Making meaningful changes and habits can seem like a daunting task. But the lessons taught in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear can really help.

This book completely rocked my world and changed the way I think about habits, change, and myself.

In this blog post, we will explore 5 of the most important lessons from Atomic Habits that have made a big impact on my life.

Book Summary (Atomic Habits – James Clear)

The book is all about developing good habits and breaking bad ones.

James talks about how our brain works about habit-forming and provides strategies for creating lasting change.

He shows how routines can be formed, how to make them stick, and how they can improve our lives.

The author also explains how we can change our lives by changing our habits through formulas.

Keep reading as we explore some of these formulas!

Here are the five most important lessons that I’ve learned from Atomic Habits:

Lesson #1 – Small Habits Lead To Big Changes

Post it note that says start small

The first lesson I learned from the book is that habits are the building blocks of our lives.

Our entire lives are made up of our habits.

Every action we take, every decision we make, and everything we do is a result of our habits.

If you want to change your life, you have to change your habits.

You have to start small and focus on changing one habit at a time. The book talks about how important it is to make your goals specific and measurable so you can track your progress.

I’ve always been a goal-oriented person, but this book really opened my eyes to the importance of creating systems.

These systems have supported my discipline because now my focus isn’t on the end goal only, but rather on the daily habits that will get me there.

Lesson #2 – Identifying with Habits and Habitual Identity

He breaks down why habits are so difficult to break.

The author explains that this is the case because we are focusing on the wrong habits. The second reason is that we are trying to break them in the wrong way.

By identifying with our habits, we are more likely to change them.

The book talks about how we need to focus on our identity and not our habits when trying to make a change.

It’s not about quitting smoking, it’s about becoming a non-smoker. It’s not about going to the gym, it’s about becoming someone who values their health and fitness.

When we focus on our identity, the change becomes permanent because it is part of who we are. This was a big shift in my thinking and it’s something that I’ve been working on for the past few months.

I am now focusing on who I want to be and the habits that align with that identity.

Let’s say you want to be a writer so focus on writing every day. If you want want to be someone who values their health and fitness, focus on working out and eating healthy.

Don’t do these things because that’s what you want to showcase externally, but rather to support who you are internal.

This has been a game-changer for me because it’s helped me to stay focused on my goals and it’s made the changes I’ve made permanent.

It has reminded me of who I am, and that I should remember my new identity when creating new habits.

Lesson #3 – Simplify Habitual Creation

Information overload is a real thing and it’s something that we all struggle with.

When it comes to developing new habits, we often try to do too many things at once.

The book talks about how we need to simplify our lives and focus on one habit at a time.

The author explains that the best way to simplify is by focusing on applying these 4 influences when changing your habits.

Obvious: Make your cues obvious. If you want to develop the habit of waking up early, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Attractive: Make your cues attractive. If you want to develop the habit of eating healthy, fill your fridge with healthy food so you’re more likely to eat it.

Easy: Make your tasks easy. If you want to develop the habit of working out, start by doing something simple like going for a walk.

Rewarding: Make sure you reward yourself for completing your task. If you want to develop the habit of reading, buy yourself a new book after you finish one.

By simplifying something difficult and supporting the process with these four points, you are more likely to be successful.

Lesson #4 – Motivation Often Fails; Optimize Your Environment Instead

The book talks about how motivation is often overrated and that it’s something that we often rely on too much.

The author explains that our environment has a bigger impact on our habits than our motivation does.

If you want to change your habits, you have to change your environment.

You have to make it easy for yourself to do the things you want to do and difficult for yourself to do the things you don’t want to do.

For example, if you want to develop the habit of working out, put your gym clothes next to your bed so you can put them on as soon as you wake up.

If you want to develop the habit of eating healthy, get rid of all the unhealthy food in your house.

By changing your environment, you are more likely to change your habits.

Lesson #5 – Cultural Influences

Peer pressure can have a big impact on our habits. The book discusses how the people we surround ourselves with influence our behavior.

The author explains that we are more likely to develop new habits if we surround ourselves with people with the same habits.

For example, if you want to develop the habit of working out, find a workout buddy or join a gym.

If you want to develop healthy habits, cook with friends or join a cooking class.

By surrounding yourself with people with the same goals, you are more likely to achieve your goals.

Lesson #6 – Find The Root Cause of Your Bad Habits

The book discusses how it’s important to find the root cause of bad habits.

The author explains that our bad habits are often a result of some deep underlying insecurity of past trauma.

For example, if you want to stop smoking, you have to find out why you smoke in the first place.

Do you smoke because your friends smoke? Do you smoke when you’re stressed? Do you think smoking makes you look cool?

By finding the root cause of your bad habit, you can begin to change it. This applied to me when it came to personal finances.

I was raised with bad money-spending habits and realized I didn’t know enough about finance. Fortunately, I have developed an investing mindset through continual study and implementing financial principles.

Now I have much better control over my finances and pursue financial freedom!

Related Content: The Total Money Makeover: 5 Important Lessons

Lessons from Atomic Habits (Conclusion)

I hope you found these lessons helpful.

If you’re struggling to break a bad habit, I encourage you to check out the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

The lessons taught in the book Atomic Habits helped me change my thinking about habits and how to change them.

If you have a friend or family member struggling to change their habits, feel free to send this article to them!


We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!