Sunday, July 23, 2017

Be Who You Are, And Be That Well

I went to a religious high school with two exceedingly quotable founders. One of founder Saint Jane de Chantal's best directives is, "Be you who are, and be that well." Like, don't try to go and massively change in order to gain favor from anyone, including yourself. Instead, hone in on your best, most authentic version, and let that goodness shine through.

That's kind of what Gretchen Rubin is saying in this book that I've become obsessed by, Better Than Before. In it, she talks about knowing yourself as the key to habit acquisition. 

And who cares about habits? Everybody probably should. Rubin's premise is that habits are "the invisible architecture of our everyday lives," so your habits determine what you accomplish and, more importantly, how you feel.

I'm only a little more than halfway through the book, but it's already inspired me to try a few new things (or return to some tried and true routines) to invigorate the habits that I know make me feel happier and more successful. In the book, Rubin offers various strategies you can use to implement and maintain habits. Some of the most appealing to me as an Upholder (that's my tendency, according to Rubin's framework - what's yours?) are Monitoring and Scheduling.

Here's what I'm going to monitor this week:
  • I've known for awhile that I probably missed a food when I stuck with some of the eliminations from the diet last fall that helped me lessen my symptoms of psoriasis. After several experiments, I'm pretty sure it's corn. So, this week, I'm going to monitor my food choices and make sure I'm not eating processed corn. I'm going to have a "no corn" item in my habits tracker in my little to-do list book that I carry with me.
  • I'm going to make a list of the things I want to do multiple times per week - write my book (there are almost no new scenes left to write, FYI), exercise, and blog. I'm going to put a number of check-boxes next to each of these. When I fill the check boxes (four for blogging, for example), I can stop worrying about the tasks until next week. This is a combo of monitoring and scheduling.
  • Finally, I'm going to monitor my supplement taking. I'm supposed to take a digestive enzyme thing and also probiotics, but sometimes I forget. If I put those things on my to-do list and check off the box, I do it.
And now, as a bonus, I've used the strategy of Accountability to ensure that I'll do these things by writing them here. Win-win-win.

The time that Gretchen Rubin helped me reconceptualize failure

Habits and attitudes to help writers.


Jimy said...

Quite beautiful and simple lesson but also so important.Be who you are and be that well.That book is really mind-boggling.Thank you very much for sharing.keep posting

Anonymous said...

Be who you are and be that well. Hmm these are words to live by. And I think I would love to read this book. I need to break some habits lol.