Inside: Learn how simple living and Atomic Habits pair perfectly together to help you create a more intentional life.

Are you familiar with Atomic Habits?

This book by James Clear has sold over a million copies and for a good reason. In it, Clear explains how to put an end to bad behaviors and embrace better habits that’ll improve your life – with concise actionable steps you can take today. 

It explains that you don’t have to totally overhaul everything, all at once, to make meaningful change. And, in fact, the all-or-nothing mentality is often unsuccessful.

Instead, Clear advocated for making small changes over time. Then, build on those changes as you go. These incremental adjustments can help you eventually achieve massive results

And if you’re on a mission to live more simply, the Atomic Habits strategy can help you get there.

In fact, simple living and Atomic Habits go hand in hand, complementing each other perfectly. Together, they can help you live a simpler, more meaningful, and more intentional life. 

simple living and Atomic Habits

What is simple living? 

Before we dive into how simple living and Atomic Habits pair so perfectly together, let’s take a step back and take a look at what simple living actually is

At its core, simple living is all about streamlining your life by eliminating clutter and needless distractions. It’s about finding joy in the little things, choosing to be content with what you have, and being intentional with your choices.

It’s a far departure from the consumer mentality that is constantly craving and acquiring more stuff. The focus is on keeping what you use and love and letting go of the excess while giving your attention to what matters most.

And while the shift to simple living can be challenging at times, those who adopt the lifestyle tend to embrace and enjoy it fully.

woman simple living

How do simple living and Atomic Habits work perfectly together? 

Now that you understand what simple living is, let’s look at how simple living and Atomic Habits work perfectly together.

1. Simple living and Atomic Habits encourage you to focus on your environment. 

One of the biggest ways that simple living and Atomic Habits work together? They both focus on the importance of your environment.

The spaces we exist in – and the ways that we use them – have a tremendous influence on our habits.

For instance, if we keep our living room in a constant state of clutter and disarray, we start to think it’s acceptable to throw our coats down on the back of a chair instead of hanging them up, or leaving books piled on the end table instead of returning them to the shelves.

By repeating these behaviors, we create a habit – a negative habit, as many of us would consider it.

Another example? Think about your bedroom. Your bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary, a place where you can retreat at the end of the day to relax, unwind, and get some rest.

But if you’ve got a television in your bedroom, it’s easy to make a habit of binge-watching Netflix each night before you go to bed – delaying sleep by a couple of hours and destroying the tranquility the space is intended to bring.

By ensuring that our environment reflects the simplicity we crave, we can influence our habits – and make good ones easier to develop.

simple living and Atomic Habits

2. Atomic Habits and simple living focus on making things easier.

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One of the cornerstones of simple living is embracing ease. Simplifying seeks to cut out the excess and distractions thereby making at least some aspects of life a bit easier.

And one of the primary points Clear makes in Atomic Habits is that you can’t make new habits difficult. Instead, you need to make them easy to start.

That’s where he came up with the “two-minute rule.” In theory, no new habit should take you more than two minutes to complete.

Want to get in shape? Start with two minutes of exercise – not an hour-long workout class.

Want to make cleaning and organization a habit? Try tidying up for two minutes – instead of spending a whole day struggling to stay focused.

Trying to read more books? Tell yourself you’ll read for two minutes each day and increase from there, instead of overcommitting and trying – and failing – to read a book a week. 

This two-minute rule will not only help you earn some quick wins and find the motivation you need to maintain these habits, but it’s also a great way to introduce new practices into your life in a simple and stress-free way.

friends celebrating

3. Simple living and Atomic Habits encourage reflection and celebration.

When you embrace simple living, one of the main ideas is being happy with what you already have – instead of constantly reaching for more.

Celebrating your decluttering wins along the way will motivate you to continue with the process. By reveling in the small victories, you’ll be encouraged to keep making progress toward your goals.

Once you’ve simplified your home and your life, developing decluttering habits will help you to maintain your results.

Similarly, with Atomic Habits, a big part of the process is celebrating your success – the incremental change you’ve been able to achieve. By reflecting on your wins on a daily or weekly basis, you can see just how far you’ve come – even when those changes initially seem small.

By recognizing your progress and acknowledging the success you’ve already seen, you’ll find the motivation you need to maintain your habits and build upon them – without becoming too ambitious and burning yourself out. 

woman journaling

4. Simple living and Atomic Habits benefit from routine. 

Simple living helps to reduce stress and make your life simpler – and that’s exactly what habits can do for you.

By making something a habit, it becomes automatic. You need less willpower and energy to perform the action over time. Eventually, those habits can become something you do without even thinking about it.

This aligns perfectly with the philosophy of Atomic Habits. Clear explains that one of the easiest ways to incorporate a new habit into your life is to “stack” that habit – in other words, to pair it with an action that has already become routine for you.

Want to start flossing every day? Stack that habit with brushing your teeth – something you’re already doing each morning and evening. After you brush, grab the floss and get to work. 

Want to begin a journaling practice? Stack that habit with your morning coffee and write as you sip your latte. 

By incorporating these habits into a natural place in your pre-existing routine, it makes it easier to create and maintain your desired habits. 

simple living and Atomic Habits

5. Atomic Habits and simple living help you to live intentionally.

The thing that I love most about Atomic Habits and simple living is that they both help you to be more intentional with your life.

Atomic Habits helps you to be purposeful in creating small habits that will move you toward your goals. By automating your desired behaviors you’re making important incremental changes that can add up to be life-changing.

Simple living seeks to help you weed out the extra stuff in your home and in your life. It saves you time so that you can focus on your highest priorities.

By using Atomic Habits to further support your desire for living simply, you can free up more time for what matters most to you. By being efficient with the things that you have to do, you’ll have more time for the things you need or want to do.

Combining small habits with simplifying will further your journey of living a more deliberate and intentional life.

Have you read Atomic Habits? How do you see it pairing with living simply? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. I hadn’t heard of the book Atomic Habits previously. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ve already checked it out of the library!

  2. i have read the atomic habits book ny James clear. and this book and its content help me to think more clearly about my Life and my routines. i have been using its wisdom to improve my Life in many diffetent ways. putting simple Life and atomic habits togheter could be more powerfull for someone who wants to enhance his or her Life.

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