Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
I read and enjoyed The Power of Habit, but Rubin’s book is the one I’d recommend – it’s easier to read, and easier to think about how to put the information to practice in your own life. Written in a friendly and relatable style, it’s just more accessible.
Rubin has a gift at relating new information in a way that makes it so blindingly obvious, you wonder why on earth you never realized it before. Recognizing your personality tendencies, and how that relates to habits? Genius. Acknowledging the dangers of rewards, being prepared to take advantage of a clean slate, and the power of pairing were all fantastic, and very thought-provoking and motivating. It also had me on the lookout for lightning strikes, and how I can make us of them if/when they do happen (as I mentioned in last week’s post on of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.)
There are lots of anecdotes, which can be a plus or minus, depending on how much you enjoy them in general, and about Rubin in particular. Most of the time I enjoyed them, especially seeing how some generalities played out in specific circumstances.
Highly recommended if you’re at all interested in the topic.
The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?
Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:
• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.
Title: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
Author: Gretchen Rubin
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
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