Atomic Habits by James Clear: Summary Part 3

Atomic Habits by James Clear: Summary Part 3

If creating a new habit or ditching an old habit is hard for you, then should give Atomic Habits by James Clear a try. The book is brilliant and offers many practical solutions to habit building problems. 

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But Atomic Habits is long and about 400+ pages, making it harder for people, especially the ones that do not read regularly. And that is why I have summarized Atomic Habits for your use.

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

About the book

Atomic Habits

Book Name: Atomic habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Author: James Clear

Genre: Fiction – Non Fictionself-help

Atomic Habits Part 1

Atomic Habits Part 2

 Atomic Habits Part 3 (you are here)

Disclaimer

This is just a book summary of Atomic Habits by James Clear to help other people who would not be able to read the entire book by themselves. These lines are taken from James’ book for academic purposes only. I am not posing as it is my work or my ideas. The copyrights rights are with the author only.

THE 4TH LAW Make It Satisfying

15 The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change

  • Pleasure teaches your brain that a behavior is worth remembering and repeating.
  • What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
  • Consequences of bad habits are delayed while the rewards are immediate.
    • Brain prioritizes NOW
  • If you delay watching television and get your homework done, you’ll generally learn more and get better grades.
  • The feeling of success is a signal that your habit paid off
    • Whenever they skipped going out to eat, they transferred $50 into the “Trip to Europe” account.
  • Select short-term rewards that reinforce your identity rather than ones that conflict with it.
    • Goal is saving; buying a jacket is not the reward
    • Goal is exercise; Ice cream is not the correct reward.  Reward: Massage

16 How to Stick with Good Habits Every Day

  • Paper Clip Strategy – move from one container to another as you finish the task
  • “Don’t break the chain” is a powerful mantra.
  • Habit tracker follows the rules
    • makes the habit obvious
    • is attractive.
    • satisfying.
  • Habit tracking 
    • Only for important habits
    • immediately after habit
      • After I hang up the phone from a sales call, I will move one paper clip over.
  • never miss twice.
    • when successful people fail, they rebound quickly.
  • The problem is not slipping up;
    • the problem is thinking that if you can’t do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all.
  • Lost days hurt you more than successful days help you.
  • It’s easy to train when you feel good, but it’s crucial to show up when you don’t feel like it—
    • even if you do less than you hope.
  • When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” – Charles Goodhart,

17 How an Accountability Partner Can Change Everything

  • Even if you don’t want to create a full-blown habit contract, simply having an accountability partner is useful.

ADVANCED TACTICS How to Go from Being Merely Good to Being Truly Great

18 The Truth About Talent (When Genes Matter and When They Don’t

  • The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.
    • Habit to align with your natural inclinations and abilities.
  • genes do not determine your destiny.
    • They determine your areas of opportunity.
    • Genes can predispose, but they don’t predetermine.
  • Your personality is the set of characteristics that is consistent from situation to situation.
    • Openness to experience: from curious and inventive on one end to cautious and consistent on the other.
    • Conscientiousness: organized and efficient to easygoing and spontaneous.
    • Extroversion: outgoing and energetic to solitary and reserved
    • Agreeableness: friendly and compassionate to challenging and detached.
    • Neuroticism: anxious and sensitive to confident, calm, and stable.
  • build habits that work for your personality.
  • lower on conscientiousness will be less likely to be orderly by nature
    • need to rely more heavily on environment design to stick with good habits.
  • you are more likely to enjoy the things that come easily to you.
    • you are more likely to enjoy the things that come easily to you.
  • explore/exploit trade-off: 
    • The goal is to try out many possibilities, research a broad range of ideas, and cast a wide net.
      • In relationships, it’s called dating.
      • In college, it’s called the liberal arts.
      • In business, it’s called split testing.
    • shift your focus to the best solution you’ve found—but keep experimenting occasionally.
      • Google employees spend 80% of the workweek on their official job and 20%  on projects of their choice,
    • What feels like fun to me, but work to others?
    • What makes me lose track of time?
    • Where do I get greater returns than the average person?
    • What comes naturally to me?
  • When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different.
    • By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out.
  • Our genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it.
    • They tell us what to work hard on.
    • genes can’t make you successful if you’re not doing the work.

