Books about habits dominate the New York Times Bestseller list. There are hundreds of books written about habits, and more books on the subject are released every year. It can feel overwhelming to try and read them all.
I know your time is valuable, so I will share what I learned from the best three books about habits with you.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg explores the question, “Why do we do what we do?”
Atomic Habits by James Clear considers, “How tiny changes can transform your life.”
Addictive Habits Changing For Good by David R. Dunham addresses, “The tension between choice and disease in addictive and harmful habits .”
I will give a brief introduction to the author, his book, and the central truth presented. I will explain how I came across the resource and how it has impacted me as well.
I will also include some additional resources at the end of this article.
Books About Habits- Why We Do What We Do.
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation in our lives and Smarter Faster Better, about the science of productivity.
What is the central concept presented? Habits can be changed if we understand how they work. Duhigg provides an in-depth scientific look at why some habits fail and others succeed. A comprehensive guide for those who want to know how habits work and can change. Well worth the read if you have an abundance of time.
Habits shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense. Charles Duhigg
I read The Power of Habits because an article by Michael Hyatt stoked my interest in the book and the topic.
The Power of Habits helped me to understand why habits form and how they change. It gave me hope that transformation was still possible and provided a scientific rationale for that belief.
Changing our habits is possible, but dramatic steps are not always necessary to make them happen.
Books About Habits – How tiny changes can transform your life.
James Clear has been writing about habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement since 2012 at jamesclear.com. Atomic Habits is a New York Times bestseller with over a million copies sold.
What is the central concept presented? Tiny changes matter. A one percent improvement every day is more sustainable and prosperous than a massive shift in behavior and can motivate life-changing habits.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” James Clear
I read Atomic Habits because I was already a longtime follower of the author’s blog. I am a fan of the practical advice he provides through his weekly newsletter on Thursdays.
Atomic Habits helped me understand that tiny changes, compounded over time, can lead to new habits, and most importantly, a new identity. It helped me focus on who I wanted to be (A club-level tennis player) and then form tiny continual habits (daily practice, diet changes) that supported that identity.
But not all habits are created equal. Some habits can become harmful addictions.
Books About Habits – The tension between choice and disease in addictive and harmful habits.
David R. Dunham ministers to people struggling with addictions; he is a pastor of counseling and discipleship who writes about ministry, counseling, and addiction for the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
What is the central concept presented? Dunham contends that the Bible has a lot to say about overcoming addictions and the shame that accompanies them.
Dunham states that “Our modern context has two dominant ways of speaking about the nature of addiction. It speaks about addiction as being a disease or a choice. Either your addiction is beyond your control and the result of a bad brain or your addiction is entirely your choice and, to stop, you need to choose differently. Of course, the lived experience of addicts tells us something else. It tells us that addictions navigate a unique terrain between voluntarism and sickness. We are both responsible for our choices and yet enslaved to them”.
You become what you worship. If we worship our way into the problem of addiction, we must worship our way out, too. David Dunham
I discovered Dunham’s book through Brad Hambrick.
Addictive Habits provided an encouraging daily devotional that helped me understand the root causes of my harmful habits and overcome them with God’s help.
I read this book for the first time while I was trying to understand how addictions worked. I discovered that this book is not just for the addict. I have read this devotional multiple times. It is one of my favorite books, and I think it could become one of yours.
Call To Action
Why not take a tiny step toward change today?
If you love to read, The Power of Habit is the authoritative text on the science of why habits are created, broken, or maintained.
If you have limited time to read, Atomic Habits is the practical guide on habits, how they work, and how to change them that you need.
If you can spare five minutes a day, Addictive Habits Changing For Good is the book you need to read.
If you hate to read, watch Forget Big Change, Start With A Tiny Habit by BJ Fogg. It will make you laugh and think differently about changing habits.