Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

"When we change our habits, we change our lives." The question Gretchen Rubin (Happier at Home) asked herself while crafting Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives was not how habits affect our lives, but why we have so much trouble creating and maintaining positive habits when we're aware of the cost of doing anything else. After reading the latest scientific research on the subject of habitual behaviors and enlisting the help of family and friends, Rubin embarked on a journey to discover why some people appear to make and keep habits effortlessly while others struggle, and how we can all find a strategy to achieve the right routine.

According to Rubin, "The most important thing is to know ourselves, and to choose the strategies that work for us." In other words, she recognizes that wanting to form a healthy routine isn't enough; we must set ourselves up for success. Understanding motivation is the key to strategizing and, as in her previous books, Rubin relies on anecdotes from her own life to illustrate her points, many of them involving the loved ones who tested her theories and strategies.

In a world in which we are constantly reminded of the good habits we should follow yet simultaneously bombarded with temptations to do the opposite, Rubin's latest brainchild serves as a refreshingly sane touchstone. Smart, supportive and breezily honest about her own flaws, Rubin encourages us to get in touch with what we truly value, not impose challenging regimens in pursuit of unrealistic ideals. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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