Diving Into Better Than Before

I can actually credit Gretchen Rubin with the start of my Happiness Journey that I embarked upon in 2012. The word embarked upon makes me sound like an old-world traveller, but I digress. After I called off my wedding in August of 2012 and started healing after a toxic relationship fell apart, I picked up the Happiness Project in October and it helped shaped how I live my life today. It is one of the many tools I used to teach myself how to find happiness in my life. So when Gretchen released her new book; Better Than Before, in March of this year, I eagerly downloaded it to my Kobo. I’ve been reading it at the gym in the morning during cardio on the bike. Hence the picture below with my favourite pre-workout by Magnum (Rocket Science).

Better Than Before

I’m reading it purposefully day by day, only one chapter at a time to allow it to resonate with my overworked brain. I wanted to share part of the process that she went through when looking at her habit-forming skills so I can shine a light on how I’m reading the book in hopes of improving parts of my life that I’m still trying to establish habits.

In the third chapter “Different Solutions for Different People: Distinctions” she shares with us all the questions she asked herself to illuminate what kind of person she is and how that will shape habit making. After sharing her “Four Tendencies” in the chapter before this was neat to see her thought process. If you click the link you can do a quiz on her website to find out what you are. This chapter seems to be written for the reader to help identify what kind of person you are so you can adopt new habits in the best way for yourself to adopt them based on your lifestyle and tendencies.

She asks questions like are you a lark or an owl? An over buyer or an under buyer? A finisher or an opener? A marathoner or a sprinter or a procrastinator? A lover of simplicity or abundance? A lover of familiarity or novelty? Are you promotion or prevention-focused? Do you like to take small steps or big steps? So let’s dive into mine…

How I Like To Spend My Time

At what time of the day do I feel energized? First thing in the morning

When do I drag? In the evening

Do I like racing from one activity to another, or do I prefer unhurried transitions? I like completing a project before moving on to the next. I get overwhelmed with too many projects open but at times do like juggling projects for variety. 

What activities take up my time but aren’t particularly useful or stimulating? Playing games on my phone like Tetris or Lumosity games over and over again just to get a better score. 

Would I like to spend more time with friends, or by myself? I need equal time with people and alone. 

Do I have several things on my calendar that I anticipate with pleasure? I plan out my week this way so I have one thing every day and amazing weekends full of activities and fun. 

What can I do for hours without feeling bored? Working out, reading, writing and social media.

What daily or weekly activity did I do for fun when I was ten years old? Dance. I was in the studio basically every day. I also loved playing outside with my brother (whether it was soccer, throwing the baseball around, a frisbee or playing badminton).  

So I am a LARK (it’s easiest for me to try new habits in the morning) and a MARATHONER (I prefer to plan out my goals and take small steps to get there in a well-executed manner). I am a FINISHER and get intrinsic rewards from completing projects before moving on to the next one. 

What I Value

What’s most satisfying to me: saving time, or money, or effort? time and money

Does it bother me to act differently from other people, or do I get a charge out of it? I feel special when people are in awe of my meal prep ability. But I don’t like to feel bothered that I act differently than others. 

Do I spend a lot of time on something that’s important to someone else, but not to me? Not really as I’m very much a lone wolf these days.

If I had $500 that I had to spend on fun, how would I spend it? travel or an experience like sky diving, bungee jumping and sleeping in a treehouse all in one day 🙂

Do I like to listen to experts, or do I prefer to figure things out for myself? both

Does spending money on an activity make me feel more committed to it? yes – I pay for a race and then I train for it

Would I be happy to see my children have the life I’ve had? I can’t wait to have a family to share my adventures with.

My Current Habits

Am I more likely to indulge in a bad habit in a group, or when I’m alone? for sure alone when no one is watching me.

If I could magically, effortlessly change one habit in my life, what would it be? projects like setting a daily time to write or organize my den always get pushed off and I can’t seem to get them into my routine.

If the people around me could change one of my habits, what would they choose? I need to stick to a routine. Although I love to do things it’s usually planned spontaneity. I very rarely change my plans if I already have in my head what I want to do.

3 things that I’m still struggling to implement in my life are daily devotionals, meditation and consistent writing time for working on my full-length book. I know I need to work on trying things in the morning. I’ve been coming into the office a bit earlier than normal on mornings when I’m not in the gym or just doing 30 mins on the bike so I can spend at least 30 mins writing. Now I just have to figure out how to implement a daily devotional & mediation time. I think ensuring my phone is off at night so I’m not tempted to play Lumosity games on it will be important for me to transition this habit into my life. My brain is just so done with the day in the evening I’m usually doing something mindless.

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