Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I read her blog and I’ve read her other books. I’ve been meaning to read this book as well, and just haven’t gotten around to it. I made an effort to read this book now as part of my Finishing the Series Challenge, even though it technically isn’t part of a series. It is in spirit, though, so I’m counting it.

Subtitle: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

Published: 2015

Genre: nonfiction self-help

Length: 263 pages of text, 298 pages total

Summary: Rubin starts out the book discussing the importance of good habits and the ease of falling into bad habits. Habits free up the decision-making part of your mind. However, in order for a habit to stick, you need to employ techniques that match your personality. One of the stronger influences is where you fall in the four tendencies – as an Upholder, Questions, Obliger, or Rebel. There are other personality traits that can affect your likelihood of keeping to a particular habit. From there, she discusses strategies that can be employed to keep habits.

Final thoughts: An interesting topic, but I’ve seen most of it on her blog at one time or another. Even so, it was nice to have all the ideas in one place. I am a Questioner, and I’m pretty sure my husband is an Obliger, which explains some differences in what we care about (for instance, he worries about what the neighbors will think, and I could care less). The four tendencies and how they assign importance to different aspects of their lives is fascinating and quite informative. I’m much more tolerant of my husband’s contrary opinions, know that he’s an Obliger and that’s just the way his mind works. I also enjoyed the different dichotomies Rubin provided to learn more about yourself (like, are you a Lark or an Owl? a Sprinter or Marathoner?). I’m pretty happy with my life right now, so there isn’t too much I’m trying to change. I also just joined a new website to help remember to do some habits called Habitica – different parts of the site seem to motivate all of the four tendencies.

Title comes from: It’s a phrase mentioned in the book. People try to establish new good habits or eliminate bad habits to make themselves better than before.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #17 for the year, a B in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge, and #5 in my Finish the Series Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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