Atomic Habits

Author – James Clear

The power of habit


The 1st Law: Make it Obvious

  1. Fill out the Habits Scorecard. Write down your current habits to become aware of them.
  2. Use implementation intentions: “I will (BEHAVIOR) at (TIME) in (LOCATION).
  3. Use habit stacking: “After (CURRENT HABIT), I will (NEW HABIT).
  4. Design your environment. Make the cues of good habits obvious and visible.

The 2nd Law: Make It Attractive

  1. Use temptation bundling. Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  2. Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.
  3. Create a motivation ritual. Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

The 3rd Law: Make It Easy

  1. Reduce friction. Decrease the number of steps between you and your good habits.
  2. Prime the environment. Prepare your environment to make future actions easier.
  3. Master the decisive moment. Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact.
  4. Use the Two-Minute Rule. Downscale your habits until they can be done in two minutes or less.
  5. Automate your habits. Invest in technology and onetime purchases that lock in future behavior.

The 4th Law: Make It Satisfying

  1. Use reinforcement. Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your habit.
  2. Make “doing nothing” enjoyable. When avoiding a bad habit, design a way to see the benefits.
  3. Use a habit tracker. Keep track of your habit streak and “don’t break the chain.”
  4. Never miss twice. When you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately.

Inversion of the 1st Law: Make It Invisible

  • Reduce exposure. Remove the cues of your bad habits from your environment.

Inversion of the 2nd Law: Make It Unattractive

  • Reframe your mind-set. Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits.

Inversion of the 3rd Law: Make It Difficult

  • Increase friction. Increase the number of steps between you and your bad habits.
  • Use a commitment device. Restrict your future choices to the ones that benefit you.

Inversion of the 4th Law: Make It Unsatisfying

  • Get an accountability partner. Ask someone to watch your behavior.
  • Create a habit contract. Make the costs of your bad habits public and painful.

Why Tiny Changes Make a Big Difference

The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits

Habit Forming Process:
Cue | Craving | Response | Reward

Your habits can compound for you or against you.

Positive Compounding
Productivity compounds. Accomplishing one extra task is a small feat on any given day, but it counts for a lot over an entire career. The effect of automating an old task or mastering a new skill can be even greater. The more tasks you can handle without thinking, the more your brain is free to focus on other areas.
Knowledge compounds. Learning one new idea won’t make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be transformative. Furthermore, each book you read not only teaches you something, but it also opens up different ways of thinking about old ideas.
Relationships compound. People reflect your behavior back to you. The more you help others, the more others want to help you. Being a little bit nicer in each interaction can result in a network of broad and strong connections over time.

As Warren Buffett says, “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”

Negative Compounding
Stress compounds. The frustration of a traffic jam. The weight of parenting responsibilities. The worry of making ends meet. The strain of slightly high blood pressure. By themselves, these common causes of stress are manageable. But when they persist for years, little stresses compound into serious health issues.
Negative thoughts compound. The more you think of yourself as worthless, stupid, or ugly, the more you condition yourself to interpret life that way. You get trapped in a thought loop. The same is true for how you think about others. Once you fall into the habit of seeing people as angry, unjust, or selfish, you see those kinds of people everywhere.
Outrage compounds. Riots, protests, and mass movements are rarely the result of a single event. Instead, a long series of microaggressions and daily aggravations slowly multiply until one event tips the scales and outrage spreads like wildfire.

In order to make a meaningful difference, habits need to persist long enough to break through the Plateau of Latent Potential.
The reason no results show for your efforts is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential.
→ Habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance.

Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees.
Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two degrees.

Results have very little to do with the goals you set, and nearly everything to do with the systems that are being followed.

Goals are about the results you want to achieve.
Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.

You do not rise to the level of your goals.
→ You fall to the level of your systems.

The only way to actually win is to get better each day. The same is true for other areas of life.
If you want to get better results, forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.

“The score takes care of itself.”

