'A LOT OF US WOULD LIKE A RUBIN IN OUR LIVES' The Times
'EXTRAORDINARY' Viv Groskop
'FASCINATING, PERSUASIVE' Guardian
'A LIFE-CHANGER' The Pool
HABITS ARE THE INVISIBLE ARCHITECTURE OF EVERYDAY LIFE.
Most of us have a habit we'd like to change, and there's no shortage of expert advice. But as we all know from tough experience, there is no magic 'one-size-fits-all' solution for everything from weight loss to personal organisation. In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin explores her theory of 'The Four Tendencies' dividing people into four basic groups: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel. She answers the most perplexing questions about habits with her signature mix of rigorous research and engaging storytelling (and a personality quiz to establish which of the Four Tendencies fits you):
- Why do we find it tough to create a habit for something we love to do?
- How can we keep our healthy habits when we're surrounded by temptations?
- How can we help someone else change a habit?
Rubin reveals the true secret to habit change: first, we must know ourselves. When we shape our habits to suit ourselves, we can find success- even if we've failed before.
Whether you want to eat more healthfully, stop checking your phone, or finish a project, the invaluable ideas in Better Than Before will start you working on your own habits - even before you've finished the book.
ALSO BY GRETCHEN RUBIN
The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better
Outer Order Inner Calm: declutter and organize to make more room for happiness
Happier At Home: a year-long experiment in making the everyday extraordinary
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s exciting to find a self-help book that’s not only full of eye-opening insight but also provides practical tips to help you procrastinate and stress less, exercise and eat more healthily and spend time on activities that matter. We’re really glad that Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, decided to investigate her affinity for habits, because in the process she’s come up with a great guide to help us lay the foundation of a more satisfying life. Best of all, Better Than Before is a really fun read—Rubin’s friendliness, candour and humour mirror a lively conversation with a best friend.
Bestseller Rubin (The Happiness Project) returns with this fun and informative self-help tome on the ways we unthinkingly shape our lives with habits. As she shows, habits affect our lives in both positive and negative ways. By acquiring positive habits and eliminating negative ones, we can increase our overall happiness. "How we schedule our days is how we spend our lives," Rubin asserts. The subtitle calls to mind Julia Child's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suggesting a goal similar to Child's: to collect all the available information on the subject and break it down into components for readers to apply to their own lives. Writing that "we can build our habits only on the foundation of our own nature," Rubin goes on to identify four tendencies, or personality types, in relation to habit-formation: upholder, questioner, obliger, and rebel. Her style is clear, and her voice is accessible yet mildly egg-headed. Using quotations from William James and Samuel Johnson, citations of current research, and personal anecdotes, Rubin comes across as a quirky, know-it-all friend who really, really wants to help you improve your life.
As a 20 year old Australian woman living with anxiety and depression, not once have I come across a solution I could turn to someone and say 'this will fix things.' Better than before gave me practical tools I was able to use alongside techniques from my psychologist, that have without doubt made a huge impact on the management of my mental illness. I now feel considerably more in control, and have seen real improvement due to this book. Cannot recommend highly enough.
What a great book, ideal for working on new good habits & those old bad habits!