27 Apr Be Your Best – Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Habits are the invisible architecture of our lives…we repeat about 40 percent of our behaviour almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”
Gretchen Rubin, author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, has helped millions of readers to live more fulfilling lives. Her meticulous research, humour, storytelling and willingness to personally experiment by practising what she is writing, give her books an individual style and personal understanding of pursuing goals to improve her life.
In her new book Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of our Everyday Lives, Gretchen considers habits – how to create good habits, break bad habits and make our lives happier in the process.
“Habits are part of your identity,” Rubin said in a recent interview. “Changing them means changing a fundamental part of who we are.” She says that good habits work for us and bad habits work against us, so by identifying the habits we want to improve, build or delete from our lives we can establish the mechanism for altering it.
If you’ve been on an Advance course and studied behavioural change, you will have learned the effect of repeated thoughts building dendrites to change behaviour – so Gretchen’s theory on habits may seem quite familiar!
Gretchen’s book explores building positive behavioural change which she terms as habits. This is a very easy to read book with accessible research and very little jargon, aimed at general readers who want to change their everyday behaviour or habits.
The book supports work towards your goals, particularly if you struggle to start on a lifestyle changing routine or wonder why you can’t keep up a daily project. The author explores different personality types of habits, asks you to question your lifestyle and how you approach rewards. Gretchen gives some excellent tips on monitoring and scheduling habits. She explains how you need to be aware of what is true to you as a person and fit the habits so that you will succeed rather than trying to copy role models.
Gretchen explores ways to enable success in behavioural change or forming good habits through your own lifestyle such as pairing, which is linking a new habit with another activity. Our director Heather Wright gives a great example – when she wanted to increase her positive reading, she started to listen to audiobooks whilst driving. The author also uses pairing as triggers which will be familiar to Advance students.
Overall, Gretchen Rubin’s book is very useful as a support to maintain your behaviour in working towards your goals. The author’s advice, research and understanding of her subject enable you to take more control of your habits from a renewed insight into your own identity.