19 The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Work

  • The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.
    • Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
Atomic habits James Clear Goldilocks
  • When you’re starting a new habit, keep the behavior as easy as possible so you can stick with it even when conditions aren’t perfect.
    • Once a habit has been established, however, it’s important to continue to advance in small ways.
      • These little improvements and new challenges keep you engaged.
  • You need to regularly search for challenges that push you to your edge
    • while continuing to make enough progress to stay motivated.
  • You need just enough “winning” to experience satisfaction and just enough “wanting” to experience desire.
  • Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated.
    • It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference.
  • Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.
    • You have to fall in love with boredom.

20 The Downside of Creating Good Habits

  • When you know the simple movements so well that you can perform them without thinking, you are free to pay attention to more advanced details.
  • the benefits of habits come at a cost.
    • When you can do it “good enough” on autopilot, you stop thinking about how to do it better.
  • You can’t repeat the same things blindly and expect to become exceptional.
    • Habits are necessary, but not sufficient for mastery.
Repetition Atomic habits James Clear
  • It is precisely at the moment when you begin to feel like you have mastered a skill—right when things are starting to feel automatic and you are becoming comfortable—that you must avoid slipping into the trap of complacency.
    • The solution? Establish a system for reflection and review.
  • W/o reflection, we can make excuses, create rationalizations, and lie to ourselves.
  • In the beginning, repeating a habit is essential to build up evidence of your desired identity.
    • As you latch on to that new identity, however, those same beliefs can hold you back from the next level of growth.
    • Vegan developing a health complication, can not move further.
    • Veterans after return
  • Redefine yourself such that you get to keep important aspects of your identity even if your particular role changes.
    • “I’m an athlete” becomes “I’m the type of person who is mentally tough and loves a physical challenge.”
    • “I’m a great soldier” transforms into “I’m the type of person who is disciplined, reliable, and great on a team.”
    • “I’m the CEO” translates to “I’m the type of person who builds and creates things.”
  • A lack of self-awareness is poison.
    • Reflection and review is the antidote.

Conclusion 

The Secret to Results That Last

Atomic habits James Clear

Little Lessons from the Four Laws

  • Happiness is simply the absence of desire.
    • Reward – Satisfied
  • It is the idea of pleasure that we chase.
  • Peace occurs when you don’t turn your observations into problems.
    • Not craving to fix everything
  • With a big enough why you can overcome any how .
    • Why are you doing what you do
  • Your actions reveal how badly you want something.
    • If you keep saying something is a priority but you never act on it, then you don’t really want it.
  • Self-control is difficult because it is not satisfying.
  • Our expectations determine our satisfaction.
  • Desire initiates. Pleasure sustains.
  • Hope declines with experience and is replaced by acceptance.

Other parts of the summary of Atomic habits

That brings us to the end of the summary Atomic Habits by James Clear. Catch up with the other parts of the three part summary of the book here!

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

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Atomic Habits by James Clear: Summary Part 3

Summary of Atomic Habits Part 2

We are already in June, how many of your new resolutions are still going strong? How long did they last? Be it getting fit or reading more, creating a habit is hard admittedly. But if you have heard of Atomic Habits by James Clear, you know there is a way. 

Have you read Atomic habits by James Clear, earlier? Do self help books work for you? What are your other favorite self help books? Let us talk. Click To Tweet

About the book

And to help you quickly reach there, I am summarizing this amazing book Atomic Habits by James Clear. 

Atomic Habits

Book Name: Atomic habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Author: James Clear

Genre: Fiction – Non Fictionself-help

Atomic Habits Part 1 

Atomic Habits Part 2 (you are here)

Atomic Habits Part 3

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

Disclaimer

This is just a book summary of Atomic Habits by James Clear to help other people who would not be able to read the entire book by themselves. These lines are taken from James’ book for academic purposes only. I am not posing as it is my work or my ideas. The copyrights rights are with the author only.

