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Atomic Habits Summary

Image_Atomic Habits by James Clear

In the summary of Atomic habit, you’ll learn 16 methods to create a habit. All these methods are super easy to learn and mega easy to implement in your life.

Why do you need to build habit?

The purpose of building a good habit is to make yourself one percent better each day.

Improving one percent isn’t noticeable but with time, it’ll produce a surprising result. And if you improve one percent each day, then in one year. You’ll become thirty-seven percent better.

Habits decide how successful and unsuccessful you’ll become. But the dark side of habit, it doesn’t reveal the result until you cross a certain threshold.

Once you plant a seed of good habit and work until habit sprout. Then, an amazing thing begins to happen in life.

The Ultimate guide of habit sprouting.

Creating a new habit requires four areas to take care of:

1. Clue.

2. Craving.

3. Response.

4. Reward.

A clue is the first stage of habit sprouting that triggers your brain. Your conscious mind continuously analyzing the external environment to find clues.

The clue indicates you about reward.

Craving is the second state of habit that motivates you to follow a path, once you find a clue.

Third stage is response. In this stage, you perform a behavior. But if a particular behavior requires more mental and physical energy. Then you won’t perform it.

The last state is reward. Reward is the endpoint of every habit. And the reward, decide whether are going to perform the same action again or not.

Each time you see a specific clue, you’ll perform a certain behavior to get a reward. And follow the path of habit.

As you grow up, your sensory nervous system continuously analyzing clues to satisfy your desire. A feeling of pleasure or disappointment is a part of a feedback system, that tells your brain which behavior is worth remembering.

The hidden truth about unconsciously Building belief.

Belives derive your action.

However, you’re not born with any belief. All the beliefs you learn, teach you through society and religion. If you find any negative belief that doesn’t add value in your life. You can replace it, with a positive one.

Do you think about how you build your belief? The person you’re right now is the outcome of your belief. As belief drives actions and adds a vote to your identity.

Example: If you visit the gym each day, even it’s raining outside. Then, you’ve evidence that you’re committed to fitness.

Habits are actions that influence your personality.

As you repeat actions again and again. You’re adding evidence to your belief and strengthen your identity.

Each time you perform an action you add a vote in your belief.

However, you can’t build a belief in one day. But continuous action cast more votes and strengthen your belief.

Example: If you wish to become a writer and start practicing writing every day. Each day you perform a writing activity you add a vote in your new identity. Then, with time, your tiny actions pile up and build a new identity.

Once you define the kind of person you want to become. You can start taking tiny actions to strengthen your beliefs.

What is More Effective Implementation intention technique or Habit stacking technique?

Do you think, why you fail to build a new habit?

You whisper in your head that you’ll start a new habit from tomorrow. But you’re unable to do it.


It’s not about the motivation you lack. But you’re unclear about your actions. Once you define where and what time, you’re going to perform a certain habit. Then, you’ll more likely to perform.

Implementation intention technique.

You can use implementation intention technique to determine your certain habit with respect to time and place. Then, you’re more likely to say no to the thing that puts you off track. Sentence framing of implementation technique:

I will [behavior] at [time] in [place].

Example: I will meditate at 7 am in my room.
I will walk at 8 am in the garden.

Habit stacking technique.

Habit staking helps you to create multiple habits in a row. In this, you can tie your old behavior with the new one.

“After [old habit], I will [new habit]”

Example: After the workout, I will go and take a shower.
After dinner, I will go for a walk.

You can also use the habit stacking technique to add a new habit in your routine.

Wake up – Turn off alarm – Make my bed.

Wake up – Turn off alarm – Drink a glass of water – Makes my bed.

Warning: Ignoring your Environment Could Seriously Damage Your Habit.

Habit depends on the room you are in and clues that are in front of you.

Your environment is an invisible hand that helps you to perform certain actions more often. Likewise, the environment makes it easy for you, to not perform certain actions, as there is no clue for them.

Actions you perform each day is not based on your choice but by most obvious options.

However, you can train your brain to link particular habit with a particular context. Because for someone couch is a place to watch television and eat ice-cream. But for others, it is the place to read books.

Your behavior in the environment is determined by your relationship with the object.

You can optimize your environment and make your clues more obvious so you can perform certain activities with the least resistance.

Conflict arises when you try to build a habit in high friction environment.

You try to read ten pages a day when your smartphone is kept nearby you. However, you can reduce friction and utilize your time and energy if you create an environment where the persisting habit is easy for you.

Here is a Method that will help you to fix the flaws in your habit.

Habits allow you to solve problems and reduce the burden from your conscious mind. The main purpose of habit is to reduce the stress level. And to automate the tasks.

But if your current habits are unable to reduce the stress level. You can replace with a new one.

For some people cigarette is well-known to reduce stress level while others prefer to walk. Once you tie up your problem with a solution. You will always come back to your same solution to get relief.

It all depends upon wiring.

What you predict when you see a clue. Your prediction will define your craving. The same clue can spark good habits as well as bad. Through prediction, you can make hard habit even more attractive by remembering pay off in the future.

All you need a slight shift in mindset.

Habits become attractive when you associate them with a positive experience. Likewise, it becomes unattractive when you associate with a negative experience. If you want to avoid a bad habit, make it unattractive.

Why Motion fail and Action Succeeds?

