I try to write a summary of what I learned from a book soon after I finish reading it so that I can remember it better. For this particular one, I guess I don’t really need to because the author James Clear did it himself. But I’m going to anyways because I’ll remember it better if it’s in my own words.

My personal takeaways are as follows:

  • Small habits are really important. You can make huge self-improvements by accumulating many small changes.
  • Be less “goal oriented” and more “identity oriented”. A habit is more durable if it’s just part of “who you are” as opposed to if you’re just trying to hit some arbitrary goal. I want to be the type of person who works out most days.
  • Construct your environment such that habits happen by default. Don’t make it so that you need to summon a huge amount of willpower each day to make yourself do the thing.
  • You need to be reliable. Try to make your habits automatic parts of your day.
  • Try to keep the streak going, but also, don’t make it all-or-nothing in your mind. Missing a day is bad, but you can recover! Get right back up and make sure you do it the next day.
  • Make it as easy as possible. If you really don’t feel like working out, then work out for 5 minutes. Conquer that decisive moment. Maybe you’ll end up working out for 20 minutes.
  • Tracking your habits can turn into a reward. You’ll want to check off that you did it each day. But whatever you track will be the thing you optimize, so make sure it’s the right thing.

Here are the really useful cheat sheets that James Clear put together: