I love habits. I love to read about habits and how to form them, I find relevant tidbits about habits in even seemingly unrelated books, and I always have a list of habits I’m working on for myself and others I’m trying to instill in my kids. Habits sound dreary, but as Rubin points out and I have found to be true, we really do have limited willpower and decision making ability in a given day. It’s so, so, so much easier to automate some things rather than having to waste our limited resources on things that can be put on automatic.
So I was excited to read Gretchen Rubin’s latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. In her characteristic style, this book combines Rubin’s personal experiences, extensive research, and original observations.
If you’re also into the idea of habits, or if you read Rubin’s blog, you’ll find the book contains a lot of things you’ve already read about. But I also found that Rubin identified lots of useful distinctions–or expanded on contrasts she previously wrote about–so I still got a lot of takeaways from the book. Sometimes I found affirmation of things I’ve noticed personally (like that most nutrition experts are moderators and their maxims don’t really apply the same way to me as an abstainer, or that my need for a personal why to justify doing anything is about my personality, not a universal requirement).
I do think that if you haven’t read much about habit formation, willpower, how to make effective life changes, etc, Better Than Before would be a great primer. And even if, like me, you’ve read almost everything in Rubin’s suggested reading list, her unique insights will be worth the time investment for the book.
Which of your habits–good or bad–do you think has the most impact on your life?
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