• Toby Sinclair

Tiny Habits vs Atomic Habits | Which should you read?

Updated: Feb 21

In this post, I explore two of the most popular habit books: Tiny Habits vs Atomic Habits


Both of these books have the potential to transform your life in dramatic ways.

"The outcomes in your life are the lagging measure of your habits - there are no high performance people only high performance habits."

- James Clear Atomic Habits


I first read Atomic Habits in January 2019. I was looking for tips on how to develop better habits. This book literally changed my life.


My physical and mental health improved dramatically.


Fast forward a few years and many of these habits have been sustained.


My success was amplified by reading Tiny Habits in January 2020.


12 months later this reinforced many of the ideas in Atomic Habits.


I've also had great success applying atomic habits in business.


To help you understand the difference between Tiny Habits vs Atomic Habits I share:


tiny habits vs atomic habits

Tiny Habits vs Atomic Habits vs .....??


There are 100s of habit books. I've read most of them. I've summarised the best 12 habit books in this free e-book.


In less than 5 minutes you'll get the big ideas and best quotes.


12 Best Habit Books

✏️ One-Sentence Summary


Atomic Habits highlights the power of compounding habits. How focusing on systems, not goals is what will lead to your success.


Tiny Habits introduces the Fogg Behaviour Model. A way to help you design your Tiny Habits.


📊 The Facts


Atomic Habits

  • Length: 277 pages

  • Publication Date: 18th October 2018

  • Amazon Rating: 4.7 / 5

Tiny Habits

  • Length: 310 pages

  • Publication Date: 31st December 2019

  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 / 5


💰 Unique Value Proposition


Atomic Habits unique value is its focus on systems vs goals. Through powerful stories, it provides practical ways to improve your systems.


Another interesting angle is the focus on identity-based change.


James Clear Identity Habits

Source: https://medium.com/@jamesclear/identity-based-habits-how-to-actually-stick-to-your-goals-bc8cde3c8e22


Tiny Habits value lies in the Fogg Behaviour Model. A simple way to understand how behaviour happens so that you can better change your habits.



💡 The 3 Big Ideas


A comparison showing the big ideas between tiny habits vs atomic habits


Atomic Habits:

  1. Small improvements lead to remarkable results.

  2. Focus less on goals. Focus more on systems.

  3. Change who you are by what you do. Identity-based habits are crucial.


Tiny Habits:

  1. Create a constellation of habits, tiny in size but big on impact.

  2. B = MAP – Behaviour happens when motivation & ability & prompt converge at the same moment.

  3. Behaviour change is a skill that can be mastered.


💬 The 3 Best Quotes


James Clear Atomic Habits

Habits are the compound interest of improvement."
"Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress."
"Real behavioural change is identity change."

BJ Fogg Tiny Habits

“There are three ways to change behaviour: have an epiphany, change the environment, change habits in tiny ways.”
"Willpower is a myth. Bad habits are due to design flaws, not character flaws."
"If you plant behaviour in the right spot it will grow without coaxing."

Tobys Top Takeaways


Atomic Habits:


Atomic Habits started my passion for building and breaking habits. I've used many of the cheat sheets provided by James Clear to improve my habit systems. For example, the first one I used was the habit scorecard. This helped to identify good, neutral and bad habits based upon my desired identity.


I've also seen huge success applying Atomic Habits ideas in the workplace. In this summary, I expand how you can apply atomic habits in business


Tiny Habits:


Since reading Tiny Habits I have explained the Fogg Behaviour model to 100's of people. The power of the model is its simplicity and application. I've used the model to build tons of new habits. One, in particular, is the habit of writing book summaries. After reading Tiny Habits I used the approach to design a tiny habit: one sentence book summaries. This has now grown to full-blown book summaries you are reading now. This shows the power of planting a habit in the right place and letting it grow.


I expand on my takeaways in this Tiny Habits summary


📗 Conclusion: Which should you read?


Both 😃


But if you could only read one, I would suggest Atomic Habits. The primary reason is James Clears writing style. He expresses complex ideas in clear ways with brilliant stories. His personal story, which he shares at the start of the book, is very inspirational.


At the very least I'd recommend reading my summary of Tiny Habits. Learning the Fogg Behavioural Model is a great complement to Atomic Habits.


📚 Bonus: 12 Great Habit Books


I've read tons of books on habits. I know it can be daunting to select which book to read. Here I have compiled the 12 best books on habits.


Best Habit Books

I've also created a free eBook of the 12 best habit books.


You'll learn the big ideas and best quotes from these books in less than 5 minutes.



12 Best Habit Books