Gretchen Rubin: why you need clarity

gretchen rubin | AnnDaly.comHave you read happiness guru Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives?

Turns out, good habits are a key to happiness. And, wait for it: clarity is a key to good habits.

Here’s what Rubin says:

“One of the great puzzles of habit is the fact that some habits form too easily, while others don’t seem to stick. Why? There are many answers, but sometimes, I realized, the problem is a lack of clarity.”

There are two types of clarity that support the formation of good habits: clarity of values and clarity of action.

“The clearer I am about what I value, and what action I expect from myself — not what other people value, or expect from me — the more likely I am to stick to my habits.”

If you want to get clear about what you value, here’s a terrific set of questions that Rubin suggests you ask yourself:

  • What’s most satisfying to me: saving time, or money, or effort?
  • Does it bother me to act differently from other people, or do I get a charge out of it?
  • Do I spend a lot of time on something that’s important to someone else, but not to me?
  • If I had $500 that I had to spend on fun, how would I spend it?
  • Do I like to listen to experts, or do I prefer to figure things out for myself?
  • Does spending money on an activity make me feel more committed to it, or less committed?
  • Would I be happy to see my children have the life I’ve had?

As Rubin writes, “No clarity, no action.”

(Next time: Gretchen Rubin on the importance of convenience.)


Want more clarity? Check out my book Clarity: How to Accomplish What Matters Most.

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