Atomic Habits by James Clear
“Why is it so easy to repeat bad habits and so hard to for good ones? Few things can have a more powerful impact on your life than improving your daily habits.”
Clear has taken the concept of habits and broken it down like a multiplication factorial, to its very basest parts, a deeper breakdown than I have ever pondered on my own. I was overall impressed with his simplicity. He is obviously a structured and logical thinker, and makes his concepts easy to follow. Peppered amongst the concepts are charming, engaging, and funny anecdotes from a wide variety of situations that illustrate his points, making the book engaging and fast to read.
His tips were a bit of a wash for me- he suggests making what you want highly appealing so you are motivated to accomplish it (use the lovely scented hand soap if it gets you to wash your hands more often) or highly undesirable if you want to change your habit (keeping you TV in a closet so it has to be taken out and plugged in any time you want to watch if you want to decrease your TV time). I can see the value here, but realized this is not a very new concept for me. Just this morning I ran a bath while I cleaned my kids’ bathroom so that I’d have the reward of a bath ready to go when the unpleasant task of the cleaning the bathroom was finished, and I recognize I do this a lot in my life.
I did very much like his focus on not just reaching your goals, but in really thinking who you want to be, and pursuing that with the way you live your life. “Many people begin the process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. This leads us to outcome-based habits. The alternative is to build identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on WHO we wish to become.”