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  • feedwordpress 14:08:56 on 2016/12/03 Permalink
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    Are We the Same Person Throughout Our Lives? Agatha Christie Thought So. 

    agatha-christie

    Do you agree? It’s a difficult question.

    “We are all the same people as we were at three, six, ten or twenty years old. More noticeably so, perhaps, at six or seven, because we were not pretending so much then, whereas at twenty we put on a show of being someone else, of being in the mode of the moment. If there is an intellectual fashion, you become an intellectual–if girls are fluffy and frivolous, you are fluffy and frivolous. As life goes on, however, it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself every day. This is sometimes disconcerting for those around you, but a great relief to the person concerned.”

    –Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

    Self-knowledge! In the end, any discussion of happiness always returns to the question of self-knowledge.

    Relatedly, what’s your favorite Agatha Christie mystery? I don’t read mysteries, but I loved her autobiography, so want to try the mysteries. She wrote sixty-eight novels, where to start!

    The post Are We the Same Person Throughout Our Lives? Agatha Christie Thought So. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:29 on 2015/12/14 Permalink
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    A Fun Way to Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose a One-Word Theme for 2016. 

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    I love New Year’s resolutions – and I’m not the only one. Some 44% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

    I love resolutions,, and as I wrote about in my book Happier at Home, for the last several years, I’ve identified one idea, summarized in just one word, as an overarching theme for the entire year.

    My sister Elizabeth often does this kind of resolution, too. Last year her theme is “Novel.” One year was the year of “Free Time,” another, “Style,” another “Hot Wheels” — that year, she got a car and started driving; she and I have both struggled with a fear of driving, which was much tougher for her, given that she lives in Los Angeles and I live in New York City.

    Another friend of mine does the same thing. One year, I remember, was “Dark,” another was “Make.”

    For 2015, I chose “Upgrade.” In this post from January 2, I wrote, “I want to take many areas of my life to the next level. ”

    And I’m happy to say, that this year, I did upgrade in a big way. With my new podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin! This podcast is a whole new adventure for me and Elizabeth, my co-host sister. New people, new skills, new challenges, new fun. And as I’d hoped, that feeling of “upgrade” made me feel energized and gratified. We’re especially excited today, because we just found out that iTunes named us one of the “Best of 2015” podcasts. Yowza!

    And of course, my book Better Than Before came out in 2015, too. I’ve written lots of books, but it’s exciting every time, and every time, a new world opens up, afterward. It’s so thrilling to put ideas out there, to see what people say.

    For 2016, I’m cheating a little, and allowing myself two words: “Lighten up.”

    This isn’t a new aim of mine. I have Twelve Personal Commandments, and “Lighten up” is actually #9.

    I tend to get intense and worked up, and I take myself too seriously. I want to remind myself to take things lightly, keep a sense of perspective, and see the funny side of things.

    To inspire myself to lighten up, I just watched that scene from the movie Stripes: “Lighten up, Francis.” And I re-read one of my favorite lines, from G. K. Chesterton: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”

    I’ve heard so many great ideas: Adventure, Renew, Energize, Bestow, Grace, Travel, Free, Rest, Finish.

    Have you ever tried this choose-a-theme approach? What did you pick — or what might you pick, for 2016?

    If you’d like to read more about choosing one-word themes for the year, I talk about it with my sister in episode 26 of our podcast, and I write about it in my book Happier at Home.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:31:47 on 2015/12/13 Permalink
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    Agree? “I Sometimes Feel Like I Have a Brain Issue Around Understanding How Long Things Will Take Me.” 

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    Interview: Laurie Berkner.

    I have Twelve Personal Commandments, and the first commandment, and the most important, is to “Be Gretchen.”

    In some ways, it makes me sad to “Be Gretchen,” because it means admitting my limitations. And one of my limitations? I don’t have much appreciation for music.

    I mean, sure, I like a song here or there, but I don’t have the passionate interest and enjoyment of music that so many people have. On the upside — more time to read!

    That’s why it’s all the more surprising that I love the music of Laurie Berkner.  Her band is the Laurie Berkner Band, and she has lots of terrific albums, she regularly appeared on Nick Jr. and Sprout, she’s written children’s books, she gives huge concerts, and so on.

    She’s best known as a writer and performer of music for children, but I love her music as an adult. She has many songs I love.

