Better Than Before Book Review | rolala loves

Better Than Before Book Review

April 13, 2015
Better Than Before Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives

One of my goals for this year was to try to read more. I haven't been doing that well with it so far but I did manage to finish one book - Better Than Before Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives. In Better Than Before, author of the bestselling Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin suggests that "habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life" and that by changing our habits, we can change our lives. It's pointed out in the book that we repeat about 40% of our behaviors every day so that actually makes sense. Through in-depth research and personal observations, she explores how habits are formed and maintained while sharing strategies for making positive changes which she has personally tested out.

She readily acknowledges that what may work for one person many not work for another, thusly her solutions are not one size fits all. Rubin establishes that based upon how they react to expectations, most people fall into one of Four Habit Tendencies - Upholders who readily respond both to outer and inner expectations, Questioners who resist outer expectations and respond to inner expectations, Obligers who respond to outer expectations but resist inner expectations and Rebels who resist both outer and inner expectations. Through understanding ourselves, we can then determine which strategies would work best to help us with habits we want to adopt or conversely break.

Rubin lays out varying strategies within what she calls the Four Pillars of Habits: Monitoring, Foundation, Scheduling and Accountability. Within these strategies, she also discusses how one's tendency can affect how they work. Then she explores The Best Time to Begin with three strategies powered by new endeavors, new circumstances and new ideas : First Steps, Clean Slate and Lightning Bolt. In the section called Desire, Ease, and Excuses, she explores the clash of good habits versus an easy and pleasant life and offers strategies that can shape our habits by adjusting the amount of effort involved. By making our habits as enjoyable as possible, we can help ourselves succeed. The final section Unique, Just Like Everyone Else explores how we can learn about ourselves through our differences with others with the aim of being better able to shape our habits through a better understanding of ourselves. The book doesn't purport to have all the answers or tell you what habits you should be making/breaking but it does provide a foundation to help you modify your habits.

This book was both enlightening and helpful. I felt like I went on a journey of self-discovery through reading it. I figured out that I'm an Obliger who may find it difficult to form a habit, because they're the ones who often undertake habits for their own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than themselves. Therefore I would do better in reforming my habits by linking them to some form of external accountability. I've implemented this with my goal to read more by checking out books I want to read from the library and I'm currently halfway through one of two books. Knowing that I have to return these books by a certain date has motivated me to pick up a book rather than something else which I usually end up doing and it's been working so far.

My favorite takeaway - "Perfection may be an impossible goal, but habits help us to do better. Making headway toward a good habit, doing better than before, saves us from facing the end of another year with the mournful wish, once again, that we'd done things differently."


I appreciated the personal approach, conversational voice and organization of the book. If you're looking to make a change in your life and have it stick, I think you might find Better Than Before to be a valuable resource. If you're curious to find out about your personal Tendency, you can take this quiz.


Do you have any good habits that you're looking to cultivate or a bad one you'd like to break?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review courtesy of the BirchBox Book Club. No other compensation was provided and all opinions expressed are my own.
50 comments on "Better Than Before Book Review"
  1. Oh this sounds like such an awesome read! I love books that challenge us to look at life and our place in it in a different way....to do better is always on my list and you have sold me on this read! Thanks for passing this one along Rowena! I hope that you had a great weekend and that your week ahead is full of lovely things!! And like you I need to read more!!! Happy Monday! Nicole xoxo

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  2. Sounds like a very interesting read! It's true that we spend most of our time on autopilot and acquiring new habits takes a conscious effort.

    www.LUXESSED.com

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  3. Oh wow that sounds like such a helpful book for self-development and growth! As someone who is highly organized, I'm drawn to the four pillars of habits you described. I think developing habits like that are really great for productivity and lessening procrastination--something I really need to learn! ;)

    <(') hoda | joojoo azad

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  4. Definitely have to check it out! I'm so into this kind of books! Thank you for sharing your review here with us! Great post, Rowena! ;)

    JOURNAL OF STYLE

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  5. It's really nice that one of your goals this year is to read more books. Most people are so busy nowadays that they don't find any time for reading, which is sad because in my opinion books develop man's imagination. Anyway, this book sounds interesting and I'd love to read it too. I have some good habits that I want to keep, but of course I have some bad (like always be late for work, school, etc). that I really want to break. Have a nice day, Rowena! xo

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  6. I love reading, this book sounds interesting!!!
    Happy new week honey!
    xo Paola
    Expressyourself
    My Facebook

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  7. It sound like a book I will not put down and finish reading within two days. Great job on the review.

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  8. Morning Rowena! Reading is one of my fav hobby, even though I dont often have the time I try to save a bit just for it, in the evening. This book is the kind of reading Id need at the moment, very inspirational. I have good habits but for sure I also have many bad that need to be broken just to change life itself, and to be honest I didnt see the problem under this point of view. Happy Monday dear! xo

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  9. Hello Rowena, this review is very useful and great! I'd like to read this book. Kiss.
    MaggieD
    Fashion Blog - Maggie Dallospedale Fashion diary

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  10. Sounds like an inspiration read. Thanks for the review!

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  11. What a cool book. I always love books that help me evaluate a portion of my light. And especially love when I have one of those aha moments. Going to take the quiz now!