Habit makes the behavior automate. Each time you repeat the behavior, the more efficient you become.

You decide goals, make plans, and then figure out habits to accomplish goals. But, you will get trap in making perfect plans. You stuck in ‘motion and taking action’.

Action is a behavior that produces desire results while motion is a process of accumulating data, making plans, and figuring out a strategy to produce the desired outcome.

Motion is all the good things you do. But it will not produce any desire outcome.

Example: If you make a plan to read ten books and then compose a list of books, you are going to read.

But making a plan does not produce any result.

However, if you sit down and start reading a book. That’s called action and will produce the desired result.

How to Take the Pain Out of Creating a Habit.

Fuel requires to run an engine.

Likewise, energy requires to do various activities of a day. Energy is precious and your brain tries to conserve it.

Law of effort says when you choose between two options, you’ll prefer one that requires the least amount of energy. If the task requires more energy then there are fewer chances you’re going to perform it.

Example: If you make a goal of doing fifty pushups, then the chance of doing 50 pushups is less.

As it requires a huge form of energy. But doing one pushup a day requires a less amount of energy.

And more chances of doing a behavior.

You prefer watching YouTube videos, checking emails, and using Facebook. You’re more like to perform these activities as it requires a little amount of effort and can perform with almost no effort.

How to Create a habit Under 2 Minutes?

You can use the two minutes rule to create a habit in a challenging situation.

Because doing an activity for two minutes not only make your work as easy as possible but also reduce friction.

In beginning performing a behavior should not be feeling like work, otherwise, you’ll give up. Performing habit for two minutes, help you to get into the habit zone. As building a habit is the first step before improving it.

Doing the same warm-up for two minutes, make your first action mindless.

Example: Run three miles became tie my running shoes.

Read before each night becomes read one page.

Do thirty minutes of yoga becomes take out my yoga mat.

the Reward Strategy that no one told you yet.

You’ll repeat behavior that makes you feel good.

Feeling of pleasure, even minor once tell our brain ‘Hi this feel-good’ try one more time.

Feelings of pleasure force your brain to remember the behavior, however, if the behavior isn’t satisfying you’ll not perform the activity in the future.

The best approach to sustain a good habit that pays off, in the long run, is to add a bit of pleasure.

While building a good habit, you need reasons to sustain. Early on, building a good habit is all about sacrifices.

At difficult times, reasons help you to stay on track. This is why the instant reward is essential as they keep you excited while delayed reward accumulates in the background.

You tend to remember more if the reward is satisfying. That’s why the ending of any good behavior must be satisfying.

The best approach to reinforce good behavior is to add an immediate reward, once the habit is performed.

What Everybody Needs to know About Habit Tracker.

Habit tracker helps you to measure the progress of your habits.

It determines how far you’ve reached. Progress is the most effective form of motivation.

Each day when you see your progress in visual form. You’ll feel motivate and do more hard work. But visual measurement comes in many forms like moving marbles from one container to another or making a cross in the calendar on the date.

The activity provides clear evidence of progress. And this visual measurement reinforces your behavior and give you a little bit of immediate pleasure.

In bad days, habit tracker becomes the most powerful motivating tool. Days when you don’t like to work. But Visual proof of the habit motivates you to align with the schedule and remind you how far you have to go.

However, perfection is not possible.

There are days when you’re not able to perform any behavior. But never miss twice, if you miss one day, it happens. Don’t miss two days in a row.

Because missing two days in a row will create another habit. Each time you perform a behavior you add a vote in the person you want to become.

Example: Going to the gym, even if you don’t want to work out. Add a vote in the person you want to become.

Old Habits are still locked in your brain.

Once you follow a habit of doing a certain activity on a certain time and discipline yourself. Then, following the schedule will become a habit and encoded in your brain.

Once you form a habit you’ll more likely to perform a certain action when the clue appears.

But, the twist is, if you didn’t use your habit for a while, your habit is still encoded in your brain. And it is impossible to remove the behavior.

Helping hand of culture in forming habit.

You adapt habit from your culture, the way your colleague deals with a customer, the way your partner handles an argument, and if your partner has the habit to check the door before going to sleep then surely you’ll also develop this habit.

Now if you want to build habit but unable to sustain it. Find culture and join them where your desire habit performs by other people.

habit contract with accountability partner.

Habit contract is an agreement used for creating a habit.

In this, write down your habit with time, you’re going to perform your behavior. Now write down the consequence of missing the habit for one day. The consequence must be scary so that it forces you to do work.

Once you are aware of the consequences of habit. You’re less likely to procrastinate. Now sign in with your partner.

How to use Goldilocks rule to set task according to your ability?

For continuous growth, you should do tasks that can coordinate with your ability and skills. Because if the task is too difficult you’ll lose motivation and if it’s too easy, you’ll feel tedious.

When you do activities according to your current abilities and skills. You’ll stop procrastinating, and can give your full attention to the task at hand.

At Last: Here are my favorite Quotes from this book.

  • When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different. ― James Clear.
  • If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. ― James Clear.
  • Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. ― James Clear.
  • Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. ― James Clear.
  • When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. ― James Clear.

You may also like these articles:

Eat That Frog Summary.
The Morning Miracle Summary.
Managing Oneself By Peter F. Drucker Summary.

Above article is the extract version of the book “Atomic Habits” written by “James Clear”.

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