Atomic Habits Book Review and Summary: Why Add the Book to Your Library?

Can habit building be rewarding? Is it possible to develop good habits that help you achieve your goals? Can small things, small habits bring a substantial change in your life? Have you ever struggled around achieving your personal and professional goals?

We face these questions at every stage of our life, and we don’t realize this often. You must read this Atomic Habits review as it will teach you to follow your habits like they were your passion.

This book is somewhat related to Kaizen theory which also advocates how small but regular efforts can bring about unbelievable results over a period of time.

Well, a few months ago, I was sailing in the same boat as you. Not being able to make my good habits stick around, I was struggling to find my calling in my career. 

One day, I was sitting at my study table with my fingers curled up in my hair; not knowing what to do. My roommate came up to me and handed me over a book named – Atomic Habits

atomic habits book review

How a simple book struck a chord with me and became a lifelong inspiration is what I’ll unfold in the following article! So, don’t leave just yet and scroll to the end of this article to know more about the Atomic Habits summary and review

Note: Our book review article gives you reasons to buy or not buy a book. They are not at all substitutes for books. We want you to take this article as a reason behind your decision-making for or against the book.

Name of the bookAtomic Habits
Name of the authorJames Clear
Year of launchOctober 16, 2018
Number of Pages256
Price Range$11.98 (on Amazon)
atomic habits book

1 sentence Atomic Habits summary: “Atomic Habits” is a comprehensive guide to adopting good habits and breaking the bad ones through a four-step mechanism. 

1 sentence Atomic Habits review: A highly recommended reading to discover the science behind habit building! 

About The Atomic Habits Author 

James Clear is a motivational speaker and writer on the topics of habit building, continuous improvement, and decision-making. His book, Atomic Habits is a New York Times bestseller and has managed to sell over 5 million copies across the globe. The book has been translated into over 50 languages

james clear atomic habits writer

Favorite Quotes From The Book

  • “Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.”
  • “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”
  • “With the same habits, you’ll end up with the same results. But with better habits, anything is possible.” 

Atomic Habits Summary 

Here is our chapter-wise review, learnings, and summary that will help you check the relevancy of this book as per your goals.

*This review is to help you understand the benefits of this book so that you can buy it for yourself! Please note that the below-mentioned summary and review are not a replacement for the book. 

Part 1: The Fundamentals

Basic human nature dictates us to focus on magnanimous changes while planning out any new goals, resolutions, or habits. We want to take big leaps in terms of reaching far-fetched goals, and then we wonder – Why am I failing every single time? 

The reason is that habits take time to develop; they don’t change overnight. The path to success is a marathon and not a sprint. A very important concept that James Clear talks about in this part is the – Compounding Effect

According to this concept, a consistent minute change every single day can be a game changer for you. Even if it’s hard for you to notice these changes, they will compound over some time and produce significant results! 

Largely, the first part of the book talks about outlining how you can build new habits into 4 steps or laws. We’ll look into each of these laws individually now. 

Part 2: The 1st Law: Make it Obvious 

According to the author, the first step toward building new habits is recognizing and observing your existing habits. Take a piece of paper and jot down your daily routine. Make a list of the actions that you tend to repeat regularly along with their time and location. 

Label every one of these habits as bad, neutral, or good. This exercise will help you determine the gaps in your daily routine and the habits that you’d want to get rid of. Very categorically speaking, the author has called this exercise – The Habit Scorecard

Another point highlighted by the author here is that it is easier for your brain to pick up on cues and then start building new habits unconsciously. Location and time serve as important cues in this process. 

Furthermore, the author advocates that to make new habits stick around, you need a new environment. This again takes me back to the point of location. For example, I used to try and sit at my desk all day long trying to study and build a routine. But, I couldn’t do it because I was surrounded by old distractions which hampered the habit-building process. 

Lastly, it is easier for us to avoid any temptations rather than trying to resist them. So if you are always distracted by your mobile phone, for instance, then try getting it out of your way while doing a task rather than trying to resist it. 

Part 3: The 2nd Law: Make it Attractive

We are more likely to repeat a habit regularly if it looks attractive to us. So, the basic idea of the second law is to make your habits attractive to keep going at them. 

You need to give your mind an attractive incentive for it to pay heed to a new habit. For instance, you can make your math practice attractive by saying “I’ll take a 15-minute video game break after finishing my math homework”. 

The human mind thrives on praise, approval, and respect. All of us want to blend in with our tribe, so you can even try exploiting any community groups to build new creative habits! 

Part 4: The 3rd Law: Make it Easy

Let’s be honest – we humans always want to take the easy way out or the option that requires minimal effort! So to make your newfound habit stick around, you need to make it seem as easy as possible! 

