Better Than Before Book Summary By Gretchen Rubin

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Better Than Before is a book that is designed to help you understand how to build and keep good habits, as well as break the bad ones.

Written by Gretchen Rubin, it offers strategies and advice on how to make positive changes in your life.

It provides helpful tips on how to form healthy habits, change up existing ones and rid yourself of negative ones.

With its step-by-step action plans, readers get an understanding of specific steps they can take to improve their life and gain an overall sense of well being.

This book will definitely leave you feeling better than before!

Better Than Before Book

Book Name: Better Than Before (Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives)

Author(s): Gretchen Rubin

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Mindfulness & Happiness

Author Bio

Gretchen Rubin is no stranger to anyone looking for advice on living a happier life.

The author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, her work has been translated into over 30 languages and has inspired people everywhere to make changes in their lives.

Her latest book, Better Than Before, expands on her writings about happiness and positivity, and offers practical tips for making meaningful changes in your life.

She provides ways to shift mentalities to become more productive and demonstrates a clear understanding of how people can create lasting happiness.

From habits we pick up to how we view the world around us, Better Than Before is sure to help anyone looking for advice on being a better version of themselves.

Strategies To Conquer Bad Habits And Stick To Good Ones

Bad Habits

In order to kick your bad habits and stick to your good ones, you have to understand what kind of person you are.

This is where “Better Than Before” comes in – it provides a roadmap to help you identify and change the habits that don’t serve you well!

With “Better Than Before,” you’ll find simple strategies that will help you stay on track.

For example, reading about how a Swedish musical staircase convinced people not to take the elevator can provide insight into how habit changes can be achieved even when confronted with temptation.

You’ll also learn why men gain weight after getting divorced or why some burglars found chocolate in a millionaire’s safe – all stories that provide food for thought and stimulate ideas about how to adopt good habits and discard bad ones for good.

The 4 Personality Types: Know Yourself To Form New Habits

If you want to take control of your habits, the first step is to understand who you are.

We all fall into one of four basic personality types, each with its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to forming new habits.

For example, Upholders respond easily to expectations imposed upon them but take longer if there aren’t any clear rules or guidelines.

Questioners require statistical proof that what they’re doing is having a positive impact before they’re motivated to stick with it.

Obligers will do better with someone else implementing/pushing for those new habits.

Rebels need to find the motivation within themselves and strive for self-determination in order for those goals to become reality.

By understanding which personality type describes you best, you will have a better chance of taking charge of your habits and forming positive ones that improve your life.

Making Decisions Is Hard – Make It Easier By Automating Your Habits And Tracking Your Progress

Creating and maintaining good habits can be difficult, but using a calendar to plan activities ahead of time and monitoring your behaviors can make it much easier.

By taking decision-making out of the equation, you can focus on simply following through with your planned activities rather than having to make a new decision every day.

This is helpful for making activities such as going to the gym a regular part of your schedule.

It’s also wise to keep track of your diet if you’re striving to form better eating habits.

Keeping a food journal can help you get an accurate picture of how much you are consuming, while a pedometer will help you track how active you are throughout the day so that you know how close or far away from the average 5117 steps per day American goal you may be.

Using these two tools in combination with planning your activities with a calendar should give you a solid foundation for picking up and maintaining healthier habits.

Life Changes Make It Easier To Form New Habits

New Habits

New beginnings can be an amazing opportunity to create healthier habits.

Studies have found that when a major change occurs in our life, such as a new job, moving house or even marriage, it’s easier to adopt new routines.

For instance, one study found that people trying to diet successfully were almost four times more likely if they had recently moved houses.

And students trying to exercise more or watch less TV had higher chances of success due to enrolling into new universities.

The change in perspective which comes with these events can make it much easier to introduce better habits into your lifestyle.

We see this especially in single parents whose priority was generating income for their children’s tuitions; having no more tuition costs and time freedom often gives them the golden opportunity of forming healthier habits and pastimes.