    In The Happiness Project, in a discussion of why children boost happiness, I wrote:  “Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t…pore over Baskin-Robbins cake designs, memorize Is Your Mama a Llama?…I wouldn’t watch Shrek over and over or listen to Laurie Berkner’s music…Nevertheless, I honestly do enjoy these activities with my children. I don’t just enjoy their pleasure…I also experience my own sincere enjoyment of activities that I would otherwise never have considered.”

    So here’s the beauty of Twitter. Laurie Berkner herself tweeted me a message! Saying how much she liked The Happiness Project and that she got a kick out of seeing her work mentioned.

    I was so excited. I went running to my family and said, “You’ll never guess who just sent me a message on Twitter!” They were very impressed.

    I actually got to have coffee with Laurie Berkner, and of course, ply her with questions about her habits. I was dying to hear what she said.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?  

    Laurie: Going to the farmers’ market on Sundays to drop off our compost and buy food for the week.  I like saying hi to all of the people who sell there, running into friends, knowing I put a little less garbage into a landfill and discovering what is in season. It’s my treat to myself whenever I’m not working on a Sunday morning.  Plus, we make it into a family affair when everyone is home.  We even bring our dog, Winston.

    What’s something you know now about forming healthy habits that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    That I’m much happier forming habits for myself than for someone else. Also, that I am often not very good at forming habits in a long term way.  It takes a lot of work for me.  I start with good intentions, enjoy them, but I often lose track of the things that make me happy.  It’s as if I forget the effect they have on me, and I only remember those good feelings once I convince myself to do them again. It’s also easier to convince myself now that I’ve had many more years to experience how good the good habits can feel—I can at least recall them intellectually.

    Sometimes I even use images to remind myself.  For example, going to sleep before 11 pm is very challenging for me. Recently I’ve been able to do it pretty consistently for one of the first times I can remember. I remember visiting my brother and sister-in-law a few years ago (they are both great at getting to bed early), and I saw her climb in bed, pull the covers up to her chin, and close her eyes with a look of pure contentment on her face just before she called out “goodnight!”When I find myself putting off getting in bed, I conjure up that image of my sister-in-law and it helps me remember how good I feel once I pull the covers up and am lying down myself.

    Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?

    Misjudging time. It sometimes feels to me as if I have a brain issue around understanding how long things will take me.  I never leave enough time for things that will take a while, and I leave too much time for short tasks. It also means I’m late, a lot.

    Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, etc.)  

    It’s funny, while being creative is really important to me, I don’t have a lot of habits around it. I just tend to be creative when I feel like it. But habits are really important for me for my physical and emotional health. Exercising, getting enough sleep, eating well, spending time outside and in nature, meditating (that I one I have the hardest time maintaining), are all really important habits for me. Actually these habits all help everything I do. They help my health, my creativity, my productivity, my happiness, and my relationships.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger? 

    I took the test on your site and it said I was a Questioner.  I wasn’t at all sure what it would say I was.  I feel like I can see myself dip into Rebel and Obliger as well.

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits? (e.g. travel, parties, too much performance)  

    It’s funny, traveling when I’m performing actually often helps me keep my healthy habits.  I make sure to go to bed early, I don’t snack before bed, I make time to practice, and I get things on my to-do list done that I’ve been putting off. I think being away from home and not feeling the pressure of all the things I do as a mom makes me feel like I have more time to do things that I would otherwise squeeze out of my schedule.

    And the thing that interferes with my ability to keep healthy habits the most is when I have a lot going on at work. It spills into my personal life and time.

    Do you embrace habits or resist them?  

    Hmm, I’m not really sure.  I think I resist them more than I embrace them – but I’m drawn to the idea of having good habits.  It just seems like there is never enough time for all of them.

    Has another person ever had a big influence on your habits?

    Yes.  I had a therapist for almost 20 years who taught me a lot about making time for myself.  It helped me enormously in feeling okay about making time to cook my own meals, see an acupuncturist and a chiropractor regularly, and take the time I need in order to finish projects and feel good about them.

    How do you feel about answering questions about habits?

    Strangely stressed out.  I feel aware of how hard it is for me to stay consistent in most areas of my life.  I feel like I keep habits in phases.  I will loyally do something for a period of time, then I’ll forget about it and start doing something else loyally for the next period of time and then find a third and maybe a fourth thing and then rediscover the first one and start all over again.

