July 25, 2015

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I am a nonfiction junkie so this book was right up my ally.

Rubin takes a look at habits in this book.  She begins by helping us to see more about our own habits and tendencies.  She lays out four basic tendencies that most people fit into and discusses each one.  There is a quiz at the back of the book to help you figure out where you fall.  She elaborates on each one to help you understand them and yourself better.  

From there she takes us through several "opposites" to determine how we approach situations in our lives... for example, are you are marathoner when it comes to a project you must complete, a sprinter, or a procrastinator?  There is a whole chapter with these listed for you to work out your personal style and preference.  She gives valuable tips to use each one to your advantage.  

The second section takes us through some basic pillars of habits that most people experience.   It is a section of "strategies" that are valuable in understanding more about how we should approach a habit.  One example here that really spoke to me was the chapter on "abstaining" or "moderation".  I learned that I do better with particular habits when I just abstain completely from something instead of trying an 80/20 approach.  There are some things that I cannot do 80% of the time and let myself slide 20% of the time.  For me, it is often all or nothing.  Other people can do things in moderation but I find I am not one of those people.  I loved this section because it made me work through paying attention to the things I do on a daily basis.  Once one starts to see their patterns they can hone or change them to become more useful in one's everyday life. 

She leaves no stone unturned as she talks us through our motives and excuses that prevent us from becoming better at forming good habits.  It was very convicting to me to work through this section. She talks about how we interact with others and our environments.  She talks about rewards and treats and how they can help us or hurt us as we work through habit formation. 

This book is loaded with great information and practical help!  Her information is well researched and her presentation of information is very friendly and encouraging.  She also shares a great list of resources at the back of the book for further research and reading.

This book is for anyone who wants to change how they do life.  If you are struggling with forming good habits or breaking bad habits this will show you just where to focus.

I, honestly, cannot think of one thing I did not like about this book.  I guess if I am pressed I would wish this book was more from a Christian perspective but it is full of truth and truth is truth.  

I have never read anything else by her but I will seek out some of her other books to try because I love her research based approach and friendly writing style very much.

This is a book I have written in as I went through each chapter.  It will be one I reference again and again as I work through my own habits in the coming days.  If I could give one word of advice it would be to read it while you are young and working through college, maybe, or an early career/family lifestyle.  I wish I had found this book 25 years ago.  It would have changed how I do most of my life I suspect.

Great read!  I would give it 5 out of 5 for writing style, ease of understanding, educated research, and practicality.  

Find out more about Gretchen Rubin and her books at GretchenRubin.com 
or head over to her Facebook page

Want to see one of my favorite pages from her website?  It's all about her Pie Policy and you know how I LOVE PIE!!!

I was given this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review by Blogging for Books.

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