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Strategies for Authors and Other Entrepreneurs

Sep 4, 2020

I want to tell you about a book I read.

It was so fabulous, I think I might just have to read it again.

Better Than Before: Mastering the habits of our everyday lives by Gretchen Rubin


This book didn't say "Just do this and your set." It didn't even say, "Here's one way and see if it works for you." And it didn't just say, "Everyone's different, do your best, here are some principles."

It said, "Here's how we're different. Here are examples of what that looks like is real life. What sounds like you? Here are a few ideas for folks that see themselves in this camp and some for this camp, etc."

Not only does it acknowledge we're all different, but it promises hope that by understanding and embracing more of ourselves, we'll be more successful in our goals.

Are you an Upholder, an Obliger, a Questioner, or a Rebel?

Are you an Abstainer or a Moderator?

Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl?

These are some of the categories Gretchen Rubin identifies and explains in the book.

I've decided I'm an Obliger with Upholder tendencies and I both abstain from some things in my life in order to stay healthy, but then stay moderate in other areas with no problems. I'm definitely more of an Early Bird.


Let's say you were a Questioning Moderate Nightowl, and you were advised to get up early before the rest of the house woke up, and exercised (or wrote in your novel) every day.

You, never mind how hard you tried or what attitude you strapped on, you wouldn't find success with that habit for very long.

It's just not you. And instead of hating yourself for not getting it right again, or failing again, or wondering why you can't get your shit together.. Instead, embrace the core things about you.

USE them.

I have a client that is a firm Obliger. She finds it very difficult to self-motivate and only gets tasks done if she's externally motivated and held accountable for the very things she really wants to do. Instead of succumbing to the irritation and frustration of never getting things done, she embraced that obliging tendency to do work for others and now has a team of people that work for her. She has a personal trainer. She has a business coach. She has a counselor. She has hiking buddies. She has a housekeeper.

If you are a Questioner, you'll say, "But WHY is it that I need to do this before anyone else gets up? What difference does it make WHEN I do this? As long as I do this. When else makes sense to do this? And how much time a day do I REALLY need to put in to see real results?

If you are a Questioner, you're a researcher. Embrace that.

Figure out, through questioning, what and when is right for you.

And, if you're a night owl, no amount of discipline or willpower or going to bed early is going to shift that nature enough to help you sustainably and consistently get up at 5:30 a.m.

And if you tend to be more moderate in your behaviors, why would an all or nothing, do it every day, don't break the chain habit ever work for you?

Embrace the moderation, if that is in you.

Be proud that you can take a day or two off of habitual behavior and not have it disintegrate. You're someone that doesn't have to do a behavior every day to make it stick.

Another thing I appreciated from this book was when she said that our "identity" shifted based on what we were presented with.

For instance, I can be moderate in drinking alcohol. I can have a glass or two of wine and not want anymore. I self-"identify" as someone who can be moderate with my alcohol consumption. BUT, I have to abstain from sugar. I can't have it in the house, or I'll eat a whole chocolate bar in one sitting.

Those big jugs of chocolate-covered salted caramels from Costco? Shit. I'm lost. And they're all gone in a weekend. I can't stop myself.

It's disgusting. I feel disgusting as I'm doing it and I can't stop.

So, I'm Moderate in some things, but I know I have to Abstain from others to build good habits.


What habits are you wanting to change or add to your life or business? How can you use your personality and strengths to become more successful?

Leave your comments in the blog or join me in my FB group, Strategies for Authors and Other Entrepreneurs.

And check out: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.