I just finished reading Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin and it turned out to be a very interesting read. I find habits to be a fascinating topic because they have such an impact on our lives.
What I really loved about this book was how it acknowledged that different ways of making habits work for different people. Rubin talks about many different strategies for making habits stick while keeping a continual focus on the fact that some of these strategies will work for some personality types and not others. This is a refreshing take compared to the many things on habits that are written by somebody that found something that worked for them and thus assumes that technique must be the best one for everybody out there.
This really helped me to consider precisely why I sometimes struggle with some of the techniques that others seem to find useful. For example it mentioned how some people have an easier time with 30 day challenges because the newness and excitement of it gets them psyched up. Other people are “finishers” that really want to stick to something. (This really made something click for me because while I really like to stick to things and finish them, I find the idea of 30 day challenges to be energizing. Sometimes I struggle with the guilt of getting into something for a relatively short period but not sticking to it but maybe I could leverage aspects of that trait to my benefit.) Or some people do great if they are accountable to somebody else for something and other people don’t need that. It has made me ponder the need to both make habits that work for me and to find ways of making those habits stick that work for me.
There are a lot of references in this book to four categories of people as far as what motivates them to keep habits and commitments. I found it to be a useful framework as far as identifying that different things may work for different people, but couldn’t put myself into just one of the categories and think that I have aspects of a couple of them. I also think that what strategies work for me varies from one habit to the next.
This book has made me examine my own habits- ones I currently have, ones I have had and have somehow lost and ones I might like to develop. It was definitely worth reading.
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