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  12. I love to read. This book sounds like an interesting and helpful read! Great review Rowena!:)
    M
    http://sunstreetbymonica.blogspot.com

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  13. Sounds like a good read, Rowena, and I love that quote about habits helping us do better. I have no problem starting new things, but forming it into a regular part of daily life for a long period of time has always been my downfall. I'll put this in my TBR list:)

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  14. Read is one of my fav hobbies, actually almost end "Adultery" by Paulo Coelho, your review about your book is interesting seems very inspiring!

    www.urbanikamoda.blogspot.com

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  15. Cool! Your blog is very cute! Enjoy the day, sweetie!!

    >>> VISIT DRESSLINK <<<

    Kisses from Spain
    Algo pasa con Mary

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  16. This sounds like a really good read, Rowena. I have to admit that I have been a fan of this type of genre but I think my MIL will love this! I'll see if I can pick up one for her here.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  17. Beautiful read, Rowena! I usually prefer romance or mystery novels. ^_^

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  18. What a great book! It's important for you FIRST to understand yourself. To be honest with yourself. That is the only way you can make a change. I had a lot of bad habits before and was wondering why I was in different circumstances. I changed things with me around. This book definitely provides some good guidance.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  19. Wow, that sounds like it's something I need to read! Thanks for the great review!

    Tanya
    www.stripesnvibes.com
    BlogLovin

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  20. Sounds like a good book. How I wish I could break the habit of eating late at night..
    www.effortlesslady.com

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  21. I love reading!!! interesting book!!!
    Have a good week!!! my g+and like for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  22. Wow, sounds like a really interesting book! Thank you so much for the review...I'm definitely going to check it out!

    http://ourruins.com

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  23. This sounds like an amazing book! I love these kinds of books, very helpful and inspirational! I really need to start reading more x

    Florals&Smiles
    Twitter

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  24. Sounds like such a nice book! I'm going to try and get my hands on it
    xx
    www.JuneWantsItAll.com

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  25. Ohh, this book sounds great! I have an audible credit to use up and I'm going to give this a go if I can find it on there!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  26. Just downloaded the happiness project, going to start with that first :)

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  27. Thanks for the review. There are definitely some habits that I need to cultivate, for sure. I actually need to add that Girl on a Train book to my reading library soon. Read it?

    www.ohtobeamuse.com

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  28. i really like the message behind this book. might be worth checking out or as an audio book!

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  29. What an interesting book, definitely lots of food for thought. I like the takeaway of doing better than before. Thanks for the review!

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  30. this sounds like a great read! might as well make our habits good, as we are all creature of habits...to a degree.

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  31. and thank you for your comment....I've seen many inappropriate attires myself..but mostly in the summer.

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  32. this sounds like a very interesting and wonderful book!
    happy rest of the week sweety!

    <3, Kathrin
    http://www.getcarriedaway.net/

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  33. Hi Rowena, well that is an interesting book. Usually I just read for fun but who doesn't want to be better than before. I took the quiz and I'm an Obliger. I resist inner expectations?! I would have never guessed. I really should read it. I'll check out if there's a kindle edition. Happy Tuesday Rowena!!

    xx

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  34. Doing 'better than before' is a really good goal to keep in mind, as opposed to striving for perfection, as the latter will inevitably end in defeat and falling short! This book sounds incredibly motivational and inspiring, I do love self-help books such as this one :) Have a lovely week, Rowena!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

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  35. This sounds fascinating! I really liked The Happiness Project, so I'm adding this to my reading list :)

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  36. Wow, this book sounds great. ^^
    New post is online...

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  37. what an interesting read. I may have to check this one out. I'm always intrigued at books that may help me discover more about myself than I ever realized. We're all on this quest to learn more and I appreciate any reads that may help me better myself...even if indirectly. =)
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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  38. Great post!

    Please click on the link of this post
    http://helderschicplace.blogspot.com/2015/04/green-coat-by-sheinside.html

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  39. sounds like a good read
    i love discovering new books

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  40. This sounds like a really great book, especially since we all can use a bit of self-evaluation from time to time. I never get sick of reading, although I have learnt to also read more for myself, since I have so much to read in my daily job. This year is a year of taking more time for myself without feeling guilty. <3 Thanks for sharing about this. I also love the image that you took. Have an enjoyable week. /Madison
    FASHION TALES

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  41. This was definitely an interesting concept to consider. I most certainly have habits and didn't think about the root of the habits and how I handle them. I'll check this out!

    xoxo,
    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  42. Hey Rowena! I love reading! Like I told you, I just bought the kindle version, can't wait to read this. Thank you for your review!

    xo Jo

    http://www.whiterosesandcoffee.com/

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  43. I want to fix my time management abilities lol!

    Taking the quiz right now!!! :D

    www.TheSyedaSisters.blogspot.com

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  44. Hi Rowena, I've missed your last few posts so I'm catching up and commenting here. This book looks wonderful and a little different from the typical self help ones. I think routine and habits are one in the same:) and I am very comfortable in routines. I have to force myself (for example) to take a different route to a destination. My husband on the other hand, is always sort of groping is way around. I need to be more explorative and adventuresome. I also tend to be doing multiple tasks rather than taking one to completion ......I think I should pick up this book!

    I liked your interview (recent post). I smiled when you said you have an aversion to feet. I do to and it drives me nuts if my husband touches me with his feet!

    Have fun today!

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  45. I will need to check this out, looks super :) x

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  46. This is awesome article and great tutorial, I really enjoy reading it, thanks Google for help to translate it. thanks for your sharing to all together. Regard - Blog Tutorial Supporter

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