What is your worst habit?
What is your best habit?
Habits matter because they dictate how we spend our lives, either consciously or unconsciously. And they always have consequences attached to them: health, finances, relationships--our success or failure in these categories all stem from habits. When we have good habits, we don't have to wear out our self discipline muscle, because habits are automatic and mindless. Good habits create less stress.
My worst habit has to be my sugar consumption. Try as I might, I've been having a really hard time kicking the habit. I get so grumpy! Plus, it is such an easy thing to turn to when I've had a rough day (or let's get real-- even a really great day for that matter).
My best habit is probably getting some personal time in the mornings. Usually I try to get up earlier than my kids, read scriptures and plan out the day first thing in the morning. It helps get me centered and starts my day off on a really good foot. But I'm not as consistent as I'd like to be. And if I get up late, I usually don't get this done.
But now I'm in luck, thanks to this fabulous book!
In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin is your mentor to developing good habits and eliminating bad ones. A book about habits sounds pretty mundane and boring, but this book is fascinating! I've loved Gretchen Rubin for a while now, and she just gets better and better. This book is on my "re-read" list, which doesn't happen often, so it's that good. First, Gretchen starts with giving you self knowledge. For me, this is often the hardest part--figuring myself out. From her observations and research of human nature, Gretchen has determined that there are 4 types of people who have 4 different ways of committing to do things.
1. Upholders: These lucky people make commitments and keep them. Commitments to others or to themselves, it doesn't matter. All commitments are given equal importance. These people are like Nike--they "just do it". I really wish I were an upholder.
2. Obligers: I am one of these. Obligers need to be accountable to other people. If they know that someone is counting on them, they are more likely to do something. If not, they usually won't. They also usually take care of others before themselves. All of these things are why I am a failure at exercising by myself.
3. Questioners: These people ask "why" to everything. If something makes sense, they do it. If it doesn't, they don't. If you ask a questioner to do something, you should be ready with an explanation--and it better be good.
4. Rebels: These people only do things if they want to. They are pretty contrary when others ask them do to something, or if "that's just the way it's done."
Gretchen helps you figure out which type you are and then gives you ways to "hack" your personality style and other personal preferences to make it as easy as possible to give up bad habits and cultivate new ones. They take into account that we are all human, and they work!
One thing that I really, really love about Gretchen is that she is authentic to her true self. She doesn't apologize for not being like everyone else, and she doesn't expect you to be either! She doesn't place any judgement on habits and she is super relate-able. Before I read this book, I expected to feel guilty about all of my bad habits. But I didn't. I felt that I was just a normal human being--and I had hope.
I hope you give Better Than Before a read. It will help you with your own habits and it will help you understand your family and others around you better. ("Hmmm, I think that person is a questioner. These questions he is asking me isn't an attack; I just need to explain my request better.") This book really opened my eyes to habits I didn't realize I had, helped me to be honest with myself, and gave me practical strategies for change. I really, really love it.
Community Question: What habits do you have?
Hi, I'm Jen! I adore chocolate, I'd rather read than clean my house, and I haven't seen my abs in I-don't-know-how-long. But I love my husband and kids to death and try to Raise The Good within myself and my family by making wise and uplifting media choices and having a deliberate family culture. You are probably doing the same thing. Let's share what works with each other!
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