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
Some goal issues:

  1. Winners and losers have the same goals.
  2. Achieving a goal is only a momentary gain.
  3. Goals restrict your happiness.
  4. Goals are at odds with long-term progress.

The purpose of setting goals is to win the game.
The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game.

True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.

You do not rise to the level of your goals.
→ You fall to the level of your systems.
  • Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run.
  • Habits are a double-edged sword. They can work for you or against you, which is why understanding the details is essential.
  • Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient.
  • An atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system. Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules, atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.
  • If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
  • You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
How your Habits Shape your Identity(and Vice Versa)

Few things can have a more powerful impact on your life than improving your daily habits.

3 Layers of Behavior Change

  1. The first layer is changing your outcomes.
    This level is concerned with changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book, winning a championship. Most of the goals you set are associated with this level of change.
  2. The second layer is changing your process.
    This level is concerned with changing your habits and systems: implementing a new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow, developing a meditation practice. Most of the habits you build are associated with this level.
  3. The third and deepest layer is changing your identity.
    This level is concerned with changing your beliefs: your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others. Most of the beliefs, assumptions, and biases you hold are associated with this level.

The alternative is to build identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on who we wish to become.

Behind every system of actions are a system of beliefs.

You may want more money, but if your identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning.
→ Start creating.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.

It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.

The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it.

  • The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
  • The goal is not to code, the goal is to become a coder.
  • The goal is not to make money, the goal is to become a money-maker.

Your habits are not the only actions that influence your identity, but by virtue of their frequency they are usually the most important ones.

The process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself.

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.

The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do.

Decide the type of person you want to be.

Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Ask yourself:

  • Who is the type of person that could get the outcome I want?
  • Who is the type of person that could lose forty pounds?
  • Who is the type of person that could learn a new language?
  • Who is the type of person that could run a successful startup?
  • Who is the type of person who is a digital nomad? Startup owner? Rich? Developer?
Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits.

Habits are about becoming someone.

  • There are three levels of change: outcome change, process change, and identity change.
  • The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
  • Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
  • Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
  • The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.
How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps

The conscious mind is the bottleneck of the brain.

Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The cue is about noticing the reward. The craving is about wanting the reward. The response is about obtaining the reward.

  • A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.
  • The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort as possible.
  • Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
  • The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, and (4) make it satisfying.

1st Law: Make it Obvious

Make a list of your daily habits:

  • wake up
  • turn off alarm
  • check my phone
  • go to bathroom
  • take shower
  • brush teeth
  • hang up towel
  • get dressed
  • make cup of tea
  • make breakfast
  • read a book
  • book notes
  • write blog post
  • check hw
  • daily regime
  • shower
  • go to bed
    : good habit + | bad habit – | neutral habit = |
    Does this behavior help me become the type of person I wish to be?
    Does this habit cast a vote for or against my desired identity?

Hearing your bad habits spoken aloud makes the consequences seem more real.

  • With enough practice, your brain will pick up on the cues that predict certain outcomes without consciously thinking about it.
  • Once our habits become automatic, we stop paying attention to what we are doing.
  • The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.
  • Pointing-and-Calling raises your level of awareness from a non-conscious habit to a more conscious level by verbalizing your actions.
  • The Habits Scorecard is a simple exercise you can use to become more aware of your behavior.
The Best Way to Start a New Habit

Implementation intention: a plan you make about when and where to act. How you intend to implement a particular habit.

The two most common cues are time and location.

The format for creating an implementation intention is: “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”

The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will (behavior) at (time) in (location).