    What are you currently working on?

    I have a new double album out of traditional kids’ songs called Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs.  In early 2016, I’m launching an online training of my “me and my grown-up” type curriculum for music teachers called Laurie Berkner’s The Music In Me.  You can hear me talk about ways to incorporate music into daily family life every day on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live with “The Music In Me Minute.” I’m also making new videos every month on the Official Laurie Berkner Band YouTube page, we have a very active Facebook page with fun crafts, and I’m always performing and would love for people to know about my shows and come see them! People can sign up for our fan list at www.laurieberkner.com to be notified about performances in their area and anything else I’m up to.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:24:14 on 2015/12/11 Permalink
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    Determined to Keep Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s How. 

    New Year's Resolution Tips

    I love making New Year’s resolutions. Yes, January 1 might be an arbitrary date, but I think it’s good that we all have a cue to ask ourselves, “What would I like to change about my life? How could it be better than before?”

    Most of us have a list of things we’d like to do better — and very often, those things involve habits. Exercise, sleep, fun, eating, relaxing, and so on.

    In my book Better Than Before, I list all twenty-one strategies that we can use to make or break the habits that shape our lives. All the strategies are powerful and effective, but some are more universal than others. Here are some of the most popular ones, to start you thinking.

    1. Be specific.

    Don’t resolve to “Eat more healthfully.” That’s too vague. What are you really asking of yourself? Resolve to “Eat breakfast,” “pack a lunch,” “stop eating fast food,” “cook dinner at home,” or “no more sugary soda.” That’s the Strategy of Clarity.

    I did this with reading. I love to read, but I wasn’t spending enough time reading. So I resolved to “Quit reading a book I don’t like” (which changed my life), “Do ‘study’ reading on the weekend,” and I also monitor my reading — see below.

    2. Monitor your resolution.

    If we monitor something, we manage it much better. Just simply tracking how much you are — or aren’t — doing something will push you in the right direction. That’s the Strategy of Monitoring. With reading, I’ve started to post a photo on my Facebook page every Sunday night to show what books I’ve read that week. I find this very fun and satisfying, and I have to say, it also helps me push myself to find more time to read.

    3. Figure out your Tendency.

    There are Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Take the quiz here.  This is the Strategy of the Four Tendencies.

    4. Give yourself external accountability. 

    Now that you know your Tendency, if you’re an Obliger, to keep a resolution, give yourself external accountability. This is key. Tell other people about your resolution, work out with a trainer, take a class, do something with a friend, hire a coach.

    Or start a Better Than Before Habits Group, where people hold each other accountable. Everyone can be working on different resolutions — what matters is that they’re holding each other accountable. To get the “starter kit” for people launching an accountability group, request it here. This is the Strategy of Accountability.

    Note: the Strategy of Accountability can also be helpful to Upholders and Questioners — but it’s often actually counter-productive for Rebels.

    5. Treat yourself!

    This is the most fun way to strengthen your resolutions. When we give ourselves healthy treats, we boost our self-command — which helps us keep our resolutions. When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves. But make sure they’re healthy treats. Food and drink, shopping, and screen time are often unhealthy treats. This is the Strategy of Treats.

    6. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

    Thank you, Voltaire.  If you break your resolution today, try again tomorrow.  Try to use your slip-up as a lesson in how to do better next time. Although some people assume that strong feelings of guilt or shame act as safeguards to help people stick to good habits, the opposite is true. People who feel less guilt and who show compassion toward themselves in the face of failure are better able to regain self-control, while people who feel deeply guilty and full of self-blame struggle more. This is the Strategy of Safeguards.

    7. Sign up for the 21 Days, 21 Strategies for Habit Change.

    To thank people who pre-order the paperback of Better Than Before, I’m giving them this email package for free. Each morning for twenty-one days, I’ll send you an email that describes a different strategy that you can harness to master your habits. If you’re determined to keep a New Year’s resolution this year, I hope you’ll get lots of ideas about how to do that.

    What else? What are some strategies you’ve discovered, to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions?

     
  • feedwordpress 19:31:29 on 2015/12/09 Permalink
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    Podcast 42: Act the Way You Want to Feel, Consider Giving Up a Temptation, and I Manage to Get Back to the Gym. 

    podcastElizabethandGretchenlaughing

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: I hold Elizabeth accountable for pondering her YA novel.

