Atomic Habits Summary – Making Habits Is Easy Now

Atomic Habits Summary by James Clear-min

You might have listened if you need huge results so you need to take huge actions. For example: In New Year people set very huge new year resolutions and goals but within 2-3 months they end up leaving their new year happens because it’s very hard to make huge changes in ourselves. Here comes the need for The Atomic Habits book and its summary. 

The British cycling team was not performing well. From 1908 to 2003 they won only 1 gold medal in the Olympics and they were at last in the world’s largest cycling race (Tour de France). 

In 2003, when Dave Brailsford was assigned as a performance director of the British cycling team, and by the time he joined his duty he made several very minor changes in players’ routines and habits. 

He redesigned the seat of the cycles for better comfort. He made new jerseys with new quality fabric which was lightweight and breathable. Rubbed alcohol on tires for better grip. Made a better quality pillow and sleeping mattress for rider’s better sleep. Taught proper technique of hand washing to the riders so that they don’t get sick. 

He did every small thing which can make the rider’s performance better even by one percent. This was his strategy called The aggregation of marginal gains.

The meaning of this strategy is to make small changes every day so that in the end it became a huge change. 

Because of these small changes, In the 2008 Olympics, the British team alone won 60% of the medals. Broke 7 records and won 5 Tour de France races in the 10 years bracket.

Favorite Quote from The Book:

Atomic Habits Summary (Book by James Clear)

If a pilot has to go from Los Angeles to New York but if the pilot changes the direction of the airplane by only 3.5 degrees south then he’ll land in Washington D.C. That’s how impactful are these changes. 

As like this, if we do small changes every day into our life then by the end of the year these changes will become huge. 

To obtain these Atomic habits which improve you every day at least by 1%, you need to understand these secrets. 

Secrets to Creating Atomic Habits 

Generally, there are three methods to create habits.

  1. Outcome-Based
  2. System-Based
  3. Identity-Based
Method to Form a new habit - atomic habits summary

Maximum people want to bring outcome-based changes to themselves. But the author says if you want to fulfill your goal you need to focus on the system (process) rather than the goal. The process is important rather than the result. 

According to the author, winners, and losers, both have their goals but they differ by their system (process).

For Example –  A person who wants to be a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding is his goal and good quality of sleep, good diet, and exercise is the system (process). 

If the person honestly focuses on the system (process) so he’ll automatically become a bodybuilder. if he only thinks about the result rather than giving attention or following the system (process) then it is impossible to create results. 

Identity-Based Changes

As James Clear mentioned process-driven changes are better than outcome-based. If it is not enough sometimes then it’s time to bring identity-based changes. 

For Example – A person who wants to leave his habit of alcohol. If that person brings outcome-based changes then he might say I am leaving alcohol and it is very difficult for me, For 15 days I am sober. If that same person brings identity-based changes then he’ll say I am not alcoholic, I don’t drink alcohol. 

This is the fact that identity-based change helps people. Most people have outcome-based thinking that’s why they keep focusing on results. Hence when they don’t see changes that they want so they stop changing. 

If you want to leave smoking then so don’t say that I am trying to leave smoking instead you should say I am not a smoker.  

If you want to be a reader so don’t say finally finished a book instead say I am a reader. 

There are two steps to make your identity

  1. Decide – what type of person you want to be.
  2. Prove – Do small works to prove yourself.

For Example – If you want to be a reader then read every day at least for 10 minutes and share your reading learning with others so that people recognize that you are a reader. 

How to From a ‘Proper System’ or A Habit

There are four laws to form a proper system or to make a habit.

  1. It should be obvious 
  2. It should be easy
  3. It should be attractive 
  4. It should be satisfying
Four laws or qualities to from a new habit - atomic habits summary

If these four qualities you can put into the habit which you want to make then you can easily create that habit. 

Problems which interprets you to follow these laws 

  • Obvious – Suppose you want to go to the gym but you don’t know which time or which day you should choose for your workout, most of the time these things will bother you and you’ll waste your day but you’ll not go to the gym.
  • Easy – If you have chosen that gym where its hard to reach there for you like it’s far from your home. There Is very little chance that you’ll go regularly.
  • Attractive – If after reaching the gym, doing the workout is like punishment for you. It means this could be the reason for not going to the gym. 
  • Satisfying – If staying at home is more satisfying for you rather than going to the gym. It means it’s hard to make this habit.

These were those problems that are stopping you from making habits. Now here are the methods to tackle these problems. 

Methods to follow these laws

  • Habit stacking for Obvious – For sure you must be using this method. Stack your new habit into an existing behavioral chain. 

For example, you wake up in the morning and directly go to brush and then floss and then you go to the washroom so this is the behavioral chain, and you can stack new habits between these kinds of chains.

Habit stacking is like cycling from high altitude to low altitude and then using that speed to obtain new heights. 

In other words, using old habits to form new habits which will solve your confusion.

  • Rituals for easy –  Tywla Thap who was a very famous dancer and choreographer. She had to make a habit of going to the gym but she knew that if she tries to go to the gym by driving by herself then it’ll become hard for her to go to the gym.

That’s why she created a ritual and that was too simple. She starts waking up at 5:30 and directly comes to the outside of the house and calls a taxi, she asks the driver to directly go to the gym. 

Now because of this simple ritual, going to the gym becomes very easy for her. Because it’s easy to go to the gym while sitting in the back seat in the taxi and she can’t ask the driver to get back to her house. 

Similarly, you should make the habit easy which you want to form. 

  • Sync for attractive – There was an engineering student from Ireland called Ronan. Who knew that he has to do workout and he was getting fat day by day. 

He Connected his old stationary bike with his laptop and programmed an application. By that application whenever he runs the bike he can watch his favorite show on the laptop screen. 

With this attractive trick, he formed his new habit. Because now exercise becomes fun for him.

There is a very famous entrepreneur, Kevin Ross who plays his favorite game while running on a treadmill. 

You should also be creative and think about how you can form habits while having fun.

  • Visual score for satisfaction – A boy who wants to form a habit of taking more sales calls. He started keeping two jars on his table, one filled with 120 paper clips and the second one empty.

Whenever he completes a call, he puts one clip from the first jar and puts it on the empty jar. He used to do it after every call until the first one got empty. 

This simple trick helped him to get more sales and eventually he got an appraisal and salary hike in his job. It is very satisfactory when the human can see the progress. 

This trick was showing impressive visual progress and because of that, the boy formed a habit of taking more calls.

Even you can also if you have some visual scores.

Wrapping up

With these techniques, you can easily form new behaviors and habits. By getting better every day by 1%.

Similar book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


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