Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I n9780385348614ever read Rubin’s other two books, but I want to after reading Better Than Before. I love nonfiction books that have been well-researched and are written from a personal, interesting perspective. This book is all about forming habits—learning how to make and maintain habits according to your personality type.

At the beginning of the book, Rubin outlines the 4 “tendencies” of how people react to inner and outer expectations: the Upholder, Obligor, Rebel, and Questioner (Take the Quiz here! It’s short and useful!). From there she goes into detail with different strategies for making, strengthening, and maintaining your habits.

I’m an “upholder” which means I don’t really have trouble making habits and I also love habits (true and true). Even then, I found this book useful in knowing the best way to create a habit and what undermines the creation of a habit.

Since I’m about to experience what Rubin calls a “clean slate” experience—a big life change, like having a baby!—it’s a great time to think about what I’d like my new habits to be. Its true that with a clean slate it is easier to start a new habit—I started waking up at 5am every morning after our move this spring—but it also easy to lose habits, so it was helpful to read this book and strategize how I will take back up habit once I’m out of newborn-baby-survival mode.

Some habits I’d like to start after having the baby are limiting myself to only 5 desserts a month (I started this month and hope to continue), and to walking 1 hour a week. Part of me (my “tendency”) wants to make these goals very specific—like “I will walk 1 hour every Saturday”—but realistically, with a newborn, 2 yr old and 3 yr old to care for all day, who knows what stability my schedule will offer.

I do know that I’m giving myself a rest on some of my more rigorous habits (waking up at 5 am….) until we’ve “stabilized” into a new normal (hopefully within 3 months of having Wendy, though with June it was 6!).

What are some habits that you hope to create? What was your result on the habits tendency quiz?

(I received this book for free from blogging for books)

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