THE 2ND LAW Make It Attractive

8 How to Make a Habit Irresistible

  • The brain of each animal is preloaded with certain rules for behavior, and when it comes across an exaggerated version of that rule, it lights up like a Christmas tree.
    • Scientists refer to these exaggerated cues as supernormal stimuli
  • The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming.
  • daydreaming about an upcoming vacation can be more enjoyable than actually being on vacation.
    • Dopamine surges during anticipation, not achieving the result.
  • You can link an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  • After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [HABIT I NEED]. After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT].
    • After I get my morning coffee, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened yesterday (need).
    • After I say one thing I’m grateful for, I will read the news (want)

9 The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits

  • We don’t choose our earliest habits, we imitate them. – Group behavior/herd mentality.
  • We copy habits from 3 different groups.
    • The close
    • The many
    • The powerful
  • Imitating the close
    • the closer we are to someone, the more likely we are to imitate some of their habits.
    • a person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if he or she had a friend who became obese.
    • higher your best friend’s IQ at age eleven or twelve, the higher your IQ would be at age fifteen,
    • Join a culture where
      • (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and
      • (2) you already have something in common with the group.
    • shared identity begins to reinforce your personal identity.
      • I am a reader –> We are readers 
      • Remaining part of a group after achieving a goal is crucial to maintaining your habits.
  • Imitating the Many
    • There is tremendous internal pressure to comply with the norms of the group.
      • we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
  • Imitating the Powerful
    • We want to be acknowledged, recognized, and praised.
    • Once we fit in, we start looking for ways to stand out.
    • If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.

10 How to Find and Fix the Causes of Your Bad Habits

  • Make bad habits unattractive .
  • You see a cue, categorize it based on past experience, and determine the appropriate response.
    • Not reactive but predictive
  • You see a cue, categorize it based on past experience, and determine the appropriate response.
  • Reframing your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks to make a habit seem more attractive.
    • “I need to go run in the morning,”
      • “ It’s time to build endurance and get fast.”
    • “I am nervous” 
      • I am excited and I’m getting an adrenaline rush to help me concentrate.”

Habit stacking Atomic habits by James clear
Habit stacking Atomic habits by James clear

THE 3RD LAW Make It Easy

11 Walk Slowly, but Never Backward

  • “The best is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire
  • If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.
    • You don’t need to map out every feature of a new habit. You just need to practice it.
    • Quality vs Quantity experience
  • Motion vs Action
    • If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion.
      • If I actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
    • If I outline twenty ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion.
      • If I actually sit down and write an article, that’s action.
    • Motion is useful, but it will never produce an outcome by itself.
      • Talking to a trainer has no use, unless you start working out.
    • Sometimes we need plans to start working.
      • Mostly we do it because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure.
      • you want to delay failure.
    • Motions you feel like you’re getting things done, but you are just getting prepared to do things.
  • It is why the students who took tons of photos improved their skills while those who merely theorized about perfect photos did not.
    • One group engaged in active practice, the other in passive learning. 
  • The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it.
    • 21 days vs 1 time for 21 days

12 The Law of Least Effort

  • The difference in shape between continents played a significant role in the spread of agriculture over the centuries.
    • When agriculture began to spread around the globe, farmers had an easier time expanding along east-west routes than along north-south ones.
    • This is because locations along the same latitude generally share similar climates, amounts of sunlight and rainfall, and changes in season. These factors allowed farmers in Europe and Asia to domesticate a few crops and grow them along the entire stretch of land from France to China.
    • agriculture spread two to three times faster across Asia and Europe than it did up and down the Americas.
  • The more energy required, the less likely it is to occur.
    • scrolling on our phones, checking email, and watching television steal so much of our time because they can be performed almost without effort.
  • The less friction you face, the easier it is for your stronger self to emerge.
    • We try to write a book in a chaotic household.
    • We try to concentrate while using a smartphone filled with distractions.
  • Lean production in Japanese car systems
  • Reduce the friction associated with good behaviors.
    • When friction is low, habits are easy.
    • Want to draw more? Put your pencils, pens, notebooks, within easy reach.
  • Increase the friction associated with bad behaviors.
    • When friction is high, habits are difficult.
    • I leave my phone in a different room until lunch.
  • Prime The Environment For Future Use
    • Resetting the environment – cleaning strategy and getting ready for next action
    • Putting things back to place

13 How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two-Minute Rule

  • Decisive moments
    • The moment you decide between ordering takeout or cooking dinner.
    • The moment you decide between starting your homework or grabbing the video game controller.
  • “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.
  • Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis.
    • A new habit should not feel like a challenge.
    • The secret is to always stay below the point where it feels like work.
  • Standardize before you optimize.

14 How to Make Good Habits Inevitable and Bad Habits Impossible

  • Success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard.
  • To automate good habits and eliminate bad ones.

Other parts of the summary of Atomic habits

This is a three part summary of the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Catch up with the other parts here!

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

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Atomic Habits by James Clear

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Have you tried other self help books or Atomic habits by James Clear, earlier? Do they work for you? What are your other favorite self help books? Let us talk.

Atomic Habits by James Clear: Summary Part 3

Book Summary of Atomic Habits

I have been hearing about Atomic Habits for a while now and there was a period when I was obsessed with James Clear’s website too. I finally got to read the book Atomic Habits recently, thanks to my new habit of rising an hour earlier in the morning, and I thought why not share the summary of Atomic habits with y’all. Don’t I sound a nice? 

Not everyone likes or wants to or can read but everyone wants to learn right? So here is the summary of Atomic habits by James Clear, which will be in three bite size parts! Click To Tweet

About the summary

The aim is to bring you the essence of the books, even if and especially if you are not a reader. Not everyone likes or wants to read but everyone wants to learn right? Let us use that motivation to better ourselves. So let us get on with it, shall we? 

Atomic Habits

About Atomic Habits

Book Name: Atomic habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Author: James Clear

Genre: Fiction – Non Fictionself-help

The book consists of about 21 chapters including the conclusion. And the summary of Atomic habits will be in three parts, so that each post will be a bite sized version and would not overwhelm you. As I said we will make it easy as possible for you!

Summary of Atomic Habits

  • Atomic Habits Part 1 (you are here)
  1. The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits
  2. How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)
  3. How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps
  4. The Man Who Didn’t Look Right
  5. The Best Way to Start a New Habit
  6. Motivation Is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More
  7. The Secret to Self-Control

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

Disclaimer

This is just a book summary of Atomic Habits by James Clear to help other people who would not be able to read the entire book by themselves. These lines are taken from James’ book for academic purposes only. I am not posing as it is my work or my ideas. The copyrights rights are with the author only. 

Chapter 1: The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits

  • The aggregation of marginal gains – searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do.
  • The idea is that if you broke down everything you could think of, and then improve it by 1 percent, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.
  • It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.
  • Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action.
  • Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement .

1% BETTER EVERY DAY

  • 1% BETTER EVERY DAY
    1% worse every day for one year. 0.99 365 = 00.03
    1% better every day for one year. 1.01 365 = 37.78
  • Be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.
  • If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential.
Plateau of Latent Potential Atomic Habits

FORGET ABOUT GOALS, FOCUS ON SYSTEMS INSTEAD

  • Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.
  • If you’re a coach, your goal might be to win a championship. Your system is the way you recruit players, manage your assistant coaches, and conduct practice.
  • Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

What happens when you have goals but not systems?

  • Problem #1: Winners and losers have the same goals.
    So that can’t be the reason for the winners/survivors.
  • Problem #2: Achieving a goal is only a momentary change.
  • Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment.
  • If you have a goal to have a clean room, cleaning it is only for NOW. It will be a mess again soon.
  • We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results.
  • Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.
  • Problem #3: Goals restrict your happiness.
  • “Either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are a disappointment”.
    “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.”.
  • You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.
  • Problem #4: Goals are at odds with long-term progress.
  • When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?

A SYSTEM OF ATOMIC HABITS

  • If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you.
  • The problem is your system.
  • Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules, atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.

Chapter 2 How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)

Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons:
1) we try to change the wrong thing and
2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way.

Levels of behavior change Atomic Habits
  • There are three levels at which change can occur.
  • Changing your outcomes: losing weight, publishing a book, winning a championship. Outcomes are about what you get.
  • Changing your habits and systems AKA process: new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow, developing a meditation practice. Processes are about what you do.
  • Changing your beliefs/Identity: your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others. Identity is about what you believe

Your behaviors are usually a reflection of your identity.

