- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: March 17, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00R8L6OCM
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
First, Rubin attempts to break down people's personalities to ascertain what methods will work best for different people, which would be incredibly helpful if her framework of the Four Tendencies worked. For me, it fails because people don't easily fall into those 4 categories - I think it might be more correct to say that in some situations people need external commitment (Obliger), and in other situations those same people are going to reject any rules (Rebel). But I think its very, very unusual that one person is one "Tendency" in all situations and for this reason, her constant reference to the framework in many ways detracted instead of helped me think about habits and how I might apply the various strategies. As she notes herself, Rubin is a very unique person and I think the fact that she is an Upholder in all situations is probably the exception, not the rule.
My second critique is that because Rubin herself is so unique and as a person completely without vice, she isn't able to clearly demonstrate the power of habit. Her method of writing is to combine research with personal stories. In her Happiness books, I found that method to be very successful. Here, however, she can't use herself as a guinea pig because she has few major habits to change; somehow she does not struggle at all with food, sleep, alcohol, exercise, etc. in the way many people do. So instead she uses her strategies to change small habits, which didn't come across as very dramatic to me because they aren't as difficult to change. Had she been able to point to at least one major habit to change and demonstrated the process and the challenges and ultimate success of doing so, it would have been much more compelling. It is as not hard to set an alarm every day to make yourself meditate as it is to completely change your diet (for most people, that is. For her that somehow was not a struggle).
If you are really interested in habits, and you should be because habits are fascinating, I would start with the Power of Habit.
Like other reviewers have said, there is a lot of the author writing about herself which I skimmed over after a while. I wanted to find the nuggets that would be helpful to me, which I was able to do.
This book was a worthwhile read. I learned about myths of making and breaking habits, ways that work for some and not for others and why, and new outlooks about how to make habit creating more successful.
If you seriously want to break or create habits in your life, this book can give you background information to help you do that.
Unfortunately, personal examples and anecdotes are (over)used for every point. I know way more about Gretchen's life, thoughts, and feelings than I want to... In fact, sometimes it felt like I was reading her personal diary (at one point she reminded herself of her Number One Commandment: "Be Gretchen"... Come on!) which was uncomfortable and a huge waste of time... so I ultimately had to scroll through pages at a time to just get back to the core messages that could help the READER work on their habits -- and not waste time on hearing how Gretchen and her friends and family were so successful in forming/maintaining their own habits.
Not sure if I'd recommend buying the book and wasting your time reading all of it or if I'd just recommend reading reviews and articles that cut through the cr*p and just explain her basic but very helpful habit forming frameworks, which are truly insightful and applicable to everyday life.
Before reading this book I was doing affirmations. That was working but some areas were intractable. I had a project to complete, I couldn't get any traction on working on it and I needed to cultivate some habits yesterday if not sooner. I learned self hypnosis. When the affirmations aren't really cutting it I put a habit I need to cultivate on my list for self hypnosis. It's all working nowadays, I'm working on the project and it's coming along fine. I think that Gretchen's book broke up the logjam in my subconscious for me and got me going in a good direction.
The Happier Podcast Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, do is a great companion to this book.
Most recent customer reviews
This is all about figuring out your habit type. It's really helpful and interesting to read about.