Better Than Before
By Gretchen Rubin

It’s that time of year. When resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Many of us have the best intentions to start the year fresh with a bounty of new, life-improving habits. But many times what we intend to do and what we end up doing are very different. It isn’t easy to establish new habits or break destructive ones.

“Better Than Before” isn’t a one-size fits all solution to forming habits. Instead of giving general advice which could work for some people, Ms. Rubin realizes that every person has a different habit-forming personality. First she helps readers decide on what disposition they have: Upholder, Obliger, Rebel or Questioner. Building on that basis she goes on to help people decide their habit-forming styles: lark or owl, sprinter or marathoner, simplicity or abundance lover, etc. These sections were a real eye-opener for me. I loved that it provided a way to zero in on habit establishing methods that work the best. Plus I had never really thought about how beneficial habits are. Of course, if you eat good foods and exercise you will be healthier. But habits also free up mental space. When you do something by habit, you don’t need to think about whether you want or don’t want to do something.

The rest of the book goes through different ways to establish habits like scheduling, abstaining or using rewards. Ms. Rubin gives examples from her own life as well as from her friends and people who have commented on her blog. And the many examples really drive home the point that people form habits differently. So many times I read how Ms. Rubin established a habit, and I would just shake my head. There is no way I would try the methods myself. Most of them sounded like torture since I have a different style than she does. And that is the beauty of this book. Once you decide what style works best for you, there is an abundance of advice to help you establish habits. Personally I found the advice Ms. Rubin dispensed to her sister and brother in-law, both television series writers, to be very helpful. My copy of the book is full of highlights and notes which I plan to use to start my own set of healthy, productive and efficient habits.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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