I Read Atomic Habits In Half the Time

I just finished the book Atomic Habits by James Clear today. Well, I actually read it in about half the time using Speechify. No, I’m not sponsoring them, I’m just a big fan.

Speechify is an app and browser extension that can read PDFs, articles, and just about any text you put into it. I predominantly use it on my phone.

I just started using it just over a week ago and it's been a fantastic way to get some reading in without having to sit down to read.

Here are the main points I picked up while listening to Atomic Habits at twice the speed.

What I Learned from Atomic Habits

Habits Shape Your Identity

The primary theme throughout the book is that habits shape your identity.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

If you eat lots of junk food and sit on the couch while watching TV, you have the identity of a lazy person. If you go to the gym and workout every day you’ll have the identity of a healthy person. The habits you partake in daily shape who you are.

From what I’ve read the best way to shape your successful identity is by practicing success inducing habits. James Clear goes over a few ways to manage your habits.

The 4 Laws of Behavior Change

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

(1) Make it obvious

(2) Make it attractive

(3) Make it easy

(4) Make it satisfying

In Atomic Habits, James Clear goes over each of these laws in detail. Here’s a summary of each:

  1. Identify your bad habits from your good habits
  2. Make your good habits attractive to do
  3. Create an environment or situation that makes performing your habits easy
  4. Make doing your habits enjoyable or difficult to avoid

Tracking your Habits

The part of Atomic Habits that resonated with me the most was the part about habit tracking. Habit tracking can be done on paper or as in one example, you can move a paper clip from one jar to an empty jar for each time you successfully complete a habit.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

James Clear goes over the many ways you can track habits, such as by writing it on paper or writing an “X” on a day on the calendar. I took inspiration from Atomic Habit’s advice and created a habit tracker for myself.

I found a fantastic way to track multiple habits at once. I used Notion to set it up. Here’s what my habit tracker looks like:

You can see that I’m tracking all sorts of numbers and streaks using this table. I even took inspiration from bullet journaling and jotted my mood down for each day.

Using a habit tracker like this so far has really helped me get focused on what I want to get good at or sustain. Like my health or education.

Optimizing Your Environment for Habit Change

Another part of the book that spoke to me was the sections about changing your environment to fit your ideal identity.

Photo by Gene Jeter on Unsplash

For example, if you want to gain more upper body mass, set out your free-weights in an easy-to-access area. If you want to watch less TV, unplug it, or even put it into a closet. If you want to start eating more healthy, prepare healthy food the night before and put it in the front of your fridge, put the junk food in the back or in the trash.

Simple environmental changes like this can mean the difference between a healthy lifestyle or a unhealthy one. Moving things around in your home or workspace can make a huge impact on how you behave. Throwing junk food away will make it an inconvenience to get more. Putting healthy prepared meals in front of your fridge makes it more convenient to opt for a better habit.

The way our house or workspace is ordered identifies what type of person we are. It defines us.


Photo by Natasha Connell on Unsplash

Even though I listened to Atomic Habits at 2x speed and even missed out on the images that were inserted throughout the book, my comprehension rate is definitely much higher than it usually is when consuming information that quickly. I occasionally listened and read at the same time.

I enjoyed listening to Atomic Habits while walking around my house. I’m the type of person that needs to move to keep my mind sharp.

Overall, my experience reading Atomic Habits has been a good one, I’ll write about what book I read next!




I skipped college, now I write for fun and not for grades.

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