Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits Of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin | Book Review

I first became aware of Gretchen Rubin when a blogger I admire reviewed The Happiness Project years ago. I purchased a copy immediately, intending to read it. That copy has collected dust on my shelf for years. However, I ended up subscribing to Rubin’s blog which to my mind was kind of the same thing as reading The Happiness Project. When the opportunity to read Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits Of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin arose, I seized it because habits are fascinating and I am absolutely a creature of habit. It really appealed to my to-do list maker sensibilities.

I think the title of Rubin’s latest book aptly sums up what the book is about. Like The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Better Than Before explores habit formation. It explores how not every strategy for forming a habit is going to work for every person. There is no one size fits all method. The book also explores commonly held wisdom about habits and breaks down whether it’s true or not — like the whole doing something for thirty days makes it become a habit. This actually is not true. Better Than Before delves into what triggers a habit into forming and also what may inadvertently prevent a person from forming long term habits – such as rewards which can decrease one’s enjoyment.

Rubin has a very readable and accessible writing style. She takes this topic of habits and writes about it in conjunction with her own experiences forming habits and trying to train others in her life to form positive habits. I like that she took what could have been a boring topic and made it really interesting. She also writes in such a way that I felt able to apply it to my own life. For example, Better Than Before divides people into four major categories: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels going on to detail which methods work best for each different type of person.

In the back is a quiz where you can categorize yourself. I am an Upholder. So I paid special attention to her methods recommended for Upholders. They are people who love making to do lists and crossing off tasks. The blurb says that if you read this book you will find yourself wanting to go out and start habits before it finishes — I can attest to that. I wanted to try her methods immediately.

If you read this book expecting to learn how to master a very specific habit, you might be disappointed, as it’s a very general book as opposed to specific. However, if you loved The Power Of Habit and want to explore more of this topic or you really want to know how to transform your habits and life rituals for the better, pick up Rubin’s latest.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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