Better Than Before

51UE4YdSGyL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ The Book (From Goodreads)

How do we change? 

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.

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.

My Thoughts

Habits are more than a good study. They are a good project.

I find self-help more interesting as I get older, but I still have to push myself to read it. I tried reading Better Than Before while working out, but small print and jerky treadmill machines do not mix well, and it felt, well, insurmountable at best to analyze my habits (or lack thereof) while trying to make a habit of running. Oh, the irony. *sighs*

I ended up reading it in small portions before turning in for the night as opposed to checking my email one last time.

My conclusion was that this book needed a workbook. Or a check-up page at the end of each chapter. Or a Q&A in the back that would help the reader tackle their habits in progress and make them a Thing. A paper Gretchen, if you will, to help you along. Because you can read all you want but if you never put what you read into practice it’s all for naught. It would have felt less intimidating if it had.

(Four stars)


4 thoughts on “Better Than Before

  1. Haha! I really should read this book…talk about procrastinating. (; Anyway I just found your blog and it is so gorgeous!!!! I loved your post on Words In My Soul on Historical Fiction which I’m just starting to write as well. It is awesome! Thank you for your tips. 🙂



    1. Thank you! It was lots of fun. I usually don’t undertake the how-to’s, but I thought it was a good way to get started. I personally love reading about other people’s takes on writing. 🙂


  2. Oh, it’s interesting to read your thoughts on this book! I recently read ‘The Happiness Project’, so I’ve been wondering whether I should read this sometime too..

    I know what you men about having a checklist or something – I felt like ‘The Happiness Project’ needed that too (have you read that book, by the way?). It would just take it from theory to practice…


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