May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it felt like a great time to read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. No matter where you are in your mental health journey, I think there are always small, actionable goals we can each add into our daily routine to propel us closer to where we ultimately want to be.
That is really the idea behind this book! An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is simple to do, but enables you over time to make big changes in your life. I liked that the ideas in this book could be easily applied to every area of your life, from fitness to spirituality.
This is the perfect book to pick up if you have been struggling to make a new habit or routine stick in your life. The main theme that this book teaches is that small everyday improvements and consistency are what ultimately lead to incredible results.
Clear discusses how bad habits are hard to break not because humans don’t have strong willpower, but more likely because the way we are trying to break our bad habits isn’t setting us up for success.
One of my favorite takeaways is the idea of habit stacking. This is the concept of linking the new habit you want to do on top of a habit you already always do. For example, I have been working to build a better morning routine for myself over the last few months. If I want to make sure I get up and work out every morning, I should sandwich my morning workout between brushing my teeth and eating breakfast — two things I already do each day.
Clear also discusses how important it is to be cognizant of the way we speak to ourselves. I know everyone has heard the expression, but our thoughts truly do become things! Identity becomes your “proof of being” while forming habits. Telling yourself “I am a reader,” even if you don’t feel like you have fully developed the habit yet, will make you more confident and dedicated to building that good habit.
What I really appreciate about “Atomic Habits” is that it goes far beyond the realm of typical self-help novels. Each chapter is a lesson with truly actionable ideas that you can use to implement real change in your life. You will walk away not only feeling inspired, but actually empowered with a plan on how to get started.
As James Clear writes, we must remember: “Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
Stay tuned for more monthly book reviews!
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