Book review: James Clear – “Atomic Habits”


Although I usually stay away from “self-improvement”” books, I bought the book as it has been recommended in a blog. In short, this is one of the best books I have read for a long time.

The author lays out a framework for how to improve any aspect of life by focusing on samll, continuous improvements. This doesn’t sound mauch but for  me changed a lot.

Everyone knows the new years resolution: You want to start the new year by exercising more, eating healthier etc. Often we start enthusiasticly, running a 10k, eating less for two weeks or we actually don’t do anything at all.

The author promotes a very easy concept: First, if you want to improve, start with very small steps. Instead of running a 10k right away, just set yourself the goal to put on your running shoes and nothing else. That is a much easier goal and the idea is that once you have put your shoes on, you can also do some running. If you directly aim for a 10k or so, you will find many excuses why today is not a good day etc.

Or don’t set yourself the goal to read a book a week if you Haven’t done a lot of reading before. Just go for one page a day and  then see what happens if you open up that book every day….

The same goes for bad habit that one wants to get rid off. In order to stop bad habits, one should try to make it more difficult.

The main message of the book that resonates well with anyone reading Warren Buffett and the stoics: Small, consistent changes “compound” into significant long-term effects. The book contains a lot of very helpful tools to implement the ideas plus many examples of people who applied these principles.

Many of the lessons can be very easily applied to investing. For myself I applied for instance the following “habit”: My blog output has decreased a lot because I have less time. In the past, I would not even start to write many days as I thought that I will never get a good post done in time. Now, I just open WordPress with the goal to write exactly 1 line. Sometimes I just do that, sometimes I do a lot more.

So as a summary: I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks there is some improvement in daily life…..


  • LookingForValue

    Haven’t read the book but the process sounds a lot like Kaizen 🙂 and as Investors we do know that Kaizen works
    Another great book on this topic is “One small step can change your life” by Robert Maurer but according to your review both books share the same ideas

  • I don’t use to comment on your posts but let’s try to begin this habit … thank you very much it looks quite interesting

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