Month: July 2015

Mini book review – Better Than Before

Last month I read Gretchen Rubin‘s book on habits titled Better than Before. Thanks to Tony at Coach.me for sending a free copy of this book. I received it in March and I finally got to read it in June.

This book is based on the premise that everyone is different. So there is no universal solution that works for everyone. The key is to find your habit tendency and frame your habits forming strategies around that personality.

Here is The Four Tendencies Quiz to determine your habit tendency. I am an Upholder. I am not surprised by it.

Each chapter introduces a strategy and details how it applies to each of the four tendencies. She shared a lot of her personal stories as well, which is great. There are little nuggets of wisdom all over the book title Secrets of Adulthood, which I liked but I did not highlight them until it was too late.

Everyone needs Four Foundation Habits: Food, Sleep, Exercise, Declutter. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you better be good at them, she advises.

Although I like to declutter as much as possible in my life, I am not convinced that it is a foundational habit. I heard most creatives and high performers are messy. But I don’t dispute the first three.

The chapter I liked the most is about Habit Loopholes. I blogged about it earlier. They help you realize when you are kidding yourself.

This book provided some unique ideas like tendencies  and loopholes which I never came across earlier. For these ideas alone, it is a worthy read.

Quitting Coffee Struggles

As much as I would love to think that I am not a coffee addict, it looks like I am on the verge of giving up on my attempt to quit coffee.

Since deciding to quit coffee in the last week of April, I drank one cup in May, two in June and two so far in July. In a way I did very well. I cut not only the number of cups and but also their size.

However it is proving difficult to sustain this habit, especially under stress. The few cups that I had are in the clueless moments when I just needed to turn my mind away from the problem I am working on.

I know that progress, not perfection, matters. And what I do everyday matters more than what I do once in a while. In that sense I am already winning. But I must admit that it isn’t easy. I am fine without coffee most of the days but I am also struggling a lot when I am under pressure. So I wonder if it is really worth the struggle. What if I start drinking a tiny sized cup or a black coffee a few days a week. May be drinking coffee is alright if it helps relieve my stress? Why am I even making a big deal out of this? Why can’t I just drink a cup a day and spare myself of this suffering?

Now that I dumped my brain, I feel better and clear: I am not giving up. At least as yet. Why should I make my temporary failures permanent.

I reiterate to myself: I can still drink coffee but mindfully and occasionally, not compulsively.

If you had used any strategies to deal with a similar situation, I will be grateful if you could share it in the comment.