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Better Than Before Audiobook

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

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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.

©2015 Gretchen Rubin (P)2015 Random House Audio

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1555 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Debra Grant, FL, United States 04-02-15
    Debra Grant, FL, United States 04-02-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Loved this book!"

    I approached the new year realizing that if I wanted to have time for some things, I had to give up time on others. I realized I needed new habits- not just new habits but a plan for creating them and sticking with them. Gretchen has a plan snd as always her simple yet wise words can be a help to many!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy 05-07-15
    Troy 05-07-15

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Works on Absolutes, but Worthy Ideas"

    This is a good little book about habits. I found it interesting, but her categories are so absolute that I found my own tendencies bouncing between the presented extremes quite a bit. I suspect it's like that for many people. Application of her ideas in my own life will require some amalgamation of contradictory suggestions. Even so, the ideas presented here are worthy of consideration.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Santa Barbara, CA, United States 09-08-15
    Andrew Santa Barbara, CA, United States 09-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Disapppointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I really wanted to like this book but I could not even finish it. It was just the ramblings of a neurotic, over-achiever trying to understand why she acts the way she does. I think she just needed a topic to write about and picked a self help topic/title to entice people to buy her book even though she does not have anything unique to say or add to what has already been written about habits and human behavior. She asks more questions in the book about herself than she can answer. And what answers she does provide are just generalizations and speculation based on her experience and the few other authors she quotes. I grew bored and put it down half way through.


    What could Gretchen Rubin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Write about the law (she mentions several times she is a lawyer), rather than speculate about human behavior of which she has no more knowledge than any other lay person.


    What character would you cut from Better Than Before?

    Her frequently asked questions "why do I do that?" "what would I do if...?" as if the reader really cares about her internal dialogue and observations about her own habit and behaviors.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria Lord-King Louisville, KY United States 04-14-15
    Gloria Lord-King Louisville, KY United States 04-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Okay"

    Pretty basic research on habits, personally I've liked other books in the subject more. I think the author should let a professional voice artist read the book, she has a fine voice but professional narration adds something that this lacked.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 03-28-15
    Amy 03-28-15 Member Since 2013

    Mother. Finance executive. Nutrition enthusiast. Runner. Environmentalist. Gardener. Introvert. Activist.

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    "Life changing"

    Game changer even for someone who has had relative habit success in the past. Loved that the narrator was the author herself.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Athena 03-28-15
    Athena 03-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic!"

    loved this book! It was easy to follow along with like listening to my best friend talk story with me. started implementing the suggestions she makes in the book & have had huge success with my new habits!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacie M 04-23-15
    Stacie M 04-23-15
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    "Don't Waste Your Money"
    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!!

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 03-29-15
    Elizabeth 03-29-15
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    "Kind of Interesting; Didn't Learn Much"

    The information presented was not as enlightening as I thought it would be. Her insights into using your personality type to help you establish positive habits seems useful--but there is no really exciting, new information in this book. In addition, the author comes across as a kind of goody-two-shoes, the hero of her own tale, which I found distracting. If you are interested in habits and how and why we form them, I think there are probably better books out there.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 03-28-15
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 03-28-15 Member Since 2010

    goodlifecpa

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    "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!

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-04-15
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    ""She said he said then I said""

    Though an interesting topic and with several key insights I found the personal "blog" style annoying from half way though. Resorted to the max speed x3 on audible to get to the end. However I was delighted to hear that the reader was considered at the end as I would hate to be her family with their lives as 'research' output. A personal style approach to writing as its her "experience " rather than reader focused and worth noting.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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