Willian Molinari's Reviews > Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Atomic Habits by James Clear
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it was amazing
bookshelves: audio, non-fiction

This is an amazing book! I've been reading about productivity and habits for a while now and I think this book does a great work of gathering everything together and presenting in a nice form.

I think I liked it even more because I already apply many of the tips written here and I can assure (at least to myself) that it actually works. I have to say that it was really great to hear a confirmation of what I've been doing for years. :)

If you read the Power of Habit, you will see some references in this book but it will add other tips that you didn't see there. I also found this book to be less dense.

Here are my notes for this book:

* The aggregation of marginal improvements. If you break all actions and improve them separately, you will have again when you put all of them together
* You will only notice the value of good habits and the price of the bad ones 5 or 10 years from now
* Small improvements may not be seen at the moment but they compound with time
* Habits compound with time as you repeat them
* Small change in the path may be very meaningful in the destination
* You should be more concerned about your current trajectory than your current results
* If you're a millionaire and you spend more than you earn, you're in a bad trajectory. If you're broke but save some money every month, you're on the trajectory of financial freedom, even if it's slower than you expected
* One big change is not the result of one single action but the aggregation of many others. You should not give up because you're not seeing changes in the first stages, sometimes it takes a long time for you to shape what you want
* Fix the input and the output will take care of itself -- it's the same idea of "The score takes care of itself" book
* When you meet your goal, there is a chance that you will not keep yourself motivated to keep your system running. e.g. a racer will not keep training after the race is gone
* An atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system
* If you want better results, forget about setting goals, focus on your system instead
* Sew things give you better results than changing your daily habits
* Changing outcomes is the first layer of habits (most of the goals you set). The second layer is changing your process (improving your system, like preparing a better workout for the gym). The third level is about identity (change what you believe)
* We should focus our change on identity habits and think about who we want to be
* A behavior that is incongruent with the self will not last. You have to assume you're the person you want to be and become it.
* The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when something becomes part of your identity. When you say "I'm this", you reached this goal.
* The goal should not be to read a book but to become a reader. Is should not be to run a race, but to become a racer
* When your behavior is aligned with your identity, you don't have to force yourself to do things, you are just being yourself
* Be careful with "that's not who I am" mentality. If you repeat to yourself that "you're not good with names" many times, you will accept that as truth and will not improve
* Habits are how you embody your identity. Your identity is your "repeat beingness" (translating from Latin)
* First, decide the type of person you want to be and second prove it to yourself with small wins
* You can start with your goals (have six packs) but them think about WHO is the type of person that can get there (gym enthusiasts?)
* Whenever you face a problem repeatedly, your brain starts automating it to get the reward with less effort
* The goal of a habit is to solve life's problem with as less effort and energy as possible
* Most people think they lack motivation but they lack clarity of when and where to execute what they want
* Fill the following sentence: I will [behavior] at [time] in [location]
* Stack habits: you can use the habit as the cue for another one. e.g., after coffee, I will meditate
* Habits scoreboard: list all your daily habits (wake up, look into the cellphone, brush the teeth, take breakfast, etc.) and add a minus sign to the ones you think are not good for you, a plus sign to the good ones and an equal sign to the neutral ones
* Use something like your scoreboard to list everything that you do each day without fail (wake up, brew a cup of coffee, take kids to school, etc.) then list everything that happens to you every day (sunrise, lunch, sunset, a song you're listening to ends, etc.). With that list, you will be able to find the best time and place to stack your habits
* Make your cues obvious on your environment. If you want to eat apples, keep them on sight so you will not forget them
* We usually connect the place with the habit. You can train yourself to link a particular habit with a particular context
* Associate places with activities. e.g., an office for work. The couch to rest and have fun, etc.
* "I've never seen someone sticking to positive habits in a negative environment".
* Reduce exposure to the cues causing bad habits. Move the television out of the bedroom. Move your cellphone out of the office. Etc.
* Make the cues for bad habits invisible
* "Make attractive". The whole market uses it in their favor. Fashion with pictures of models really modified, food over caloric to trigger the brain, porn that is not something you can usually do, social media gives much more likes than you would receive in a real environment, etc.
* "We have the brains of our ancestors but temptations they didn't have to face."
* Without the desire the action stops (experiment with "dopamine free" rats)
* Temptation bundling is when you tie something you want to do with something you need to do (pedaling to watch Netflix)
* The more attractive something is, the easier it is to build a habit
* Try to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do
* Behaviors are attractive when they help us to fit in a group
* Our friends and family provide some sort of peer pressure that pulls us in their direction. Peer pressure is only bad when you're surrounded by bad people
