Fabulous Book About Habits - Better Than Before

Promises to Self . . . Not

How strong are your habits?

How strong are your habits?

Have you ever made promises to yourself then failed utterly in following through?

My hand is raised high.

Is this routine one that you engage in frequently? 1) Make a promise to yourself. 2) Get started. 3) Perhaps stick with it for a while. Then eventually you 4) Fizzle out and . . . STOP.

My hand waves fervently in the air. Sometimes all it takes is one small aspect of my life changing, even temporarily, and a habit becomes inconvenient and drops out of the routine. Habits can be fragile and oh, so easily broken.

Usually, if you want to make substantial improvements in your health or in the quality of your life, successfully making some sort of consistent modification to your lifestyle is required.

Recently I've succeeded in establishing and sticking to new self-care habits. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, my primary motivation for this has been a great desire to improve the health of my back.

So the dynamics associated with the formation and maintenance of habits has been particularly relevant to me lately. Therefore, I was primed for a book that I've known about for over a year. I'm less than halfway through, and it's already impacting my life.

Better Than Before

Gretchen Rubin's book is FABULOUS! Her easy-to-understand explanations about why some people have difficulty with habit formation make absolute sense. She follows up with a wealth of practical strategies for anyone interested in benefiting from the establishment of new habits. 

(Here's a Human Design note about habits. When people have the Gate 5 or the Gate 15 in their charts, following routines and schedules can make the difference between functioning and not functioning, between success and failure. For those of us who do not have these gates, routines are less of a consistent theme. In my case, this shows up as having challenges sticking to habits. So before reading this book, the Human Design perspective was my best source of information about habits. Now, back to Better Than Before.)

Four Tendencies

The four tendencies reflect the combinations of the ways in which people face the two kinds of expectations, inner and outer.

Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels.

I am an Obliger. I go to great lengths to satisfy the needs and expectations of other people, but can have a difficult time with following through with my own goals, intentions, and habits.

According to Rubin's experience, each person lives one of the four tendencies for their entire lives. We cannot decide to change to a different tendency. We can learn to choose how we experience and express our tendency.

This makes SO much sense to me. Here is a parallel with my experience of Human Design. When people understand that their qualities, habits, and ways of being are actually expressions of the way that they are designed, they frequently feel tremendous relief. Human Design charts are like blueprints for each individual person. When people realize that they are designed to be the way they are, they come to feel peaceful about aspects of themselves which they have previously judged. There is nothing wrong, and noone is misbehaving. They are then freed up to find ways to optimize the expression and experience of their design.

Understanding that I am Obliger provides me with an experience of peacefulness and gives me a foundation for establishing habits that actually serve me and my personal intentions.

Strategies, Supports & Structures

The majority of the book describes a variety of insights and practical strategies relevant to the establishment of habits.

Just in the past couple of days, I have been inspired to incorporate several new habits into my daily life. I am employing supportive structures that I already know from experience are effective for me. It's like adding a couple of strengthening strands to the rope, making the habit more resistant to breakage.

Better Than Before is an entertaining and informative read. Check it out.


Here's to Your Health & Happiness



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Sandra Lee

Licensed Massage Practitioner (WA State)

Human Design Specialist

Healing Codes Practitioner, The Emotion Code/The Body Code Practitioner

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner



Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner, I can help you identify imbalances and malfunctions in your body's ability to function and heal. As bodywork practitioner and a practitioner of emotional and energetic healing modalities, I am able to provide recommendations to assist you in taking care of yourself. However, I cannot diagnose or treat any condition. Nothing in this post is designed to diagnose or treat any condition. At the bottom of this page is a link to a more extensive disclaimer.

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