6.03.2015

Review: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Self-Help, Mental Health
Ebook/Print/Audio (320 pages, CROWN)
Gretchen Rubin's answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:
• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.

Really interesting look at habits! (4 stars)

Somehow I missed the boat on Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project but after I saw Better Than Before featured in a magazine I was really intrigued and had to read it. It was really, really worth taking the time. I found the overall attitude and approach to be a little meh, the author's personality is definitely askew from mine and yet the information was richly researched and fascinating.

While I don't really think this will really help anyone change old habits or make new ones just from reading it, the information will certainly give those who are tenacious a starting point. It's really more just a study in how habits are formed (or not) and doesn't contain any worksheets or instructions for those who might be looking for something like that.

If you're interested in learning why habits work the way they do it's a fantastic read and I think it would make a great conversation starter. I very much enjoyed it!



Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

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