Better Than Before: A review of Gretchen Rubin's book on habits

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Author Gretchen Rubin came to Seattle, and I didn't see her — but I saw her poster in the library often enough beforehand that I was inspired to check out her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. It's about her own quest to understand habit formation and tips for us on how best to start and maintain good habits.

I enjoyed the book and found it very useful. Rubin outlines four personality tendencies when it comes to habits: Upholders (who find it easy to keep habits no matter what), Obligers (who will keep habits if it pleases the people they care about and they have accountability from them), Questioners (who must justify and research before they'll commit to a habit), and Rebels (who will keep habits only if it suits their antiestablishment tendencies). You probably already know from that brief description which one is you, but if not, there's a quiz on her site.

Rubin uses her own experiences coaching herself and victims … er … loved ones through habit formation to report on how each personality type can find success in keeping the habits we want, whether that's cutting our sugar intake, reading more books, taking a regular yoga class, biking with our kids each week, or whatever motivates you. She helps you clarify your goals (and figure out if you even actually want that habit — some of us will profess a habit we think we should have but have no intention of actually following through on it), set up accountability (whether internal or external, the type required for Obligers), and avoid pitfalls.


Lean into your writing challenges

Sometimes when you're writing fiction, you'll get to a place where a character does something unexpected, and you'll want to fix it.

Or you'll realize your plot would be stronger if some terrible thing befell your protagonist, but you have a protective urge pulling you back.

Or you'll introduce a detail that messes with the tidy outline you had in your mind, and you try to figure out a painless way to erase it.

Don't. Move forward. Push through the hard way, never minding the thorns. Laugh about how much harder and messier you're making it for yourself.

Nine times out of ten, your novel will be better for it.


Download all your Tweets

I came across this article on BlogHer explaining the easy way you can now download your entire Twitter archive. Even if you've been tweeting forever, it's nearly instantaneous and well worth the stroll back down memory lane.

For no good reason, I wrote this post back in 2013 and then never published it. I think I just wanted to add more cute Tweets to it, or maybe delete some. Who knows. I officially give up and am letting it loose into the world! I checked, and downloading your archive all still works the same, AND these Tweets below are hecka entertaining. So, enjoy, and let me know what your favorite old Tweets are if you do this! Newsflash: I have a new author Twitter handle I'd love to have you follow as well: @LaurenWaynecom

In the article, Diane asks what your first Tweet ever was. Mine were RTs — good links but a boring story for the purposes of this post. But my third Tweet made me chuckle:

Still true.
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