“We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of the new book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, “If we change our habits, we change our lives.” And while articulation as a leader is of huge importance, it’s only important in that the information provides us with a clear path towards taking action. Better Than Before can help you build those newly articulated habits and behaviors that will get you where you want to go.
What’s the premise
There’s a key question that gets us started on the path to mastering our habits: knowing how you respond to an expectation, both Outer expectations (deadlines) and Inner expectations (dieting).
Rubin says there are 4 types :
- Upholders respond to both outer expectations and inner expectations well and have no trouble meeting deadlines or keeping resolutions.
- Questioners question Outer and Inner expectations and are only willing to meet an expectation if they believe it’s justified.
- Obligers respond to Outer expectations but have trouble meeting Inner expectations.
- Rebels resist Inner and Outer expectations and react against any sort of control.
Once you know your type (take this quiz if you’re unsure), you can begin to apply her tips based on what you respond to.
Why is this book on habits so popular?
We all want to be an enhanced version of ourselves in some way or another. We want to lose a few pounds, save more money, be more organized, get ahead in business. I feel like Rubin really “gets it” in this book as she describes the problems the majority of us face and what we can do to (rather easily) develop new habits. She wrote, “The essential seven [habits] reflect the fact that we often feel both tired and wired. We feel exhausted, but also feel jacked up on adrenaline, caffeine, and sugar. We feel frantically busy, but also feel that we’re not spending enough time on the things that really matter.” Amen! And the advice she provides is not a one.size.fits.all solution but rather a smorgasbord of possibilities, one in which you can choose what will work best for you based on your personality.
Our favorite insights about building habits
These insights are also great in helping our relationships, both personal and professional. Married to a rebel? You might find you’re more successful challenging them and saying you don’t think they can do something vs. using logic to tell them why they should do it. This could go a long way in influencing the people in your cross-team meetings or the people on your latest corporate task force.
Who should read it?
Anyone who feels like they want to update their habits unlock possibilities to lead a longer, healthier, and happier life.