Highlights and Review: Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits Book Cover

Author: James Clear

Genre: self-help book

Publication date: 16 October 2018

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Number of pages: 319 pages


  • Why small habits make a big difference?
    • If you get 1% better each day for one year → 37x better by the time you’re done.
    • If you get 1% worse each day for one year → decline nearly down to zero.
  • Habits often appear to make no difference until you come to a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance.
  • Forget about goals, focus on system instead.
    • Goals are good for setting a direction, but system are best for making progress.
  • Three levels at which change can occur:
    • First layer: change your outcomes > related to change your results and what you get.
    • Second layer: change your systems > change your habits and system, what you do.
    • Third layer: change your identity > change your beliefs, what you believe.
  • The for laws of behavior change:
    • Cue → make it obvious.
    • Craving → make ot attractive.
    • Response → make it easy.
    • Reward → make it satisfying.
  • People who make specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.
  • Motivation is overrated, environment matters more.

The humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.

The Goldilocks rule
  • Professionals sticks to schedule. Amateurs let life get in the way.
  • The secret to getting results: never stop making improvements. Don’t stop. Tiny changes, remarkable results.


This book is one of the top best seller book that I’ve seen it thousands time in every book review’s platform. When I went to the book store for multiple times, I was repeatedly on denial to buy this book because I thought it just like any other self-help/motivational book that tell us how to achieve life goals as much as possible and be a human with full of energy each day. Until curiosity push me to buy this book and here I am, reviewing this book.

Most self-help books focus on the big things which is hard to start and maintain in long-term. I do not find them in this book and I think this is the reason why this book deserves to be in the category of books that can actually change your life. James Clear is clearly understand how to motivate the reader why keeping good habits matters in our life. It has been several months after I read this book, but some of the lessons stay in my head and keep coming back every time I almost lost myself by missing good habits for a day.

At the beginning of this book, James Clear states even 1% of good habits give unexpected good results in a long way. Every time i remember this, it does not feel so hard to maintain a good habit every day because I can just do it for 2 minutes, maintain it every day, then unconsciously I cannot live without doing it every day. Along this book, James Clear help us to focus on how to fix our life system and make it a significant progress in a long run without really pushing us.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to find some motivation to break bad habits and create the good ones in every single day.


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