The best way to do this is to reduce the friction with the habits that you want to adopt. For example, if you want to start going to the gym then lay out your clothes the night before and make a workout playlist of your favorite hits. 

Vice versa is true for the habits that you want to get rid of. For instance, if you want to start eating healthier, then hide all your junk snacks on the top shelf of your kitchen cupboard. 

In this section, the author also elucidates breaking down your desirable habits into smaller goals with the help of the two-minute rule. For example, if you want to start reading a book every day, then start by reading it for two minutes every day for that action to become automatic. 

Part 5: The 4th Law: Make it Satisfying

The previous parts of the book talked in depth about the importance of creating habits and how to build a new ones. This part talks about making your new habits satisfying so that it becomes repetitive. 

The human brain evolves over time to give preference to immediate rewards over delayed ones. So if you want to feel satisfied with achieving your habit goals, then give yourself an immediate reward for the same. 

It’s the feeling of making significant progress that will motivate you in the long run. The cardinal rule, however, is to never miss your habit twice in a row. It’s okay if you miss it once, but do make it your priority to follow it up the next day. 

Part 6: Advanced Techniques

To be truly great at what you’re doing, you need to pick the habits that fit best with your natural abilities. Our genes play a vital role in determining the success of our habits. They have the power to propel our progress and give us a leading edge. That said, even if you think that you have a dynamically natural propensity for a task, you still need to work for it to become your best asset. 

Atomic Habits Book Review 2022 

The Twitterverse and my roommate compelled me to give this book a shot. And I must say, reading the book was truly a pleasurable experience. It enjoys a high rating of 4.8 out of 5 on the e-commerce platform Amazon as shown below.

atomic habits rating

As per my Atomic Habits review, the book’s ultimate selling point is its informal tone. Even though the author has a scholarly pretension, he hasn’t written the book from an academic perspective. Rather than getting bogged down by all the information in the book, I felt enlightened, to say the least. 

The framework of the habit-building process in the book is immaculate and it takes you on a powerful journey of behavioral review. Overall, the book is an excellent read if you’re looking to gain a positive perspective on life. It is filled with actionable advice and that’s what makes it an impactful read! 

Who Should Read Atomic Habits? 

Well if you were to ask me who I’d recommend this book to; my answer would be everyone. To think of it logically, we all have certain habits and routines in our lives. Therefore, Atomic Habits is literally about our everyday behaviors and what both you and I do regularly. 

However, you’ll enjoy reading this book with a nice cup of tea at bedtime if you deliberately want to change the way you lead your life. If you’re someone who’s dedicated to achieving their goals and is interested in exploring how you can form lucrative habits, then this book is a must-read for you! 

What I Learned: Life Lessons Atomic Habits Will Teach You

As per my Atomic Habits book review, I will now share the learnings that inspired me and why I liked this book.

  • Let’s be honest. We all makeup new year’s resolutions and whatnot to try and lead a healthy lifestyle. However, if you want to crack the code behind forming healthy habits, then this book will give you some much-needed motivation for the same! 
  • One eye-opening lesson that I learned from this book was – Always try to look into your soul and change your behavior rather than jumping to conclusions and outcomes. 
  • Remember how our parents used to tell us to enjoy the journey of reaching our goals rather than spending our time worrying about the final destination? This is another important teaching of this book. The system of reaching a particular goal is what makes the whole process meaningful. 
  • After I finished reading this book, I realized that I started paying attention to what I do every day. Good or bad, every little thing becomes a habit over some time. So, it is up to us how a habit compounds over time and that determines its outcome. 

Final Words: Do I Recommend Atomic Habits?

Yes, this value is a must-read for someone who aspires to achieve success just by tweaking a few habits. Habits as the author says can give you giant results.

I got this message for myself from this book“Pursue a habit and make it instantly rewarding so that you should feel satisfied and that is how you indulge in that habit “happily”

When you read this book, you may not realize a few things yourself and immediately but you can surely inspire someone who is observing you over the period of time, as the power of compounding is for long-term benefits (this is what this book teaches actually).

Small habits can introduce the power of compounding which has the potential to give you 10x results without setting goals and targets. Goals and targets are often your desire, which is often baseless, and believe me, are impossible to be achieved without the necessary habits in practice.

Recommended Readings 

  1. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen
  2. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
  3. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

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Atomic Habits Book Review & Summary: Is It Worth It In 2023?

We face these questions at every stage of our life, and we don't realize this often. You must read this Atomic Habits review as it will teach you to follow your habits like they were your passion.


Author: James Clear

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