Gretchen Rubin who wrote the awesome book, The Happiness Project, is out with a new book called Better Than Before*. Her emphasis is “how to make good habits and break bad ones.” In the new book, she identifies twenty-two strategies that we can use to change our habits. I just finished it and really liked how she has strategies for tackling habits and how they are customized by how your tendencies and how you typically hold yourself accountable.
“For changing a habit, one important question is: “How do I respond to an expectation?” When we try to form a new habit, we set an expectation for ourselves. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how we respond to expectations.
We face two kinds of expectations: outer expectations (meet work deadlines, observe traffic regulations) and inner expectations (stop napping, give up sugar).”
She gave some great examples throughout the book on how our tendencies drive our approach to starting new healthy habits/eliminating bad habits. She is an “Upholder” but she gave examples of friends and family members who exhibit the other tendencies. Check out her “Happier” podcast episode on this topic here, too. There is a great free online quiz you can take to see where you fall (click the link in the “tweet” below). Truth be told, I have a hard time with multiple choice quizzes (I always want to answer some combination of two). Regarding habits, I fell into the “Upholder” bucket, too. I can also be a “Questioner” – especially at work. I am not a fan of arbitrary things.
— Erica Agran (@EAgran) May 23, 2015
The book is chock full of wisdom on making and breaking habits. She also has some great downloadable summaries and recommendations for common areas where people are looking to make changes: eating, working, exercising and reading. There is even a manifesto! Like the Happiness Project, Rubin provides here rules/strategies for success. Here is the manifesto:
If you like this post, you can follow Gretchen Rubin on Twitter or like her Facebook Page. I love the newsletter and blog! Get the newsletter HERE and click “Subscribe.” Also, if you like to think about and read about habits, check out Finds’ friend, Don’s, new blog Habit Engineering and join the conversation.
*This book was originally planned to be called Before and After.