Therefore, beginning anew is an ideal moment for introducing better patterns into our lives!

Make Your Habits Convenient And Fun To Stick To Them

It’s no secret that most of us are often guilty of procrastination and laziness, which can cause us to take the more convenient route and indulge in bad habits.

To successfully change our behavior and shape our lives for the better, it’s essential to make good habits more accessible, while making bad habits less attractive.

For instance, if you’re striving to become more social, simply calling your friends every time you have an urge to hang out may feel like too much work.

Thus, joining a book club or some other group that meets up on a regular basis can reduce the effort required and increase your chances of success.

Adding fun elements to responsibilities makes them feel less intimidating and daunting, so rather than dreading those stairs at the subway station, why not turn it into something enjoyable? Transformation through music is evidenced by how turning stairs into a keyboard increased foot traffic by 66%.

How To Effectively Resist Temptation And Sustain Good Habits

When it comes to maintaining good habits and getting rid of bad ones, the key is often resisting temptation.

We can take steps to make sure that our exposure to temptation is minimized as much as possible.

For example, if you’re an alcoholic, you may want to have the minibar emptied before checking into a hotel room.

Or if driving past a fast food joint is too tempting for you, try taking a different route!

Also, we should be wary of using Moral Licensing Loopholes – using something “bad” as a reward for something “good” – which can become counterproductive over time.

This is especially true for Obligers – people whose motivation comes from wanting to please others – since when no one’s watching, it’s easier for them to find excuses not to do something.

Therefore, if we want to be successful in changing our habits and resisting temptation, then we need to create safeguards against it and avoid making excuses for ourselves.

Using Distraction As A Tool To Form Good Habits And Avoid Bad Ones


Distractions can be a real blessing when it comes to refraining from bad habits.

Trying to suppress your thoughts or cravings will only lead to them coming back stronger, so if you shift your focus instead, you’ll find that after 15 minutes the craving has weakened.

What should you distract yourself with? Research suggests that activities that are enjoyable and absorbing are more effective than stressful or arousing ones.

Rewarding good behavior may also pose an issue when it comes to forming habits.

The promise of rewards can be highly addictive, and if these rewards are removed then it defeats the purpose of keeping up any good habits or behaviors you’ve been working hard on.

Studies have even shown that in some cases giving children rewards for their good behavior made them less likely to continue that particular activity afterwards.

The easier road to forming good habits is not through the promise of rewards but rather finding the right distractions for yourself and learning how to work without reinforcement from them.

Strategies To Achieve Good Habits Without Rewards: Pairing And Treats

Keeping up our good habits isn’t always easy, and rewards are often not the answer.

Instead, we need to pair good habits together in order to keep them going.

This means taking two different activities that you like or need to do – one that is enjoyable and another which may be a bit more difficult – and making them dependent on each other.

So, if you want to start running regularly and read more books, link the two together by only listening to the audio book when you run.

That way, you’ll stay motivated!

Another way of making sure your good habits stick is through treating yourself from time to time.

These treats should be spontaneous gifts rather than planned ones, so it’s about finding simple yet meaningful gestures for yourself that won’t undermine your hard work.

Something as simple as a five minute walk in the sun or smelling a beautiful flower can give you enough motivation and inspiration for your next bout of habit-forming.

Wrap Up

The main takeaway from Better Than Before is that by employing certain strategies, we can create and maintain good habits as well as break bad ones.

These include making a if-then list, distracting ourselves when needed, using treats instead of rewards, understanding what sort of person we are and making our good habits convenient.

To ensure that the transition to new habits is easier, it is also important to set up for them ahead of time.

This includes laying out any necessary items the night before so that we don’t have to spend extra time deciding on or getting these items in the morning.

It’s all about planning ahead!

If you want to stick with something long-term, then this book has plenty of valuable advice that can help you stay on track and reach your goals.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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