Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Better Than Before: A Review

I was hooked on Gretchen Rubin from the moment I read the title of her first book.

The Happiness Project.

Because who doesn't need a little bit of happiness in their life?

I enjoyed her second book, Happier at Home, as well.

But this last book? Better than Before...

It's a homerun.

Rubin discusses the development of habits... or the destruction of good habits. She provides research as to why we choose certain habits, and why some individuals are successful and others are not.

My favorite part of the book is where she describes individuals based on four tendencies, and then on further characteristics. As I read the description of these, I found myself nodding in affirmation. Then, as she described why those tendencies helped or hindered the development of certain habits, I had an a-ha moment.

I'm totally an obliger, meaning that I need external accountability. I love to plan, and I love a to do list, but I'm not great at fulfilling those tasks... unless I know somebody will be asking me about them. That's why I love fitbit and goodreads and online Bible study groups- somebody will ask me where I've been if I've not shown up in a little bit.

I'm also an owl, an overbuyer, an opener, focused on prevention... but I loved her description of procrastination, and it made me realize that I need to do better. It's ok for me to put things off... but it's not ok for me to be paralyzed because of it, or to feel shame or dread about every task.

Rubin suggests several pillars that can help one begin new habits. Monitoring, distraction, small steps, and accountability can all be implemented to make habits more successful. The best part about it, though, is that Rubin reminds us again and again that we are all individual, and we are to remain true to who we are as individuals. What works for her may not necessarily work for me, and vice versa.

This book is an excellent read for anyone who is focusing on self-improvement. It gives the reader simple suggestions on how to implement something new, such as diet, exercise, time management, and getting more rest. Real-life examples and data from recent news articles help to solidify Rubin's suggestions.

Developing good habits can make us more successful, more productive, but above all, good habits can help increase our happiness quotient... and I am all about that.

I'd give this book 4.5 stars for the ease of reading and how relatable the content is to real-life. Rubin offers easy to implement suggestions. My only complaint about this book is that at times Rubin seems to repeat herself; however, in some cases that repetitiveness just hammers her points home.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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