Atomic Habits by James Clear - Book Summary and Review Part-3

This is the final part of the summary of Atomic Habits and it's review.  For part-1 and part-2, check  Atomic Habits Part-1  and Atomic Habits Part-2.

Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits



The 1st Law: Make It Obvious

  • Fill out the Habits Scorecard. Write down your current habits to become aware of them.
  • Use implementation intentions: “I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
  • Use habit stacking: “After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”
  • Design your environment. Make the cues of good habits obvious and visible.

The 2nd Law:Make It Attractive

  • Use temptation bundling. Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  • Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.
  • Create a motivation ritual. Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

The 3rd Law: Make It Easy

  • Reduce friction. Decrease the number of steps between you and your good habits.
  • Prime the environment. Prepare your environment to make future actions easier.
  • Master the decisive moment. Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact.
  • Use the Two-Minute Rule. Downscale your habits until they can be done in two minutes or less.
  • Automate your habits. Invest in technology and onetime purchases that lock in future behavior.

The 4th Law: Make It Satisfying

  • Use reinforcement. Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your habit.
  • Make “doing nothing” enjoyable. When avoiding a bad habit, design a way to see the benefits.
  • Use a habit tracker. Keep track of your habit streak and “don’t break the chain.”
  • Never miss twice. When you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately.


Inversion of the 1st Law: Make It Invisible

  • Reduce exposure. Remove the cues of your bad habits from your environment.

Inversion of the 2nd Law: Make It Unattractive

  • Reframe your mind-set. Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits.

Inversion of the 3rd Law: Make It Difficult

  • Increase friction. Increase the number of steps between you and your bad habits.
  • Use a commitment device. Restrict your future choices to the ones that benefit you.

Inversion of the 4th Law: Make It Unsatisfying

  • Get an accountability partner. Ask someone to watch your behavior.
  • Create a habit contract. Make the costs of your bad habits public and painful.

Genetic Factor:

  • Habits are easier to perform, and more satisfying to stick with, when they align with your natural inclinations and abilities. The key is to direct your effort toward areas that both excite you and match your natural skills, to align your ambition with your ability.
  • Explore/exploit: Explore multiple things till you find your thing and exploit it.


  • When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. Even if you’re not the most naturally gifted, you can often win by being the best in a very narrow category.

Sustaining a habit:

  • The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right. Once a habit has been established, it’s important to continue to advance in small ways. These little improvements and new challenges keep you engaged. And if you hit the Goldilocks Zone just right, you can achieve a flow state.
  • At some point it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day.  Set variable rewards to tackle it. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.


  • When you can do it “good enough” on autopilot, you stop thinking about how to do it better. Habits are necessary, but not sufficient for mastery. Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery
  • Establish a system for reflection and review.
  • Avoid making any single aspect of your identity an overwhelming portion  of who you are. "The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail." —LAO TZU


Atomic Habits is the most detailed book on building and breaking habits. It doesn't preach about doing a thing for 21 days to make it a habit. It acknowledges how difficult it is to make or break a habit and has solutions for every kind of obstacle we may face in the process of building a habit, sustaining it and achieving mastery. 

Rating: 4/5



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