* The higher the IQ of your friends at the age of 12, the higher will be your at the age of 20+
* The best thing to do to have better habits is to join q culture where the desired behavior is the norm
* Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have. You culture set your expectation for what is normal. You will rise together.
* There's a tremendous internal pressure to adhere to the norms of the group. The reward of being accepted is often higher than looking smart or winning an argument
* We usually go with the flow, even when the group is wrong. You can be different and don't care about what people think, but it takes work
* When change goes with the tribe, the change is attractive. When it goes against the tribe, it's unattractive -- I'm not sure if it's always true for me
* Once we fit in, we find a way to stand out of the crowd
* We imitate the people we envy (because they already stand out the crowd)
* We try to imitate three different groups: the close (family), the many (groups), the powerful
* Some underlying motives: conserve energy, obtain food and water, find love and reproduce, connect and find bonds with others, win social acceptance and approval, reduce uncertainty, achieve status and prestige, etc.
* The successful products today are not creating new motivations, they are just bonding themselves to the underlying motives of humanity. Examples: find love (tinder), reduce uncertainty (Google), connect with others (Facebook), look for approval (Instagram), etc
* A craving is the sense that something is missing, is the desire to change your internal state. When you do something (e.g., browsing social media) you're looking for the feeling of change on your internal state (feel accepted? Feel part of the group? Escape? )
* When a habit addresses a motive, you will feel the craving to do it again
* Habits are attractive when you associate them with good feelings. You can use that in your advantage
* You can reprogram your brain to associate hard habits with positive experiences -- f*ck, I do that all the time. Just realized it now 😱
* Motivation ritual example: if you play the same songs to have sex, you will begin to associate the music with the act. After some time, you can just play it to get in the mood.
* Find something you love to do and create a ritual for that. You can then use this same ritual to get some boost of happiness.
* If you can reprogram your predictions, you can transform a hard habit into an easy one
Motion and action are two different things. Motion is brainstorming a book. The action is writing that book. In motion, it looks like you're making progress, but you're not doing much. Be careful with that.
* Particular regions of the brain get bigger when they are used and reduced when not used, just like muscles
* When you do more of something you learn with your mistakes, train your brain and get better. * Don't theorize much, plan and act.
* It doesn't matter how much time it takes to form a new habit, but how many times you have to do it to become a habit.
* We tend to do things that don't require much effort. If you can make your habits more convenient, you have a better chance to stick to it.
* Environment building: prepare your environment, so it benefits you to accomplish your habits. Example: if the gym is between you and your work, it will be easy to plan for it
* Prime your environment. Whenever you finish something, prepare the environment for the next use so there's no friction to do it again and it will always be tidy and clean
* Use friction to avoid bad habits. Example: remove the battery from the remote control to avoid watching television. If the friction it high enough you will forget it
* Habits are the entry point, not the endpoint. They are what guide you to the gym, not the exercise
* To start a new habit, start with something that only takes two minutes (scale down if it takes more, so it takes only two)
* Positive experiences cultivate habits, negative ones destroy them
* Use immediate rewards to help with delayed gratification. To save money for the future, you can stop eating out. Every day you eat out, get the money you spare and move to a savings account. You will have the immediate reward of savings.
* The more a habit becomes part of your identity, the less you will need reinforcement. The identity becomes the reinforcement
* Don't focus on having six packs, but instead focus on being the person who exercises the abs X times a week
* Never fail twice. If you don't, e.g., go to the gym one day, go there in the next one
* Sometimes we just improve what we are measuring, but we may be measuring the wrong thing
* Make bad habits unsatisfying. If you break your chain of good habits (creating a bad habit) make it unsatisfying by punishing yourself in a way you think fit the situation. It should be unsatisfying.
* Genes do not determine your destiny, but they determine the chance of you to excel in a particular area (Phelps has a good body for swimming, but not for running)
* Choose the habits that interest you, not the most popular
* Pick the games where the odds are on your side. You get more satisfaction when things are going good and easy for you.
* Combine your abilities to create your own niche. The guy behind Dilbert is not the best cartoonist and doesn't have the best jokes, but the combination of both of his skills is awesome
* Build your own category of study/work, the one that combines your skills and makes yourself to be the best candidate
* Who can handle the boredom of doing the same things over and over usually are the ones who become masters
* You need just enough winning to experience satisfaction
* When habits become routine, they become less challenging and less satisfiable
* Don't make any single part of your identity a big portion of who you are. If you lose (or have to change) this part, you will have an existential crisis and lose a big part of your identity
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Reading Progress

November 26, 2018 – Shelved
November 26, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 26, 2018 – Shelved as: audio
November 26, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
January 30, 2019 – Started Reading
January 30, 2019 –
February 4, 2019 –
February 5, 2019 –
February 5, 2019 –
February 6, 2019 – Finished Reading

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