  • Meditation. I will meditate for one minute at 7 am in my kitchen.
  • Studying. I will study Spanish for 20 minutes at 6 pm in my bedroom.
  • Exercise. I will exercise for one hour at 5 pm. in my local gym.
    One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.
    After (current habit) I will (new habit).
  • Meditation. After I pour my cup of coffee each morning. I will meditate for one minute.
  • Exercise. After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
  • The 1st Law of Behavior Change is make it obvious.
  • The two most common cues are time and location.
  • Creating an implementation intention is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a specific time and location.
  • The implementation intention formula is: “I will (behavior) at (time) in (location)”.
  • Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit.
  • The habit stacking formula is: “After (current habit), I will (new habit)”.
Motivation is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More

People often choose products not because of what they are, but because of where they are.

Your habits change depending on the room you are in and the cues in front of you.

Every habit is context dependent.

Visual cues are the greatest catalyst of our behavior. For this reason, a small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do.

You can imagine how important it is to live and work in environments that are filled with productive cues and devoid of unproductive ones.

A stable environment where everything has a place and a purpose is an environment where habits can easily form.

  • Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.
  • Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out.
  • Make the cues of good habits obvious in your environment.
  • Gradually, your habits become associated not with a single trigger, but with the entire context surrounding the behavior. The context becomes the cue.
  • It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues.
The Secret to Self-Control

Once you notice something, you begin to want it.

The secret to self-control is to make the cues of your good habits obvious and the cues of your bad habits invisible.
  • The inversion of the 1st Law of Behavior Change is to make it invisible.
  • Once a habit is formed, it is unlikely to be forgotten.
  • People with high self-control tend to spend less time in tempting situations. It’s easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.
  • One of the most practical ways to eliminate a bad habit is to reduce exposure to the cue that causes it.
  • Self-control is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one.

2nd Law: Make it Attractive

How to Make a Habit Irresistible

When it comes to habits, the key takeaway is this: dopamine is released not only when you experience pleasure, but also when you anticipate it.
An opportunity will be rewarding, your levels of dopamine spike in anticipation. And whenever dopamine rises, so does your motivation to act.
It is the anticipation of a reward, not the fulfillment of it, that gets us to take action.

Temptation bundling works by linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.

Habit-stacking + Temptation bundling formula:

  1. After (current habit), I will (habit I need).
  2. After (habit I need), I will (habit I want).
  • The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive.
  • The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming.
  • Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When dopamine rises, so does your motivation to act.
  • It is the anticipation of a reward, not the fulfillment of it, that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.
  • Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping your Habits

“In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You'll rise together.

Join a culture where 1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and 2) you already have something in common with the group.

Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the tribe. It transforms a personal quest into a shared one.

Growth and change is no longer an individual pursuit.

The shared identity begins to reinforce your personal identity.

When changing your habits means fitting in with the tribe, change is very attractive.

  • The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us.
  • We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
  • We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: the close(family and friends), the many(the tribe), and the powerful(those with status and prestige).
  • One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where 1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and 2) you already have something in common with the group.
  • The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
  • If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.
How to Find and Fix the Causes of Your Bad Habits

Habits are all about associations.

Reframing your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks is a fast and lightweight way to reprogram your mind and make a habit seem more attractive.

You don't "have" to. You "get" to.
  • The inversion of the 2nd Law of Behavior Change is to make it unattractive.
  • Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive.
  • Your habits are modern day solutions to ancient desires.
  • The cause of your habits is actually the prediction that precedes them. The prediction leads to a feeling.
  • Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.
  • Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings. Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

3rd Law: Make it Easy

Walk Slowly, but Never Backward

If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.

You just need to get your reps in.

Repetition is a form of change.

Habits form based on frequency, not time.
  • The 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it easy.
  • The most effective form of learning is practice, not planning.
  • Focus on taking action, not being in motion.
  • Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition.
  • The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it.
The Law of Least Effort
Business is a never-ending quest to deliver the same result in an easier fashion.

Whenever possible, I leave my phone in a different room until lunch. When it’s right next to me, I’ll check it all morning for no reason at all. but when it’s in another room, I rarely think about it. And the friction is high enough that I won’t go get it without a reason. As a result, I get 3~4 hours each morning when I can work without interruption.

