Monday, 18 January 2016

Book Review - Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin


“Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin

I was given Better Than Before for my birthday in December by my husband MJ, I've read 2 other of Gretchen’s books and I really enjoy her style of writing, so in depth yet so easy to read.

Better Than Before didn't disappointment me at all, I couldn't put it down. I underlined so much as it was full cover to cover with fantastic insights in the nature of habit formation.

If you want to try and start a new habit, change an old habit or work why you have the habits you do, this book is differently for you.

What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. You need to know “what habits serve us best” – because what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Because “while I'm not much different from other people, those difference are very important”.

You need to know yourself so you can build the right habits for you and have the right foundation that will work for you.

Are you a lark or an owl? I'm a lark (morning person)

Are you a marathoner, a sprinter or a procrastinator? I'm a procrastinator.

Are you an underbuyer or an overbuyer? I'm differently an underbuyer

Are you a simplicity lover or an abundance lover? I love simplicity

Are you a finisher or an opener? I'm a bit of both

Are you a familiarity lover or a novelty lover? I love novelty and trying new things.

There a four tendencies that make all the difference when forming habits.

Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel – each one forms and keeps habits in a different way. I realised I'm an obliger. I can meet external expectations and obligations to others but not so easy to myself.

Pillars of Habits include: Monitoring, Foundation, Scheduling, Accountability and more.

Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Abstainers find it easier to give up something altogether than to indulge moderately. Whereas moderators find the occasional indulgence helps them. “For abstainers, having something make them want it more, for moderators, having something makes them want it less”.

I found quite a few thought provoking statements in this book that have really helped me not just in my habit formation journey but my life in general.

The first one is one of my biggest downfalls with habits – rewards. “A reward teaches me that I wouldn't do a particular activity for its own sake, but only to earn that reward”. That’s so true, I really undermine myself so often and only do things for the reward – “the reward for a good habit is the habit itself”.

Second one is what are my values: “The clearer I am about what I value, and what action I expect from myself – not what other people value, or expect from me – the more likely I am to stick to my habit”. I'm always looking at what others value and think that’s what I'm meant to value, not always, I might value something completely different. I need to understand and stick to my values.

The last one that really hit me throughout this book was: “Not everyone is like me” “I cannot convince people, they must convince themselves” “No simple, universal solutions exist”.

I'm alike to people but I'm also different to people, there is no one size fits all solutions out there, I can only change myself not others.

This book is a great insight into human behaviour (which I find absolutely fascinating). If you want to learn more about yourself and how you tick and also how others tick, this is a great book to read and find out so much more than you expected.

Thank you Gretchen, you've done it again, look forward to your next book.

Have you read Better Than Before? What did you think of it?

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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