Book review: Atomic Habits

Book cover for Atomic Habits by James Clear

In addition to sharing book recommendations, receiving books as gifts is another fringe benefit of having other readers in the family. One of those gifts I received last year was Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was immediately added to my reading list. While I’m just getting around to posting the review, I finished reading the book last summer.

To get right to the point, Atomic Habits is a great book. While it didn’t necessarily cover any new ground for me, it reinforced the same principles I’ve learned in books such as Tiny Habits, The Power of Habit, The Slight Edge, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and more. As such, I would consider it a foundational book for personal development.

On the surface, it might appear strange that I would read yet another book that covers similar ground to others I’ve found tremendously impactful, but I find it interesting to read different perspectives on the same topic. While there is plenty of overlap that reinforces the key principles, there are also nuggets of wisdom that don’t appear in the other books.

In the case of Clear’s book, he builds on the Cue-Craving-Response-Reward pattern that Charles Duhigg revealed in The Power of Habit. Using that as a basis, he provides a set of tools that you can use to implement new habits into your routine. It also provides good insight and suggestions on how to change existing routines and overcome those sticky bad habits.

One of the best parts of the book, and a part that I especially like, is that Clear doesn’t beat the topics to death. He doesn’t incorporate any filler content to meet a page count. He gets straight to the point and provides concrete actions that you can take and incorporate into your daily routine. Instead of overdoing the discussion in the book, he provides additional resources online that allow you to explore topics further or to extend and incorporate the ideas into other areas such as business or parenting. I also liked how he provides a succinct summary of key topics covered at the end of each chapter.

Atomic Habits is another addition to my Must Reads. While it may not be the authoritative source for incorporating habits into your routine, It’s a book that you should consider adding to your personal development library. I would definitely include it among those titles that I mentioned in this post a few years back: 10 Books to jump start your personal development.

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