  • Human behavior follows the Law of Least Effort. We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.
  • Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.
  • Reduce the friction associated with good behaviors. When friction is low, habits are easy.
  • Increase the friction associated with bad behaviors. When friction is high, habits are difficult.
  • Prime your environment to make future actions easier.
How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two-Minute Rule

Mastering the decisive moments throughout your day is so important.

Two-Minute Rule: When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

A new habit should not feel like a challenge.

What you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you down a more productive path.

As you master the art of showing up, the first two minutes simply become a ritual.

But one push-up is better than not exercising. One minute of guitar practice is better than none at all. One minute of reading is better than never picking up a book. It’s better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all.

Doing anything is infinitely better than doing nothing.
  • Habits can be completed in a few seconds but continue to impact your behavior for minutes or hours afterward.
  • Many habits occur at decisive moments-choices that are like a fork in the road-and either send you in the direction of a productive day or an unproductive one.
  • The Two-Minute Rule states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”
  • The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.
  • Standardize before you optimize. You can’t improve a habit that doesn’t exist.
How to Make Good Habits Inevitable and Bad Habits Impossible
Sometimes success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard.

Commitment device: a choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future. Usually by restricting some options are choices.

The best way to break a bad habit is to make it impractical to do. Increase the friction until you don’t even have the option to act.

  • The inversion of the 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it difficult.
  • commitment device is a choice you make in the present that locks in better behavior in the future.
  • The ultimate way to lock in future behavior is to automate your habits.
  • Onetime choices-like buying a better mattress or enrolling in an automatic savings plan-are single actions that automate your future habits and deliver increasing returns over time.
  • Using technology to automate your habits is the most reliable and effective way to guarantee the right behavior.

4th Law: Make it Satisfying

The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change
  • The 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it satisfying.
  • We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.
  • The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards.
  • The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
  • To get a habit to stick, you need to feel immediately successful-even if it’s in a small way.
  • The fourth law of behavior change-make it satisfying-increases the odds that a behavior will be repeated next time.
How to Stick with Good Habits Every Day

No matter how consistent you are with your habits, it is inevitable that life will interrupt you at some point: never miss twice.

When we choose the wrong measurement, we get the wrong behavior.

Goodhart's Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

Measurement is only useful when it guides you and adds context to a larger picture.

  • One of the most satisfying feelings is the feeling of making progress.
  • habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit-like marking an X on a calendar.
  • Habit trackers and other visual forms of measurement can make your habits satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress.
  • Don’t break the chain. Try to keep your habit streak alive.
  • Never miss twice. If you miss one day, try to get back on track as quickly as possible.
  • Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing.
How an Accountability Partner can Change Everything

Make it immediately unsatisfying.

  • The inversion of the 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it unsatisfying.
  • We are less likely to repeat a bad habit if it is painful or unsatisfying.
  • An accountability partner can create an immediate cost to inaction. We care deeply about what others think of us, and we do not want others to have a lesser opinion of us.
  • A habit contract can be used to add a social cost to any behavior. It makes the costs of violating your promises public and painful.
  • Knowing that someone else is watching you can be a powerful motivator.

Advanced Tactics: How to Go from being Merely Good to being Truly Great

Personality Traits “Big Five”:

  1. Openness to Experience: from curious and inventive on one end to cautious and consistent on the other.
  2. Conscientiousness: Organized and efficient to easygoing and spontaneous.
  3. Extroversion: outgoing and energetic to solitary and reserved.
  4. Agreeableness: friendly and compassionate to challenging and detached.
  5. Neuroticism: anxious and sensitive to confident, calm, and stable.

explore/exploit trade-off
In the beginning of a new activity, there should be a period of exploration.
In relationships, it’s called dating. In college, it’s called the* liberal arts*. In business, it’s called split testing. The goal is to try out many possibilities, research a broad range of ideas, and cast a wide net.
After this initial period of exploration, shift your focus to the best solution you’ve found-but keep experimenting occasionally. The proper balance depends on whether you’re winning or losing.