  • I am horrible at math,
    I am not a morning person,
    I am not organized
  • When you have repeated a story to yourself for years, it is easy to slide into these mental grooves and accept them as a fact. 
  • In time, you begin to resist certain actions because “that’s not who I am.” 
  • There is internal pressure to maintain your self-image and behave in a way that is consistent with your beliefs. 
  • You find whatever way you can to avoid contradicting yourself.
  • It can feel comfortable to believe what your culture believes (group identity) or to do what upholds your self-image (personal identity), even if it’s wrong.
  • Whatever your identity is right now, you only believe it because you have proof of it. 
    If you go to church every Sunday for twenty years, you have evidence that you are religious. 
    It’s unlikely you would consider yourself a soccer player because you kicked a ball once or an artist because you scribbled a picture. 
    The more evidence you have for a belief, the more strongly you will believe it.
  • We do not change by snapping our fingers and deciding to be someone entirely new. We change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit. 
  • Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.

If nothing changes, nothing is going to change.

  • The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do.
  • Each time you write a page, you are a writer. 
    Each time you practice the violin, you are a musician.
    Each time you start a workout, you are an athlete. 
    Each time you encourage your employees, you are a leader.
  • New identities require new evidence.    
  • Changing is a two step process 
  • Decide the type of person you want to be. 
           “I’m the kind of doctor who gives each patient the time and empathy they need.” 
           “I’m the kind of manager who advocates for her employees.” 
  • Prove it to yourself with small wins.
            “What would a healthy person do?” 
           Would a healthy person walk or take a cab?
            Would a healthy person order a burrito or a salad?
  • Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits.
  • It’s a two-way street.
  • Building better habits isn’t about littering your day with life hacks.
  • Your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be.

Chapter 3 How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps

  • A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.
  • Habits are, simply, reliable solutions to recurring problems in our environment. – Jason Hreha
  • People who don’t have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom.
        If you’re always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks—when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills—then you have less time for freedom.
Stages of habit Atomic Habits
  • The cue triggers your brain to initiate a behavior.
  • What you crave is not the habit itself but the change in state it delivers.
              You do not crave smoking a cigarette, you crave the feeling of relief it provides.
  • We chase rewards because they serve two purposes:
            (1) they satisfy us and
            (2) they teach us – reward detector.

If a behavior is insufficient in any of the four stages, it will not become a habit.

  • Eliminate the cue and your habit will never start.
  • Reduce the craving and you won’t experience enough motivation to act.
  • Make the behavior difficult and you won’t be able to do it.
  • And if the reward fails to satisfy your desire, then you’ll have no reason to do it again in the future.
Feedback loop Atomic Habits
  • Without the first three steps, a behavior will not occur. Without all four, a behavior will not be repeated.
        It is an endless feedback loop

THE 1ST LAW Make It Obvious

Chapter 4 The Man Who Didn’t Look Right

  • You don’t need to be aware of the cue for a habit to begin. – hunger/cookie
  • We dont realize that you apologize before asking a question, or that you have a habit of finishing other people’s sentences.
  • Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. – Carl Jung
  • We’re so used to doing what we’ve always done that we don’t stop to question whether it’s the right thing to do at all.
  • It is a lack of self awareness

Create your Habits Scorecard

  • Make a list of your daily habits.
  • Write your score near each habit
            If it is a good habit, write “+” next to it.
            If it is a bad habit, write “–”.
            If it is a neutral habit, write “=”.
  • The goal is to simply notice what is actually going on.
  • You can try Pointing-and-Calling for extra dose of self awareness 
  • If you want to cut back on your junk food habit but notice yourself grabbing another cookie, say out loud,
  • “I’m about to eat this cookie, but I don’t need it. Eating it will cause me to gain weight and hurt my health.”

Chapter 5 The Best Way to Start a New Habit

  • Voter turnout increases when people are forced to create implementation intentions by answering questions like:
  • “What route are you taking to the polling station? At what time are you planning to go? What bus will get you there?
  • People who make a specific plan for when and where are more likely to follow through.

Habit stacking

  • Identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top.
  • Example: After I finish eating dinner, I will put my plate directly into the dishwasher.
    After I put my dishes away, I will immediately wipe down the counter. After I wipe down the counter, I will set out my coffee mug for tomorrow morning.
  • Habit stacking allows you to create a set of simple rules that guide your future behavior.

