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Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
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“The biggest waste of time is to do well something that we need not do at all.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“The desire to start something at the “right” time is usually just a justification for delay. In almost every case, the best time to start is now.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“How we schedule our days is how we spend our lives.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“There's a great satisfaction in knowing that we've made good use of our days, that we've lived up to our expectations of ourselves.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“In the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters, and I can use my habits to make sure that my life reflects my values.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“The most important step is the first step. All those old sayings are really true. Well begun is half done. Don’t get it perfect, get it going. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started, and strangely, starting is often far harder than continuing.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“I should pursue only those habits that would make me feel freer and stronger.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“When we do stumble, it’s important not to judge ourselves harshly. Although some people assume that strong feelings of guilt or shame act as safeguards to help people stick to good habits, the opposite is true. People who feel less guilt and who show compassion toward themselves in the face of failure are better able to regain self-control, while people who feel deeply guilty and full of self-blame struggle more.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Research—and my own experience—suggests that the less we indulge in something, the less we want it. When we believe that a craving will remain unsatisfied, it may diminish; cravings are more provoked by possibility than by denial.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“I should make one healthy choice, and then stop choosing.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“It’s a Secret of Adulthood: I can’t make people change, but when I change, others may change; and when others change, I may change.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“six obvious ways to make an activity less convenient: •  Increase the amount of physical or mental energy required (leave the cell phone in another room, ban smoking inside or near a building). •  Hide any cues (put the video game controller on a high shelf). •  Delay it (read email only after 11:00 a.m.). •  Engage in an incompatible activity (to avoid snacking, do a puzzle). •  Raise the cost (one study showed that people at high risk for smoking were pleased by a rise in the cigarette tax; after London imposed a congestion charge to enter the center of the city, people’s driving habits changed, with fewer cars on the road and more use of public transportation). •  Block it altogether (give away the TV set).”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“It is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself that you begin to realise what your own beliefs really are. —GEORGE ORWELL, The Road to Wigan Pier”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started, and strangely, starting is often far harder than continuing.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“With habits, we don’t make decisions, we don’t use self-control, we just do the thing we want ourselves to do—or that we don’t want to do.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“How about this,” I suggested. “Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow,’ try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Comedian Jerry Seinfeld advised aspiring comedian Brad Isaac that, because daily writing was the key to writing better jokes, Isaac should buy a calendar with a box for every day of the year, and every day, after writing, cross off the day with a big red X. “After a few days you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld explained. “You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Habits make change possible by freeing us from decision making and from using self-control.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“By mindfully choosing our habits, we harness the power of mindlessness as a sweeping force for serenity, energy, and growth.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“If we want something to count in our lives, we should figure out a way to count it.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
tags: habits
“There’s no magic formula—not for ourselves, and not for the people around us. We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Whatever liberates our spirit without giving us mastery over ourselves is destructive.” And whatever liberates our spirit while giving us mastery over ourselves is constructive.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Challenge: we find personal meaning in pursuing a goal that’s difficult but not impossible. Curiosity: we’re intrigued and find pleasure in learning more. Control: we like the feeling of mastery. Fantasy: we play a game; we use our imagination to make an activity more stimulating. Cooperation: we enjoy the satisfaction of working with others. Competition: we feel gratified when we can compare ourselves favorably to others. Recognition: we’re pleased when others recognize our accomplishments and contributions.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“once the habit is in place, we can effortlessly do the things we want to do.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“What I do most days matters more than what I do once in a while.” That kind of self-encouragement is a greater safeguard than self-blame.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence, and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly. According to a footnote, the argument of the growing heap is: If ten coins are not enough to make a man rich, what if you add one coin? What if you add another? Finally, you will have to say that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him so.”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
“the real key to habits is decision making—or, more accurately, the lack of decision making”
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

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