This week’s Biblioshelf Musing is from a non-fiction self-development style book called Atomic Habits. This is by far one of the most useful books I have ever read (listened to). I originally purchased it as a friend had rated it 5 stars and referred to it on one of those ‘books that saved my life’ tweets.
Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear (Audiobook)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help: Personal Development
Publication Date: 18th October 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audiobooks
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
In this highly practical guide, today’s leading expert on habit formation lays out a proven system for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.
Atomic Habits asks a simple but powerful question: How can we live better? We know good habits build better lives, but it’s easy to get thrown off course–trying to lose weight when we eat poorly and sleep too little; spending when we want to save. What makes some habits easy to stick with while others fail?
Filled with self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research, Atomic Habits reveals how altering our small daily habits can transform our lives for the better. This easy-to-understand guide uncovers the hidden forces that shape your behavior–everything from mindset to environment to genetics–and shows you how to take control of them. Organized around the Four Laws of Behavior Change, this book will show you how to apply each one to your life and work. In the end, you’ll get a simple method for building a repeatable and sustainable system for success.
James Clear, author of a wildly popular blog with more than two million readers per month, is known for his ability to distill complex topics into an easy-to-understand format. Now, he breaks down the art and science of habit formation into its most fundamental state, giving us a playbook for success. Sharing stories of his own achievements alongside those of star athletes, business leaders, artists, people who have kicked addiction against all odds, and even folks who just wanted to stop biting their nails, Clear proves that your goals are within reach–as long as you start small.
If you want to transform your habits–or those of your family, team, or community–then you want to read this book.
Now I have to confess, during the lockdown, my reading of physical books massively increased so I kind of forgot that this audiobook existed for a while and ended up parking it on a digital shelf having only listened to a small portion. Since the Monday-Friday work resumed at school and the pressures of teaching life unfolded, the motivation to try and get through some of the already unfinished books resurfaced and I decided to try and make it a habit to resume the listening of my audiobooks.
Atomic Habits is told in a clearly structured way surrounding the ‘4 laws’ for good habit-making. Each chapter takes you through the strategies of how to develop a good habit and then the book gradually builds up chapter by chapter into how to ingrain those good habits seamlessly into your lifestyle. The chapter summaries at the end repeat the key themes and actions to take forward and almost forms as a workbook or step-by-step guide into what you need to do next to make your own atomic habits a reality. The benefit of having this as an audiobook was that listening to those steps being repeated over and over again made them get stuck in my head almost like the way you can recall the lyrics to your favourite songs.
Clear also goes a step beyond just the formulation of habits and habit strategies by detailing some of the underlying scientific principles to explain how habit formation works in your brain and how to develop good habit behaviours/disciplines in your life. Coupling this with case notes of famous celebrities or renowned organisations (Steve Martin, British Cycling Team, Katie Ledecki) as well as ordinary people in high-powered business jobs, Clear gives first-hand examples of how habit-building and application can lead you into creating a more successful or proactive lifestyle. While listening, my mind was automatically zooming into the type of habits I could be using within both my personal life and at school.
After finishing this book, I’ve definitely been applying some of the strategies I’ve learned into my life. I’m starting (as recommended) with smaller achievable habits which I can then ‘habit-stack’ into hopefully ticking off some of my goals. As a stationery addict of course this has come complete with pretty notebook, colour-coding pens and highlighters, stickers and washi tape etc… At the minute, I’m definitely feeling more motivated now that I’m taking some proactive steps into living more of a productive life (us Taureans do have laziness listed as one of our character traits…!). Time will tell whether or not those atomic habits start to just become part of the normal daily life.
If there are elements of your life or world which you wish were more successful or you want to feel more content with then I strongly recommend buying and reading this book. If you’re even wavering over it, a really good place to start would be James Clear’s website which contains a great deal of information about the book and also features some excerpts and chapters to give you a flavour of what it’s like. I am definitely looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice. One of the habits I really want to build upon is my engagement with other blogs and people on Book Twitter so those have now been factored into my habit tracker. There’s also a few health/personal elements that I’m working on such as making sure I text one different friend each day, just to check-in on them and say hello (I’m quite at bad at that!). Fingers crossed that it starts to work – I’ll have to update you in my July update to see if it’s working. Here’s to a more habit-centred, productive lifestyle!
Do you feel like you need little more order in your life? What bad habits are you guilty of committing? What kind of good/productive habits would you put into your habit-tracker? As always, drop me a comment to chat!