Chapter 6 Motivation Is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More

  • People often choose products not because of what they are, but because of where they are.
  • Make sure the best choice is the most obvious one.
  • Example: If you want to drink more water, fill up a few water bottles each morning and place them on your table
  • In fact, the trigger is rarely a single cue, but rather the whole situation
  • Create a separate space for work, study, exercise, entertainment, and cooking.  “One space, one use.”
  • It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues. 
  • Change your environment/routine to change habits

Chapter 7 The Secret to Self-Control

  • Disciplined people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control, because they spend less time in tempting situations.
  • Self-control is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one.

Other parts of the summary of Atomic habits

By the way, do not forget to grab the next two parts of the summary of Atomic Habits by James Clear in the following weeks.

Free bonus: Download the 3 part summary of Atomic Habits as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and keep at your desk.

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Did you find my summary of Atomic Habits useful? Do you read summaries of books or would you rather read the entire book by yourself? Do you read non fiction at all? What other non fiction book should I be summarizing? Let us talk.

Atomic Habits by James Clear: Summary Part 3

Review shots: Self help books for those who don’t read non fiction AKA the ultimate self help books starter pack

In this December’s edition of the review shots, I will be reviewing books that got me started with self help. Yes I went through a phase for reading those dreaded self help when I was in my high school.

I just couldn’t get enough of them and they were hard come by because, let us face it, high school libraries were not exactly filled with self help books then. 

All the books I will be reviewing today are short and powerful. They would be the ultimate starter pack for your venture into the self help book world, as they did it for me. 


Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Who Moved My Cheese?

Author: Spencer Johnson

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 96

You can read Who Moved My Cheese? in an hour or lesser.  

It took me a while to understand the impact of the simple yet powerful message, given that I was in high school and I didn’t believe that short books could be important and I was skeptic about the whole self help genre. But the message somehow stayed with me and kept me thinking. 

The book is divided into two parts, a short story and then the relevant message. The basic theme of the books is how to deal with change and the importance of the right attitude in life.

While it is usually classified as a business subject, it is equally possible for anyone if us, including the high school me, to implement them in our life. Currently there is a talk of a possible sequel to this one!

Final thought: Simple and relevant message
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Author: Brian Tracy

Genre: Non Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 128

I wish I could say this book changed my life. Well, it didn’t. I am still me and handling priorities and following a schedule are not my forte. But this one came so close. 

I carry a copy of this one everywhere I go because I re-read this once in a while. This book is another 60 minute wonder and the message is not gonna blow your mind or nothing that you haven’t heard of earlier. 

The heading is self explanatory and the basic idea is tackling the hardest task first thing in the morning and your day would be much easier. The book is obviously  not going to work for you if you were going to skim through it and not try to practise it in your life (like I do). 

Final thought: Powerful if you practise it religiously
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Alchemist, The

Author: Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 197

Okay technically the Alchemist is not a non fiction or self help book but it works on the same level. 

Someone said ‘The mark of a good book is it changes every time you read it’ and this is one of those books that worked for me like that. The first time I read it, while still in school, I dismissed it as a kiddish fable. But with the second and third time my views changed. Maybe that it helped that I was in a different phase of life than my earlier attempts.

The book maybe kinda slow and evenly paced. But the philosophical theme that ‘the universe conspires to help us achieve things we want’ is well written and shines through. Yes it may get a bit preachy. Yes you may not agree with the message. But it still is a good book. 

Final thought: philosophical with preachy undertones. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Self help Starter pack

Book Name: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Author: Richard Bach

Genre: Fiction – Self help

No. of Pages: 112

If you are looking for something motivational to inspire you back to action when nothing works in your favor, this is the one for you.

This book will make you question every one of you belief and that may or not sit will with all the readers, but it is worth keeping our minds open, doesn’t it? Published in early 1970s, the concept is still relevant today as it talks about peer pressure and questioning faith.

While I personally didn’t like this one much, it has been called a classic no less. So it should not hurt to give it a try, right?

Final thought: A classic that didn’t work for me, but it may for you. 
Recommended to: Self help book noobs

Do you read self help book? How many of these books have you read? What is your favorite self book? Let us chat. 

Self help starter pack