Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits offers practical advice on how to start new habits or get rid of bad habits. Here are some notes:

  • Don’t underestimate marginal gains, if you get 1% better every day, you become 37x better in a year
  • Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits: money (financial habits), weight (eating habits), knowledge (learning habits)
  • People reflect your behavior back to you. The more you help others, the more others help you.
  • Instead of setting goals, focus on having systems (goal: losing 10 pounds vs system: learning to eat well)
  • Identity based habits: Focus is on who you wish to become
    • read a book vs become a reader
    • run a marathon vs become a runner
    • learn an instrument vs become a musician
  • The habit loop consists of:
    • cue: signal reward (notice) -> make it obvious
    • craving: acting force (want) -> make it attractive
    • response: action (d0) -> make it easy
    • reward: result (get) -> make it satisfying
  • Be specific with your habits: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
  • Habit stacking: Start a new habit by doing it before / after an existing habit
  • Environment matters: Drug addict soldiers stop their addiction when they return home from the war
  • Two groups were given different tasks: a) Only take high quality photos b) Only take as many photos as you can. Best photos came out of the quantity group
  • To visualize virtual progress, you can put physical objects things from one jar to another
  • Reframe cues: Exercise as building endurance, saving money as increasing your future means
  • To stop procrastination, scale down habits to their 2 minute version:
    • “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
    • “Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”

Overall, it was one of the most actionable, well written and interesting books I’ve read recently, highly recommended!

May 26, 2019



sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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"A Leetcode a day, keeps unemployment away." @sarp
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Shoe Dog
Digital Minimalism
The Art of Thinking Clearly
Atomic Habits
The Untethered Soul
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