    And loyal sister that she is, Elizabeth gave a plug for the paperback of Better Than Before, which comes out December 15.  To thank people who order early, if you do pre-order, you get the “21 Days, 21 Strategies for Habit Change” email package for free. But act fast. Info here.

    Even more news! Elizabeth and I are doing our first live recording of the podcast! If you’re in the Bay Area, January 21, Brava Theater, we hope to see you there. Info and tickets here.  We’ll have two excellent guests, and some special little treats, plus you get a copy of Better Than Before with your ticket.

    Try This at Home: Act the way you want to feel. Want to know all my Twelve Personal Commandments? Look here.

    Better Than Before Habit Strategy: We’re working our way through the twenty-one strategies for habit change that I discuss in Better Than Before. In this episode, we talk about the Strategy of Abstaining (which we’ve talk about before, for instance, in back episode 2, but we keep hearing from listeners about it).

    Listener Question: “What’s the line between freeing yourself from an obligation that’s become counter-productive versus quitting something prematurely, that you ought to stick with?”

    Elizabeth’s Demerit:  Elizabeth hasn’t had her hair cut and colored for months.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: In episode 41, I gave myself a demerit for not going to the gym. This time, I get a gold star for switching gyms; I used the Strategy of Convenience to join a gym closer to my apartment, and I have in fact started to go to the gym again.

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    Happier with Gretchen Rubin #42 - Listen at Happiercast.com/42

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out  The Great Courses for a wide variety of fascinating courses taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: go to thegreatcourses.com/happier to order from eight of their bestselling courses, including The Science of Mindfulness, and get up to 80% off. Limited time.

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    We love hearing from listeners

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

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    Happier with Gretchen Rubin #42 - Listen at Happiercast.com/42

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    HAPPIER listening!

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:15:43 on 2015/12/08 Permalink
    Tags: live, , San Francisco,   

    My Sister Elizabeth and I Will Record an Episode of Our Podcast–Live! San Francisco, January 21. 

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    My sister Elizabeth and I are so excited. We’re doing a live event for our podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    If you live in the Bay Area, we hope to see you there! it will be a very fun evening. Please come, bring your friends, help spread the news.

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Brava Theater

    2781 24th Street, San Francisco

    7:00-8:30 p.m.

    More info and buy tickets here. Tickets are $40, and with that, you get a ticket to the show, a copy of my paperback Better Than Before, and admission to a book-signing party afterward. Elizabeth and I also have a few little surprises to hand out (we couldn’t resist).

    So please come. We’d love to meet you — we’re really looking forward to being able to see listeners while we’re recording. We have two fascinating, hilarious guests lined up, and we’ve thought of a fun, unusual segment, to take advantage of the fact that we’ve got an actual live audience. (But don’t worry, we won’t do that thing where people are picked randomly out of the audience. That always makes me so tense.)

    Bonus: our delightful producer Henry Molofsky, who has been featured in a few episodes, will also be there.

    We’ve been thrilled by the success of Happier. We’re getting very close to five million downloads. Yowza.

    Hope to see you on January 21!

     
  • feedwordpress 20:52:46 on 2015/12/07 Permalink
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    5 Quick, Easy Habits that Have Actually Strengthened My Relationships. 

    Relationships

    When people think about changing their habits, they often think of the diet-and-exercise family of habits.

    Also, as much as I personally love habits, I know that many people associate habit-change with having to make a lot of effort.

    But habits don’t have to take a lot of time or energy to form, and they can help us with any aspect of our lives. I have to admit, even now, after spending years thinking about habits, I’m astonished by how much a truly tiny habit can boost happiness.

    For instance, here are some examples of a few quick, easy habits that I’ve adopted to strengthen my relationships. They’re all practically effortless, they all make me happier.

    These kinds of habits are particularly helpful to me, because the truth is, I can get lost in my own head, and become so focused on crossing something off my to-do list that I neglect to make time to connect with the people who are most important to me. In the tumult of everyday life, I find it all too easy to overlook what really matters.

    So I’ve made these habits:

    1. I kiss my husband first thing in the morning, and I kiss him last thing at night.

    It might sound silly to schedule kisses — but for me, if it’s on the calendar, it gets done, and if not, not. That’s the power of the Strategy of Scheduling!

