Gretchen Rubin: The Power Of Habits - How To Make And Break Them #49

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. 

In Today’s episode we talk about personality types, the 4 human tendencies and which one best describes you. Are you a closer or a finisher? An abstainer or moderator? A night or morning type? Learn how to use habits to make changes naturally without engaging willpower or self-control which often lead to exhaustion and failure. We also talk about the differences between habits and addictions, and how to get along with people who are very different from you. 

On Gretchen’s popular weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft; they’ve been called the “Click and Clack of podcasters.” Her podcast was named in iTunes’s lists of “Best Podcasts of 2015” and was named in the Academy of Podcasters “Best Podcasts of 2016.” BuzzFeed listed Happier in 10 Life-Changing Things to Try in June and the New Yorker said, “Their voices remind you that life is a human project that we’re all experimenting with.” The podcast consistently ranks in the iTunes Top Charts.

She started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Topics discussed: 

  • Getting to know Gretchen and her work
  • The value of her personality test and the 4 human tendencies: upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel. Which one are you?  
  • Inner and outer expectations, and breaking commitments to others and yourself 
  • Morning vs. night person: stop trying to change yourself, rather, change your circumstances
  • Simplicity lover vs abundant lover: one size doesn't fit all
  • Respecting the truth about ourselves and our natural habits
  • Learning about the personality tendencies of others increases our chances to manage differences more easily
  • Habits and addictions: is there really a difference?
  • Using habits instead of self control, decision-making and willpower to manage changes in our lives
  • Abstainers vs. moderators: the key is to know yourself
  • Decision fatigue and how it wears you down 
  • Piggybacking and the importance of knowing what's true for you
  • Building new habits: what's the right way? 
  • Opener or closer: are you a starter or finisher?
  • Lifestyle recommendations