5 Life-Changing Books Like Atomic Habits

I’m an all-or-nothing person, so my habits are crucial.

It’s all too easy for me to slip into the vortex of despair if I don’t maintain my healthy routines.

Whether that’s exercising regularly or writing on this blog, I know I need to create rituals to facilitate positive behavior and help me feel like a happy camper.

Cue James Clear and his breakout bestseller Atomic Habits.

While I’d read his blog for a few years, this book went deep into the theory and science of habit formation, which inspired me to overhaul my productivity system.

You can read my summary here.

I’ve since read a number of other books that have either improved my understanding of the topic or have provided the inspiration to keep going.

Note: You can listen to them on a free Audible trial by clicking here.

Anyways, here they are…

Books like Atomic Habits

1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a groundbreaking work that uncovers the science behind why we do what we do.

By exploring the neurological habits that drive our behavior, Duhigg reveals that habits are not simply choices we make; they are complex neurological patterns that are deeply ingrained in our brains.

And once we understand how habits work, we can begin to change them.

Duhigg draws on cutting-edge research to show that habits are formed through a three-step process:

First, we cue our brains to start a particular behavior; then, we engage in the behavior; and finally, we receive a reward that reinforces the neurological pattern.

Over time, these cues and rewards become so intertwined that we no longer have conscious control over our actions.

However, by understanding how this process works, we can begin to change our habits.

Pros

  • Provides a detailed, scientific explanation of how habits are formed and why they are so difficult to change.
  • Offers actionable advice for changing bad habits and forming good ones.
  • Offers plenty of real-world examples.

Cons

  • Duhigg does not always provide concrete solutions for changing bad habits.
  • Some readers may find the science behind habit formation to be overwhelming.

Bottom line

The Power of Habit is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand why they do what they do – and how they can change their behavior for the better.

With its insights into human nature, it has the potential to transform lives and organizations alike.

2. Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

In his book Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg lays out a framework for making lasting behavior changes.

The core idea is that small, achievable changes are more likely to become habits than large ones.

For example, rather than resolving to go to the gym every day, it might be more effective to start by going just once a week.

Once that becomes a habit, then other healthy behaviors can be added on top.

Fogg’s approach is based on the science of behavior change, and he provides concrete tools and tips for putting his framework into practice.

The book also includes case studies of people who have used Tiny Habits to make significant changes in their lives.

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or just get more organized, this book will show you how to make lasting changes – one tiny habit at a time.

Pros

  • Fogg’s framework is based on the science of behavior change.
  • The book provides concrete tools and tips for putting the framework into practice.
  • The book includes case studies of people who have used Tiny Habits to make significant changes in their lives.

Cons

  • Some readers may find the concept of “tiny habits” to be too simplistic.
  • The book does not always provide concrete solutions for changing bad habits.

Bottom line

Overall, Tiny Habits is an accessible and practical guide for anyone looking to make positive changes in their life.

Click here to read my summary of the book.

3. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard’s book is a comprehensive guide to improving your productivity and achieving success.

The material begins with a self-assessment to help you determine your areas of opportunity.

It then outlines six essential habits that all high performers share: clarity, energy, drive, necessity, productivity, and influence.

Each habit is explained in detail, and readers are given practical tips for incorporating them into their own lives.

The book also includes an action plan to help you get started immediately.

The main differentiator between this and Atomic Habits is that Brendon covers which habits will create the greatest ROI in your life and why you should implement them, while James Clear tackles more of the theory and science behind general habit formation.

Overall, High Performance Habits is an immensely helpful resource for anyone looking to take their performance to the next level.

Pros

  • The book is inspirational in helping you change your life for the better
  • The self-assessment at the beginning of the book is very helpful.
  • The book includes an action plan to help you get started immediately.

Cons

  • The book does not always provide concrete solutions for changing bad habits.
  • Some readers may find the self-assessment to be overwhelming.

Bottom line

High Performance Habits is a comprehensive and motivational guide for anyone looking to improve their productivity and achieve success.

Check out my summary of the book here.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a self-help book that outlines a simple yet effective morning routine that can be used to improve your life in a number of ways.

Again, the important differentiator here is that this book focuses on the best habits to implement for success, specifically in the morning after waking.

I’m a huge believer in this, as I’ve found my morning routine has been essential for increasing my output and overall wellbeing, providing a sense of satisfaction that a succession of positive habits have helped me win the day.

The core of the routine in the book is what Elrod calls the “Life S.A.V.E.R.S”; silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing.

By taking just a few minutes each morning to practice these activities, you can dramatically improve your productivity, creativity, happiness, and physical health.

In addition, the book includes a number of stories and case studies from people who have used the Miracle Morning routine to achieve their goals.

Pros

  • The book is inspirational and provides a practical framework for change.
  • The morning routine outlined in the book is simple yet effective.
  • The book includes a number of stories and case studies from people who have used the morning routine to achieve their goals.

Cons

  • Morning routines are just one piece of the habit formation puzzle.
  • Some readers may find the morning routine developing a morning routine difficult in practice.

Bottom line

Whether you’re looking to boost your career, start a business, lose weight, or just live a happier and more fulfilled life, The Miracle Morning provides an excellent framework to help you get there.

Check out my summary of the book here.

5. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge is a book about how success is not the result of massive action, but the accumulation of small, consistent steps over time.

I would say this book takes a more unique look at the foundational mindset needed for habit formation, while Atomic Habits is grounded in the practicalities of habit research.

The book starts with the story of two men, one who became a successful businessman and one who became a homeless alcoholic.

The difference between the two was not their IQ or their circumstances, but their habits.

The successful man had developed the habit of taking small steps every day to improve his life, while the other man had developed the habit of making poor choices that ultimately led to his downfall.

The important message here is that these decisions are often tiny and appear inconsequential, but compounded over time, they make a huge difference.

The book then goes on to explain how habits are formed and how they can be used to create success in any area of life.

The author provides specific examples and actionable advice throughout the book, making it an essential read for anyone looking to create lasting change in their lives.

Pros

  • The book provides an inspirational and uplifting message about the power of small, consistent steps.
  • The author provides specific examples from his own life and actionable advice throughout the book.
  • The book is well-written and is a real page-turner if you enjoy personal development.

Cons

  • The book does not provide any new or groundbreaking information on habits or success.
  • Some readers may find the author’s tone a bit too motivational for their taste.

Bottom line

The Slight Edge is a well-written book that provides an inspiring message about the power of small, consistent steps.

If you are looking for a practical guide on how to create lasting change in your life, this book is worth a read.

See my summary of book here.

Summary

Training yourself to stick to positive routines is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing.

Any goals, from fitness to meditation, require discipline and repetition to reap the full benefits.

In this way, good habits are the cornerstone of a successful life.

The books I recommend above have helped me immensely, so I hope you enjoy them just as much!