Change for the Better: How To Make a Habit of It

Healthy lifestyle concept with diet and fitness

How do we change? 

Author 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 beforeRubin’s new book, Better than Before, answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers 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 counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.

Many habit experts offer one-size-fits-all solutions. But as we all know through hard experience, no magic formula exists. The secret, Rubin explains, is to pinpoint the specific strategies will work for us. From finding the right time to begin a new habit, to setting up a counter-intuitive system of reward, to using the pleasure of treats to strengthen our good habits, Rubin identifies the 21 strategies that will allow every reader to find an effective, individual fit.

african american businesswoman sitting in lotus pose on table while meditating in office

Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ 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?

Young woman in bed

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible.

The Essential Seven:

  1. Eat and drink more healthfully (give up sugar, eat more vegetables, drink less alcohol)
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Save, spend, and earn wisely (save regularly, pay down debt, donate to worthy causes, stick to a budget)
  4. Rest, relax, and enjoy (stop watching TV in bed, turn off a cell phone, spend time in nature, cultivate silence, get enough sleep, spend less time in the car)
  5. Accomplish more, stop procrastinating (practice an instrument, work without interruption, learn a language, maintain a blog)
  6. Simplify, clear, clean, and organize (make the bed, file regularly, put keys away in the same place, recycle)
  7. Engage more deeply in relationships—with other people, with God, with the world (call friends, volunteer, have more sex, spend more time with family, attend religious services)

Vegetarian breakfast bowl with spinach, arugula, avocado, seeds and sprouts

Better Than Before gives readers the thrill of recognition and relief, because at last, they’ll have the vocabulary and framework to change their habits successfully. Questioner or Rebel? Dependent on external accountability—or by inner desire? Love habits—or resist them? Solutions exist.

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.

About FoodTrients

Combining her passion for food and a lifelong commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Grace O has created FoodTrients®, a unique program for optimizing wellness. Grace O is a fusion chef with a mission: to cook up recipes for sustaining a long and joyful life that are built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her work in the health care industry. Mixing foods and unique flavors culled from a lifetime of travels from Asia to Europe and America, Grace O encourages young and old to celebrate a full life that embraces diversity. Lifestyle tips, age-defying recipes, and secrets of the healing properties of food are the centerpiece of FoodTrients™–all available through cookbooks, e-newsletters, and FoodTrients.com. foodtrients.com
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.