Atomic habits is a bestselling book by James Clear providing insights into how to make small, effortless changes to your daily life which build up and create potential for growth and success. It is definitely a book one must read at least once in their life - even if you don’t put the tips into practice you are bound to ingrain something you have picked up from the book into your life. I will be sharing with you three of the top tips, analogies and concepts I picked up when reading this book that seemed the most helpful.


Top Tip 1

A little goes a long way!
One of the recurring motifs of this book includes the theme of tiny changes, remarkable results.  1% better every day mathematically means you would get nearly 37x better every year! That is the power of small changes and it can be applied to many mental conflicts in our daily lives. One may choose to start saving more money, or working out more often, or perhaps getting into a good study routine. It seems like a couple days here and there of neglecting those plans won’t do anything - instead you turn to snacking on junk, or binging on netflix and procrastinating thinking it won't make much of a difference in the long term. But imagine if there weren't those pitfalls, and you didn't allow yourself to slip out of your routine - you would be able to see changes quite soon! James Clear uses the example of an airplane in Atomic Habits- if a pilot changed direction by a miniscule 3.5 degrees, the plane intended to land in NYC would end up in Washington DC! 

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Top Tip 2

Making a habit part of your identity

Your identity is something that seems strong and fixed - but in reality, its not - your identity changes as you grow up and have new experiences. You do not have to be what you claim yourself to be casually. What doI mean by that? Like most of us, its normal to make claims saying “I’m always late”, or “Maths isn’t my thing” - with this attitude it seems as if one has become accepting of that without the space or urge to defy that identity or surpass it. How could I try to put more effort in and get better at biology if I keep telling myself “Biology is not my thing” “I am not good at this subject”. This identity concept can be used when picking up new habits, for instance rather than saying “I am trying to quit” when offered a cigarette, one could change their response to “I’m not a smoker”. You become your habits!

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Top Tip 3

Habit stacking

Morning routines tend to flow from waking up, brushing your teeth etc. - it is a routine carried out so often it becomes something you barely have to think about and put much effort into. Habit stacking is the art of placing new habits you are trying to implement into specific places, times, situations but more importantly, after or before something you already do in your day. The template shown here can be used: When situation (x) arises, I will perform response (y). If you make a specific plan for when or where a habit will be performed, that means there is less mental burden or effort required and you are more likely to follow through with it. I will [behaviour] at [time] in [location]. For example, I will do some stretches after I wake up in my bedroom! You can even use this to stack new habits on top of each other.  A good tip is to make it satisfying. Ensure you get the outcome but make it visually appealing such as acrossing off a day in the calendar, or putting a tick in your chart to keep your streak going, or even sign a contract to yourself - these subtle things will subconsciously create more hindrance to you breaking your path! It can motivate you by seeing the progress you have made that you wouldn't want to lose, and its immediate gratification with no downsides!