    2. Our family gives each other a real “hello” and “good-bye” every time one of us comes or goes.

    When our two daughters were little, they’d greet me and my husband with wild enthusiasm whenever we walked in the door, and often cried miserably when we left. Then we went through a period when barely looked up from their own games or homework or books when we walked in or out — and I was a major offender in this area, myself. So we made a family resolution to “Give warm greetings and farewells.”  For instance, instead of letting my older daughter yell, “I’m leaving” before she disappears out the door to go to school, I call, “Wait, wait,” and hurry to give her a real hug and a real good-bye.  As a consequence, each day, several times, we have moments of real connection among all members of our family. (Want to read more about this? Check out my book Happier at Home.)

    3. With my parents and sister, I do “updates.”

    This was my mother’s idea. We’ve all noticed that when you see people all the time, you have a lot to say to them; when you talk to them more rarely, it’s easy to fall into a “What’s new?” “Not much, what’s new with you?” type conversation. So the four of us do “updates.” Every few days, we send an email with the subject line of “update,” we give the most basic details of what we’re doing, and we rarely reply to each other. Our motto is “It’s okay to be boring.” Elizabeth and I discuss it here. We’ve heard from so many people who have started this habit!

    4. Before my daughters go to bed each night, I spend some time with each girl, holding her in my arms and talking about her day.

    It’s interesting: growing up, my family wasn’t at all demonstrative, and I never thought about it, or doubted that my parents loved me. But my family now is super lovey-dovey. Which I very much enjoy. I like having a habit that means that I get some time, each day, to be close both physically and mentally with each of my daughters — a time that’s just for the two of us.

    5. I send an email whenever there’s any possible reason to congratulate or compliment a friend.

    I used to be very lax about this, but now I make it a very deliberate habit to reach out whenever I have an excuse. For instance, I walked by a friend’s townhouse the other day, and it had a gorgeous arrangement of pumpkins–so I sent an email. A friend’s book got an award, so I sent an email. These little gestures make a difference, over time.

    The thing is, we have can have the very best of intentions — but never get around to giving that good-morning kiss or sending that friendly email.  And that’s where habits can help.

    Habits are freeing and energizing because they get us out of the draining, difficult business of making decisions and using our self-control. When something’s important to us, and we want it to happen frequently, making it into a habit means that it does happen, and without a lot of fuss.

    What habits have you adopted, that have strengthened your habits?

    To get more ideas about some helpful habits to follow, and even more, to get ideas about how to change your habits, check out my (bestselling) book, Better Than Before. Everything is revealed! It turns out that it’s not that hard to change your habits — once you know what to do.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:55:20 on 2015/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: dog, ,   

    3 Bad Habits that I Use with My Puppy. 

    BarnabyPantinginPark

    As I’ve mentioned, we got a new puppy — he’s an adorable five-month-old black cockapoo named Barnaby. 

    He’s sleeping at my feet right now. He has a special dark corner under my desk where he likes to hang out.

    It took me a lot of hard thinking to decide whether or not to get a dog — you can listen to me talk about it with my sister here — and I’m so happy we did get a dog.

    Beforehand, though, I was adamant that we would spend a lot of time and effort to make sure that he had very, very good doggy manners. Better for him, better for us.

    But I must confess, as much as I love habits, and as much as I’ve studied how to form habits — after all, I wrote a whole book, Better Than Before, about the twenty-one strategies we can use to master our habits — I’ve fallen into three bad puppy habits.  (I say “I” but these apply to my whole family, actually.)

    1.  I let him jump on the furniture.

    Before we got him, I swore this would be an ironclad rule. But the thing about dogs and habits — you need to be consistent. And we’re just not consistent about not letting him jump up.

    2.  I don’t practice enough with various commands.

    I do work on “touch,” but how long has it been since I worked on “stay” or “look?” My younger daughter is the best of all of us at keeping up with this. Related: when we’re walking, and I want to drag Barnaby away from that savory bit of trash on the ground, instead of using “touch,” or even more advanced, working on “leave it,” I just drag him away with the leash.

    3. I let him jump on people to greet them..

    It’s just so sweet to see how excited he is to say hello to people (though the puppy “excited urination” thing is a bit of a drag). And people want to say hello back. I feel like a killjoy when I try to get him to keep four paws on the ground. Even though I know that what’s cute when he’s a puppy may be far less cute when he’s fully grown, or if a person is scared of dogs, etc.

