Book Review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

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Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Topic: Psychology & Counseling

As the halfway point of what’s been, so far, a roller coaster of a year (some would argue an endless plunge) approached, I sought out something to read that wasn’t riddled with unfortunate news. I reached for several different books but often found myself having that same sinking feeling in my stomach… I couldn’t get my mind off of the present. Every paragraph I read felt like a reminder of the current chaos that had begun to plague all of our lives – fiction was no longer the escape I could dwell in and books about goals and work ethic felt… how can I put this…

They felt futile.

This is difficult for me to admit. I’ve discovered a lot of self-identity in nurturing a positive outlook, even when times were challenging. But I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been skirting the edges of sadness, anger, frustration, and hopelessness over the past few months. I know I’m not alone here. It’s been dark.

For these personal reasons above, I cannot overstate how much I owe to this New York Times Bestseller, “Atomic Habits”.

The full title is “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”, this book wasn’t written to encourage you to burn the rest of the gas in your tank. Its mission isn’t to get steam billowing out of your ears or to advise you to spend your last dollar on starting a business. It certainly isn’t a book of motivational quotes slapped together, either. Its purpose is to teach the reader about their habits – good or bad – and how to break and create them in a doable practical way. Real tools and techniques that can be implemented on the spot are thoroughly explained by the author James Clear, an author and speaker who has often worked with teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. James Clear is well-versed with the athletes that keep these teams functioning; some of the most disciplined and regimented people around. Any athlete reading this book will immediately recognize the benefits of creating good habits.

I picked up this book while on a fishing boat. (Surprise! I don’t fish much. I was just there for the sunshine and fresh air outdoors.) I was immediately engrossed, and read 132 pages without pause. The book isn’t focused on ethereal ideas of grand plans for the future – it’s all about small, seemingly insignificant choices you can make today and tomorrow and the next day that will assist you in becoming whatever type of person you want to become.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Habits dictate who we are and they need to either be broken, refined, or created to advance us forward into whatever position we want for ourselves.

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.” 

– James Clear, “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Good Ones

James Clear draws on examples from his own life as well as studies from biology, psychology, and neuroscience. The book isn’t too complex and keeps you entertained and chuckling to yourself throughout. Who will enjoy this book? Anyone curious about how to improve themselves in any capacity. This is the book will explain the simple behaviors that can actually make the “self-help fluff” useful.

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