Make Yourself Just 1% Better Every Day: Summary of the Atomic Habits by James Clear

To uplift ourselves in this world, the only option we have is that of constant self-improvement.

Harsh Prateek
5 min readJun 10, 2022
An image that quote:- “ You can never forget your past, unless you face up to it”
Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash

Before you say it, I am certainly not qualified enough to review a book that persuaded me to start my journey of technical writing on medium.

I just got so inspired by James Clear’s writing that I just can’t wait to start a journey of my own as a writer without thinking about my lack of knowledge in any field.

It was the only book that changed me from Inside-out. It changed my perception of change in general. It made me understand that no matter what you are or how you have lived so far, you can always make a difference in the situation if you so desire and are committed to that goal.

I am going to talk in pointers from here on out so that it would be easier for everyone to see just how mind-blowing the book truly is and would also recommend reading it at least once if you want to make a change in this world and a change in yourself!

Let’s begin😉.

Some points from the books that I like the most:

  1. Making just small changes to your current habits can make a massive impact on your life.
  2. Everything you do is a result of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. Change your habits to change your results.
  3. Goals are about our results, but systems are about the process required to get to those results.
  4. To meet or exceed expectations from our goals, our focus should be on creating efficient systems for the task.
  5. If in any case, we are not getting the desired results, then the problem lies neither in our capabilities nor in our goals, it is the system that should be blamed. Change the system and replace it with a new better one.
  6. The problem with a goal-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. This way, you would never be truly happy, just running in an endless rat race to find happiness.
  7. If you want to endure the hardships of pursuing your goals, then fall in love with the system and find your happiness in the process rather than in the goal.
  8. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to permit yourself to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.
  9. To make new habits or break bad ones, you need to see the habits in small pieces and work on those small habits that are part of a larger system.
  10. Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.
  11. Work backward from the results you want to the type of person who could get those results.
  12. Being specific about what you want and how you will achieve it helps you say no to things that derail progress, distract your attention, and pull you off course.
  13. Track your progress on that new habit to get motivation from the fact that you are becoming the person you wanted to become.
  14. Making progress is satisfying, and visual measures — like moving paper clips or hairpins, or marbles — provide clear evidence of your progress. As a result, they reinforce your behavior and add a bit of immediate satisfaction to any activity.
  15. Change your environment in a way that discourages you from pursuing the bad habits by making them difficult and encourages you to pursue good habits by making them easier to do.
  16. Try out habit stacking. It is a technique that makes you pursue a bunch of habits by one habit acting as a trigger for the next. Use the habits you currently have with the habits you want to build.
  17. Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition. The more you repeat an activity, the more the structure of your brain changes to become efficient at that activity.
  18. Value the present more than the future, since what you do today would reflect in the future and not the other way round.
  19. In a perfect world, the reward for a good habit is the habit itself. In the real world, good habits tend to feel worthwhile only after they have provided you with something.
  20. Make a habit appealing in the present so that you can stick with it until it is completely automated. The more immediate the pain, the less likely the behavior.
  21. The Goldilocks principle 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.
  22. A flow state is an experience of being “in the zone” and fully immersed in an activity. Scientists have tried to quantify this feeling. They found that to achieve a state of flow, a task must be roughly 4 percent beyond your current ability.
  23. Mastery requires practice. But the more you practice something, the more boring and routine it becomes. Our interest starts to fade once the beginner gains have been made and we learn what to expect.
  24. The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us.
  25. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.
  26. Habits are necessary, but not sufficient for mastery. What you need is a combination of automatic habits and deliberate practice.
  27. Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine.


I agree that this list of ideas is nothing compared to what James Clear suggested in his book, but it is enough to give you a clear idea about how awesome the book truly is.

The book is only 250 pages or so and wouldn’t take more than a week to be read cover to cover. At least that was how long it took me to cover it😅.

Tell me in the comments, should I keep writing these kinds of articles or should I just stick to technical writing on Web development😀.

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Harsh Prateek

Hi, I am Harsh and I write about coding and learning techniques. I am a student myself and would love to tell everyone my secrets for coding and learning.