Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: Better Than Before

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Liveswas a complete surprise.  I expected it to be a memoir of the author's experiences changing her own habits with some "helpful hints" thrown in.  While that is an accurate assessment in some ways, it is incomplete.

Ms. Rubin is a fantastic (maybe fanatical?) researcher who dove deeply into facets of habit formation that I didn't even know existed.  She thoroughly investigated those whose habit formation was the antithesis of hers, tried to formulate a "why" and offered solutions unique to the individual.

One realization for me is that I am an "obliger" (author's term), one who easily and completely fulfills outside expectations (I return library books, pay my bills, show up to events on time) but who struggles with fulfilling internal expectations (exercise, daily quiet time, limits on media).  The author reinforced how important it is for us obligers to place external accountability on personal habits (Buddy up for exercise, pay to attend a class, etc.)  This has been helpful as I look to grow in areas that will bring me toward maturity in my faith and personal life while limiting those things that are holding me back.  Sally Clarkson referred to this as dropping my nets.  What nets do I need to drop to fully follow Jesus like the fisherman disciples did?  I need external accountability to help me drop my nets.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Liveshas already been practical in my own life and I can see that it will be useful in helping my children to form their own lifelong habits.

Even if you are not looking to form or break a habit, this is a fascinating peek into one more way God created our minds to uniquely display His glory.  What works for one will not work for all.  Insightful, accurate, well-researched, I highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
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