Atomic Habits Summary | Happy Investors
15 september 2022 
7 min. read

Atomic Habits Summary | Happy Investors

People believe you need to think big when trying to transform your life. But James Clear, a famous specialist on habits, has found a better alternative. In this summary of Atomic Habits, you will read the essence of his book.

He is aware that true change results from the sum of many small actions, such as completing two push-ups per day, waking up five minutes earlier, or making a single brief phone call. He refers to them as "atomic habits."

He talks more about this in his book Atomic Habits. In this article, you will find the key concepts and ideas from this book.

About Atomic Habits

Atomic habits is a breakthrough guide for changing your life with small behavioral changes.

It teaches you how you can start now by making even the simplest changes to improve your life.

In this groundbreaking work, Clears describes how these tiny changes can evolve into results that can drastically transform your life.

Within our Happy Investors philosophy of achieving financial freedom, we also apply the power of habits. Consider developing rituals that contribute to personal development. Thanks to a growth mindset, our knowledge increases, making more impact and resulting in more income. Extra income which we can invest in stocks, the best etoro ETFs, real estate and more. 

We also apply habits in our behavior to investing. Think fixed rules of thumb for buying and selling stocks. Or keeping one fixed date for monthly investing in ETFs and real estate funds. 

It's the small habits that lead to exponential returns in the long run. A true outcome of the compound effect. And this summary of Atomic Habits will help you realize it.

About James clear

James Clear is a writer and speaker who focuses on habits, decision-making, and continuous self-development. He is the writer of Atomic Habits, a #1 New York Times bestseller. The book has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

James Clear, one of the leading experts on habit formation, is famous for his ability to simplify complicated concepts into actions that are simple to implement in daily life and the workplace. 

In the book Atomic Habits, he applies the most scientifically supported theories from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to produce a simple guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.

What are atomic habits?

summary-atomic-habits

Atomic habits are a concept developed by James Clear that consists of changing certain habits. These are customs that, when modified, will improve the quality of life, doing so from a scientifically rigorous position.

Specifically, the author refers to the small habits that are part of a much higher whole. In this sense, he affirms that actions represent a part of a system of beliefs and assumptions that are part of the identity of each person.

Clear proposes detailed work to improve daily habits. Starting with the little things to give big steps in the long term. Thus, all of these activities are all interconnected with each other to achieve continuous improvement.

Some of the points Clear raises involve:

1. Self-improvement

The need to change habits is a matter of self-improvement. Therefore, it begins with small steps, that means just 1% daily. The atomic name is made as a metaphor referring to the atoms of nature that make up the molecules.

2. Construction of a system

In every organization, whatever its size and activity, the aim is to maximize profits. Nevertheless, Clear proposes to put aside traditional approaches. 

Usually, the starting point was the definition of the vision, the mission, the strategy, and the long, short, and medium-term objectives. In contrast to this, the method proposed by Clear supports the possibility of leaving aside the development of objectives and goals in the first stage of strategic planning. 

In this way, he considers that doing that tends to restrict or limit. For example, when we say: "When I achieve this or that, I will be happy". Thus, happiness is limited to another matter, when countless other things can also provide happiness without having to buy a luxurious car or house, or any other good.

So, from Clear's perspective, it will be necessary and convenient to change habits by emphasizing what you want to achieve and not traditional goals or objectives. Thus, it is possible to reach the desired position through various paths, without the need to feel each of the stages that are fulfilled as success or failure.

The proposal consists of the systemic vision of desires, leaving aside the final product. It will be reached in the same way, but finding satisfaction and joy in each of the stages that are traveled until reaching it. Atomic habits are what participate in the construction of these systems.

3. Establish what you want to be

In the systemic vision of desires that Clear proposes, you decide the kind of person you want to become. You make small changes that come from the atomic habits that will allow you to achieve what you want to be. 

For example, if the desire is to read a book, you consider the possibility of reading a page daily, to reach the total reading. You don't need to be discouraged by the possibility of finishing it already.

Or whenever you want to with investing. You don't have to formulate the perfect investment strategy all at once. From our experience, we know that your investment strategy evolves contently. Those who are young would want to start with growth stocks. But those approaching retirement will want to target their portfolio with lower-risk assets like bonds and one or more dividend ETF

What matters is that you just start. Over time, you gain knowledge. Of course, it is necessary to take good courses in investing first. This will give you the right foundation to make a good start. After all, investing has risks to money loss. But you don't want to put off starting until it leads to procrastination. After all, the best start is today to make your money pay off in the long run.

4. Impact on Identity

The change in atomic habits has a direct impact on identity since it implies realigning it. Each routine of daily tasks has a direct relationship with it since it is repetitive. 

Your routine makes your brain create reactions to different situations, adopting the same behavior. This becomes a habit that will directly influence the degree of stress and knowledge positively, increasing your well-being.

In time, these habits turn into an identity. Suppose you exercise for 30 minutes every day (this is something I myself have done for many years). When asked why you do this, you will initially respond "I want a fit body." But at some point, after years of persistence, you will respond "because I am an athlete." Your identity has changed. You exercise because you are an athlete. That's who you are. 

From this perspective, small habits can lead to an identity with (high) standards. This is one of the key lessons from a summary of Atomic Habits. You are as how you think. Thoughts lead to actions. But performing many of the same actions will also influence your thoughts. Until you think no differently. 

I am an athlete. I am successful. I am social. I am happy. I am free.

5. Stability of the environment

If you want to eliminate bad habits, you must eliminate all the signals that trigger them. This way we avoid the temptation to continue with bad behavior. In this sense, it is fundamental to have a stable environment. This provides clear and concrete signals that contribute to the change of atomic habits.

It is a great idea to search for new environments that allow absorbing the signals that contribute to the improvement of habits.

The laws of behavior in atomic habits

Changing habits implies developing virtues such as perseverance, time, effort, and dedication. Starting from this base, you need to develop some rules of behavior that contribute to it. 

1. Make it obvious

To be clear and easily remember the habit you are working on, you have to outline an obvious idea. Then, you must think of something precise, clear, and concrete. It must be completely adapted to the usual environment so that it is always remembered what it is that it is intended to do.

This is based on the characteristics of the functioning of the brain that can take in information, detect lived experiences and recognize signals from the environment. This is how situations that are repeated are standardized. Therefore, to implement the change it will be necessary to rationalize the behavior.

2. Make it attractive

If you want to improve your habits, you mustn't see it as a burden, or something you do unwillingly. Change must be pleasant, and attractive. It has to be pleasant so that you feel interested in changing and contributing to it in all their actions.

3. Make it easy

It is necessary to create opportunities to change habits that are easy and simple. When the tasks involved meet these types of characteristics, they are not scary. The person quickly gets involved and takes the necessary steps for change and makes them iterative.

4. Make it satisfying 

In every effort, it is crucial to see that we achieve something. That is, feeling that by achieving a change in habits we get some kind of reward. This does not necessarily consist of material goods or money. 

At the same time, it collaborates to encourage continuity in the task of changing habits, promoting continuous improvement. In this way, the process itself becomes more and more satisfying.

Did you find this summary of Atomic Habits helpful? Do you have any additions or questions regarding this summary or the book? Leave your comment below!

About the author
Happy Investors is all about your long-term growth, both financially and in personal development. We write about long-term investing: stocks, real estate, crypto, and alternative investments. Grow your life. Become a Happy Investor!
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