Better Than Before

  • by Gretchen Rubin
  • Narrated by Gretchen Rubin
  • 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The author of the blockbuster New York Times best sellers The Happiness Project and Happier at Home tackles the critical question: How do we change?
Gretchen Rubin's answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better Than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow listeners to understand their habits - and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin's compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better Than Before explains the (sometimes counterintuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers listeners' most pressing questions - oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:

Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can't change a habit no matter how hard I try. Why?
How quickly can I change a habit?
What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
How can I help someone else change a habit?
Why can I keep habits that benefit others but can't make habits that are just for me?

Whether listeners want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Listening to just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make listeners eager to start work on their own habits - even before they've finished the audiobook.
Bonus feature: includes a full episode from the author's podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin in which she discusses how to build happier habits into everyday life.


What the Critics Say

"Here, she [Gretchen Rubin] uses her gifts to help you eat right, sleep well, stop procrastinating, and start enjoying all that life has to offer." (Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet)
"Gretchen Rubin combines deep research and observations from her own life to explain how habits emerge and - more important - how they can change. It's indispensable for anyone hoping to overhaul how they (almost unthinkingly) behave." (Charles Duhigg, New York Times best-selling author of The Power of Habit)
"Filled with insights about our patterns of behavior, Better Than Before addresses one of life's big and timeless questions: how can we transform ourselves? In a way that’s thought-provoking, surprising, and often funny, Gretchen Rubin provides us with the tools to build a life that truly reflects our goals and values." (Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and New York Times best-selling author of Thrive)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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What disappointed you about Better Than Before?

The title is very misleading! Instead, this is a personal story of her low carb diet, her sister, her husband, her dad ..... I was expecting some practical and useful direction, instead I now feel like I know everything about HER life and her immediate family! I was under the assumption (from the title) that this book would deliver something MUCH different! Ugh!!

Would you ever listen to anything by Gretchen Rubin again?

This was my first ... it will be a high hill to climb to make me want to purchase anything from her.

What didn’t you like about Gretchen Rubin’s performance?

Lack of direction for the people buying the book and personally ... didn't like her preaching about a low carb diet. May work for some, but any diet that restricts fruits and vegetables raises a red flag with me!

What character would you cut from Better Than Before?

All of them!

Any additional comments?

Buy " The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business ", by Charles Duhigg. THIS book is helpful and what one expects to learn about habits!!

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- Stacie M

Help for a rebel!

Gretchen breaks down habit forming into 4 personality types. I've read dozens of books on habit and will power and this one contained some real ah-ha moments. I am a Rebel. I do what I want to and resist against expectations (even my own).

As an Upholder, Gretchen is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and so I think us Rebels must be the hardest group for her to relate to and provide advice. Even though the book addressed Rebels less than the more common types, the information was useful and I gained a better understanding of why so many techniques were not working for me. I am looking forward to making some new habits that will set my life on autopilot and give me more energy to devote to creative pursuits. The book was informative and written with a show not tell style that will make it enjoyable for almost anyone. Loved it!
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- Jennifer S. Leblanc "goodlifecpa"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-17-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio