Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits

We overestimate the importance of single actions and underestimate the power of making small improvements repetitively over a longer period of time.

Real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions changing life styles, behaviours, and identities.

4 key insights in the book

The 1% Rule

  • The power of compounding
  • 1% better each day for a year = 37% better in a year
  • 1% worse each day of a year = nearly at 0%
  • It takes long to see results from small changes - we are used to seek instant gratification

"Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. - Good habits make time your ally. - Bad habits make time your enemy." James Clear


It does take time for us to see the result of constant input.

Initially we will be disappointed because we are expecting more, but the outcome comes later.

It is not a linear process.

Screw Goals

  • Winners and looser have the same goal

every olympian wants the gold medal, every applicant wants the job

  • achieving a goal is only a momentary change

I can clean my room once, but if I continue to live the same way I usually do, I will end up with a messy room again soon.

Very temporary results.

We need to change the systems.

  • goals restrict our happiness

we think we will only be happy when we achieve a goal

  • goals are odds with long time progress

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

focus on playing your game well, rather than looking at the score board all the time.

"The score takes care of itself."

Identity Change


We should work from the inside out rather than the other way around.

We can solve problem in the long term, if we change our identity.

The Habit Loop

  1. CUE - triggers the brain to initiate an action
  2. CRAVING - provides motivational force
  3. RESPONSE - action or habit we perform
  4. REWARD - end goal

The 4 Fundamental Laws of Behaviour Change

  1. Make it obvious - designing our environment around our cues
  2. Make it attractive - make it fun, enjoyable, connect it with things you like
  3. Make it easy - reduce the fiction, prime your environment
  4. Make it immediately satisfying - short term burst of dopamine! Reward


friction is the most powerful force in the universe

Additional Resources