Goal patrol

Book review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Reviewer: Milly Gamlin, Freeskier


I am a skier. I love it, and I want to get better. So I am setting some ski goals for 2020. I want to ski every black run at Mt Buller, and do a 360. But I have set many goals before, and only sometimes get there. What can we learn to give us the best chance? 

Enter James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. According to Clear, the reason most people don’t reach that final destination is because it is actually the creation of new habits that forms the pathway to actualising goals, and this can be challenging. Setting a goal is creating a ‘direction’ to aim towards; however the ‘process’ of how to get there is infinitely more important than the outcome. 

The advice is motivating, by offering simple hacks such as habit-stacking, creating a motivation-ritual, reducing friction, the Two-Minute Rule, amongst others. The easy toolkit offered by Clear reminds you that achieving any goal is attributed to the humble acts of showing up and sticking-with-it. 

Skiers beginning their goal-setting for 2020 can benefit from techniques that reframe their mindset, such as building ‘identity-based habits’ that focus on who they wish to become, rather than what they want to achieve. Instead of brooding ‘I am a beginner wannabe who is attempting (but might never be able) to do a 360’, choose to think ‘I am a freestyle skier who is training to do a 360’. If you have identified you lack sensitivity in your edging, but can’t seem to muster the spirit to practice slow drills on moderate terrain, try the ‘Habit Stacking’ technique such as ‘after eating nachos at Koflers, I will do 3 drills with my friend, who will help coach me.

James Clear explains that by making habits obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying, anyone can master a new goal, from ski goals to life goals. 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones By James Clear

Published October 16th 2018 by Avery.

Buy from Amazon now.