similar goals and focusing on the benefits of the good habits. Three; Make it easy. What stood out for me here is "walk slowly but never backwards". Basically, the less energy a habit requires the easier it will be to get it to stick. Finally; Make it Satisfying. Adding a cost to our actions, whether a reward or punishment will determine whether we take action or not.
This book does not only offer steps to make changing habits easier, but it is filled with practical approaches. Going back to my addiction, I started by clarifying that I needed to make better use of my off time. What made this attractive is that I would get rid of that feeling of being a failure. I made it easy by making one mini change: switching my devices off by 10 pm. And with time, I got rid of using my devices in bed. Soon I found other useful things to fill up my time. I taught myself to read and enjoy it. It is also during this time that I conceived and gave birth to this blog. If you are looking to make some shifts in you life, this book is definitely worth your time.