    The fact is, dog-training is really people-training! Which I knew before we even got Barnaby.

    We do have good habits, too, though. We never feed him from the table, and he almost never has “people” food at all. We keep regular hours for food, water, and walks, which I know is good for dogs.

    But as much as I intellectually know about habits, and despite the dozens of books about dogs that I’ve read (you can see a short reading list here) , it’s just hard to stick with these things, every time. At least for my family. And I’m an Upholder.

    Do you have any habits that you swore you wouldn’t have, before you got a dog? Any tips for me?

     
  • feedwordpress 04:40:32 on 2015/12/04 Permalink
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    What Do You Do with Holiday Cards? Keep, Toss, Store…? 

    grinch

    This week  we started getting holiday cards in the mail. I love it! I love seeing photos of people’s families, and I love the friendly feeling of getting all that good mail (for once).

    But here’s the question: what do you do with the cards?

    I admire the cards, keep them on the table in the hallway for a few days so that my husband and daughters can admire them — and then I toss them.

    When I mentioned this to a friend, she literally gasped out loud. She was shocked. She keeps cards through January before she throws them away, and she thought it was callous and disrespectful of me to toss them so quickly. (She didn’t say that to me, in just those words, but I got her drift.)

    Some people display cards, on the fridge, the mantelpiece, the bulletin board. But I like a bare fridge, and we don’t have a mantelpiece or bulletin board to use. So if I kept them, they’d just be in a stack on a counter someplace.

    I started asking friends what they did, and I discovered that one friend keeps the cards. Indefinitely.

    Now, I do keep a copy of our annual card — which, as I explain in Happier at Home, we send at Valentine’s Day, because life is so crazy in December. If my sister or my parents sent cards, I’d keep those cards. But to keep every card we get? Even from close friends? In a New York City apartment, every inch of space is valuable. And even if I lived in a giant barn in the country, I wouldn’t keep the cards. It would be too much space, devoted to items of too little personal value.

    I don’t want to sound like the Grinch.  As I said, I love seeing the cards, and I appreciate the effort that people go to, to send them. Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that relationship are a key — probably the key — to happiness, and holiday cards are a tradition that helps to keep social bonds going. And it makes us happier to be reminded of the people who are important to us.

    But I feel like once I’ve seen the cards and been reminded of the relationship, they’ve done their work.

    Are you shocked by the idea of throwing them out after just a few days? If you save them for a certain amount of time, how long?

    What do you do with holiday cards?

     
  • feedwordpress 18:27:46 on 2015/12/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , impulse, , , , , saving, , , Strategy of Inconvenience, Strategy of Monitoring,   

    Podcast 41: Take One Thing with You, the Challenge of Impulse Buying, and I Need to Get Back to the Gym. 

    podcastElizabethandGretchenStanding

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: Elizabeth’s trip to New York City, sadly, got cancelled.

    Try This at Home: Take one thing with you. A clutter-busting strategy. Yes, this is so simple that it sounds dumb, but try it!

    Happiness Stumbling Block: Impulse buying. We talk a lot about two strategies from Better than Before: the Strategy of Inconvenience and the Strategy of Monitoring.

    We also talk about under-buyers and over-buyers.

    Listener Question: “I have a lot to be grateful for, but I still don’t call myself a happy person. Why?”

    Elizabeth works in a plug for my Super Soul Sunday appearance with Oprah. What a nice sister.

    Gretchen’s Demerit:  Since we got Barnaby, I’ve stopped going to my cardio gym.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s sister-in-law Michelle did a great job hosting Thanksgiving.

    Call for comments, questions, observations!

    In a few weeks, we’re going to do a round-up episode on the Four Tendencies. We’ve had so many great comments from listeners, so we want to highlight some responses — and we want more. In particular, we want to throw out a few questions.

    Can you think of some famous examples of the Four Tendencies? For instance, Hermione Granger. Textbook Upholder!

    Do you like your Tendency? Why or why not?

    Obligers, if you’re experiencing Obliger-rebellion, I’d love to hear your experience. Especially how you got out of Obliger-rebellion.

    If you’re paired with a Rebel, at home or at work, how does that work for you?

     

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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    Happier with Gretchen Rubin #41 - Listen at Happiercast.com/41

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    HAPPIER listening!

     
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