  • If you are currently winning, you exploit, exploit, exploit.
  • If you are currently losing, you continue to explore, explore, explore.
    In the long-run it is probably most effective to work on the strategy that seems to deliver the best results about 80~90 percent of the time and keep exploring with the remaining 10 to 20 percent.

A series of questions you can ask yourself to continually narrow in on the habits and areas that will be most satisfying to you:

  • 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. Combine your skills.

  • A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing.
  • A great player creates a new game that favors their strengths and avoids their weaknesses.

One of the best ways to ensure your habits remain satisfying over the long-run is to pick behaviors that align with your personality and skills. Work hard on the things that come easy.

  • The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.
  • Pick the right habit and progress is easy. Pick the wrong habit and life is a struggle.
  • Genes cannot be easily changed, which means they provide a powerful advantage in favorable circumstances and a serious disadvantage in unfavorable circumstances.
  • Habits are easier when they align with your natural abilities. Choose the habits that best suits you.
  • Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find a game that favors you, create one.
  • Genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on.
The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Work

Maximum motivation occurs when facing a challenge of just manageable difficulty.

"At some point it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day, doing the same lifts over and over and over."

The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom.

  • The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.
  • The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.
  • As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored.
  • 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.
The Downside of Creating Good Habits

Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery

“Sustaining an effort is the most important thing for any enterprise. The way to be successful is to learn how to do things right, then do them the same way every time.”

Each December, I perform an Annual Review. I tally my habits for the year by counting up how many blog posts I published, how many workouts I put in, how many projects completed, how many goals achieved, and so on.

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

Six months later, when summer comes, I conduct an Integrity Report. This helps me realize where I went wrong and motivates me to get back on course. I use it as a time to revisit my core values and consider whether I have been living in accordance with them. This is when I reflect on my identity and how I can work toward being the type of person I wish to become.

  1. What are the core values that drive my life and work?
  2. How am I living and working with integrity right now?
  3. How can I set a higher standard in the future?

The key to mitigating losses of identity is to 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.”

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.
-Lao Tzu

Periodically check in to see if your old habits and beliefs are still serving you.

lack of self-awareness is poisonReflection and review is the antidote.
  • The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside is that we stop paying attention to little errors.
  • Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery
  • Reflection and review is a process that allows you to remain conscious of your performance over time.
  • The tighter we cling to an identity, the harder it becomes to grow beyond it.
The Secret to Results that Last

Sorites Paradox: the effect one small action can have when repeated enough times.
Can one coin make a person rich? 10? But what if you added another? And another? And another? At some point, you will have to admit that no one can be rich unless one coin make her so.
We can say the same about atomic habits. Can one tiny change transform your life? But what if you added another? And another?

The holy grail of habit change is not a single 1 percent improvement, but a thousand of them.

Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, lifesaving physicians, and star comedians all progressed in the same way: through a commitment of tiny, sustainable, unrelenting improvements.

Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.

Lesson and Insights Learned
  • Awareness comes before desire.
  • Happiness is simply the absence of desire.
  • It is the idea of pleasure that we chase.
  • Peace occurs when you don’t turn your observations into problems.
  • With a big enough why you can overcome any how.
  • Being curious is better than being smart.
  • Emotions drive behavior.
  • We can only be rational and logical after we have been emotional.
  • Your response tends to follow your emotions.
  • Suffering drives progress.
  • Your actions reveal how badly you want something.
  • Reward is on the other side of sacrifice.
  • Self-control is difficult because it is not satisfying.
  • Our expectations determine our satisfaction.
  • The pain of failure correlates to the height of expectations.
  • Feelings come both before and after the behavior.
  • Desire initiates. Pleasure sustains.
  • Hope declines with experience and is replaced by acceptance.