Posted in Books 2016, Experiments, Uncategorized

Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I spied this book in the “Read Now” section of my local library and grabbed it in a heartbeat. While I have not followed Gretchen Rubin’s work extensively, I have known that she is a credible author, whose writings resonate with me. Better Than Before is a book on habit forming, a topic that is close to my heart and one that I struggle with all the time.

I relished the first half of the book. Gretchen makes a convincing case for cultivating habits. By doing something over and over, you free up mental space and valuable time that is spent on decision making. She then gives a framework that she calls Tendencies – four kinds of personalities in the context of habit formation. Know your Tendency and apply some helpful strategies that she provides in the second half of the book.

I loved the honesty in her writing. I liked how she does not take the one-size-fits-all approach instead encourages you to delve deeper, figure yourself and your values. I also like that the book is primarily based on personal experiences rather than studies based. If you are someone interested in cultivating a new habit or want to get rid of an old habit, this books is worth a shot!

4 thoughts on “Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

    1. It’s funny that you asked because heart of hearts I wanted to be an upholder and I so didn’t want to be an obliger. But the truth is I am an obliger. Will be kind of cool if I can blend in upholder and questioner tendencies.

      On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:50 PM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


      1. Me too! I’d much rather be an upholder, but I really think I am an obliger. I mentioned this to my husband and he says, why should you just be an obliger or an upholder? You might be different things in different situations. When I explained that that’s how the framework is set up – to clearly fall into one of four categories – he says, who is GR to decide that you can only be in one category? Clearly, he is a questioner! 😉

      2. Haha… you know he is right! I thought about it too as I read the book. I think we do cross the line on Tendencies based on situations. Eg. While primarily an Obliger, when it comes to raising our children we tend to cross the line and become a Upholder because the child is primarily an Obliger (I am stereotyping here with the caveat that personalities differ but for the most children do derive their self worth from their parents) so we have to change our Tendency (motivate from within) in that role. I do think it’s a bit more fluid than what GR describes.

        Also, meant to respond to your earlier comment – I have not read the other two books. I heard that Happier at Home is redundant if you have read The Happiness Project. So planning to check out The Happiness Project.

        On Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 9:24 AM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


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