The Main Lesson I Learned from Atomic Habits

by | Oct 4, 2021 | Life Lessons

Have you read James Clear’s Atomic Habits?

I just finished reading the book as part of a book club in my private Facebook group, The Aha! Community. And I am so glad I did. It is a well-written, well-researched, and easy to digest book with lots of great takeaways. Below are just a few of the lessons I took away from the book. 

7 + 1 Lessons I learned from Atomic Habits:

Lesson #1:
“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” Little changes, may seem insignificant, but done consistently over time, can “guide your life to a very different direction.”

Lesson #2:
“If a habit remains mindless, you can’t expect to improve it.” To build a habit or to break one requires awareness and conscious effort. “One of our greatest challenges in changing habits is maintaining awareness of what we are actually doing.”  

Lesson #3:
Implementation intention. This is a simple action that has already yielded great results for me. “I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].” I make a commitment to myself, and I say, “I will not lie to myself.” (That’s mine). Clear wrote, “Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity.”

Lesson #4:
“One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.” One more reinforcing lesson that we become like the people we surround ourselves with.

Lesson #5:
There’s a difference between being in motion and taking action. “When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is a type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.” I’m now more cognizant of when I’m in motion and when I’m taking action.

Lesson #6:
“We are motivated to do what is easy.” Find what delivers the best outcome, the most value, for the least effort. This is hard for me as a high achiever because I pride myself on being able to do “hard” things. But why? I’m trying to form better habits. Easy wins. 

Lesson #7:
“Perhaps the best way to measure your progress is with a habit tracker.” Yay! I do this and it gets results. “Don’t break the chain is a powerful mantra.” And if you do miss, “never miss twice.”

Those are 7 incredible lessons peppered throughout the book, but the MAIN LESSON I learned that will stay with me forever is:

Lesson #8:
“The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.” Clear says “Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits.”

Who do you wish to become? Quite literally, you become your habits. Click To Tweet

If you’d like to read more articles like this one or join my private Facebook group, The Aha! Community, then visit my website, Your Aha! Life to learn more and sign up to become a member of the Your Aha! Life Global Community. You’ll gain access to free perks and resources each month to support your personal growth.

What I’m reading next:

A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters by Steven C. Hayes, PhD
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury
Courage is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday


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