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  • gretchenrubin 16:58:33 on 2017/08/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , Parenthood, , ,   

    Some Thoughts on Happiness After Dropping Off My Daughter at College. 

    This was a big week in the life of my family:  my older daughter Eliza has gone off to college.

    In her case, she did a pre-program, where she went hiking in New Hampshire with a small group of other incoming freshmen.

    This step reminded me of how we did the “Separation” stage when she was starting pre-school.

    During pre-school, she began the school-going experience by attending for a short day, I’d wait nearby with the other parents, and she and I got used to the idea of her going off to school by herself.

    For this outdoor program, we sent her off, but it felt more like a return to summer camp. Before she left home, the focus was on “Do you have the right hiking gear?” not “Now you’re saying good-bye to our dog Barnaby for several months.” When I dropped her off with her backpack, we told each other, “See you next week.”

    This hiking trip made the transition less abrupt. During that week, I told my husband, “I feel like I’m on the mezzanine level — in the mid-way point between two stages.” It was helpful to Eliza, because she got the chance to get to know a group of other students beforehand.

    Then after a week, my husband, my younger daughter Eleanor, and I packed up the car to meet her. We spent the day unloading, unpacking, meeting Eliza’s roommate and her family, buying a trash can, and all the rest.

    I can get very tightly wound in situations like this, so in the car on the trip up, I announced to my family, “I’m really going to try to stay calm. I know there will be ambiguous directions [a pet peeve of mine], and it’s going to be hot, and there will be a lot of waiting and frustrations, but I am going to stay calm.” (My mother is rightly always reminding me to stay calm.) I wanted this day to be a memorable, fun, serene good-bye day. I didn’t do a terrific job of staying calm, but I did a pretty good job of staying calm.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about happiness, and about self-mastery, it’s to think in advance about the experience I want to have, the likely pitfalls, the challenges that always trip me up. By using the Strategy of Safeguards, I help myself avoid acting in ways that will cause me regret later.

    It’s always odd, for me, when I’m going through an experience that I know will be a major life milestone. As we were waiting for Eliza to return from the hiking trip, I said to Eleanor, “I remember so well the day I moved into college. For all of us, we’ll remember this day. We’ll reminisce, ‘Remember Eliza’s first day?'” I had a similar thought when Eleanor came home from the hospital. A friend sent flowers, and I remember rocking Eleanor and thinking, “I have a baby who is such a newborn that the congratulatory flower arrangements are still fresh.” That happened more than twelve years ago.

    Time is so strange, how events can seem so distant and yet so recent. Already, Move-in Day seems like part of the distant past.

    Of everything I’ve ever written, this one-minute video, The Years Are Short, is the thing that has resonated most with people. Now that little girl who rode the bus with me is off on her own.

    In episode 125 of the “Happier” podcast, we talked about advice that listeners suggested for dealing with this family transition (also for packing–we got lots of great packing recommendations). The advice was great, and the most helpful suggestion came from the listener who said, “Remember, this is the end of something, but it’s also the beginning. You’ll have a new chapter in your family life, new favorite restaurants, and spots to visit, new memories. This chapter is short, so enjoy it.”

    I’ve reminded myself of that helpful observation often, because of that, for me, addresses the heart of my mixed feelings about this time.

    I’m thrilled for my daughter — she’s ready for this change, this experience will be terrific, she is so very fortunate to have this opportunity to get more education. And of course this change is a happy change — while often when we deal with endings, it’s in the context of loss.

    I’m sad because it’s the end of her childhood — of her being under our roof. Last week, I got a shock when I glanced into her room in the early morning: her door was open, her bed was made, and for a moment I panicked, where was she?

    And even the extra space in our bathroom makes me a little sad. She shared a bathroom with my husband and me, and the removal of her products gives us a lot more room in the medicine cabinet. This change was gratifying to my simpicity-lover side, but it was also an unexpected visual reminder of her absence.

    Speaking of echoes to pre-school separation, I keep reminding myself of the wise observation made by the nursery-school director, who as we went through “separation,” told us, “This is the first of many times that you will say good-bye to your child.

    We’ll see her soon. Visiting Day, Thanksgiving, and sheesh, I’ll be back in town for an event in less than three weeks! (I told her she didn’t have to attend, and she and I didn’t even need to see each other, if she thought it would be too unsettling to have me pop back into view.)

    It won’t be the same, but while it’s the end of an era, it’s also the beginning of an era.

    If you want to hear Eliza’s views, you can listen to her podcast “Eliza Starting at 16.” I certainly can’t wait for her next episode.

    We also did a Facebook Live broadcast together where viewers gave both of us advice for this big transition. Watch it here.

    For me, it’s always difficult when something comes to the end. Even if I’m ready and happy for it to end, I always feel a sadness in the thought that a period of my life is over.

    But then I remind myself, “No beginnings without endings. Growth brings change.”

    Also, I remind myself, “Gratitude.” As always is the case, feelings of gratitude crowd out negative feelings. When I think about how very, very, very fortunate we are, that comforts me. And that steels me to handle my own feelings and to turn outward, to think about other people’s difficulties and challenges, and the problems of the world.

    Have you grappled with this feeling — of dealing with the end of an era?

    The post Some Thoughts on Happiness After Dropping Off My Daughter at College. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 12:08:19 on 2017/08/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , Parenthood, , , , ,   

    Podcast 128: Connect with TV, Conquering the Snooze Alarm–and Is It Possible to be a Mix of the Four Tendencies? 

    Update: Elizabeth is excited because tomorrow on the “Happier in Hollywood” podcast, she and Sarah talk about a very common happiness stumbling block: self-criticism. When is it helpful, and when is it toxic?

    I’m excited because my new book, The Four Tendencies, hits the shelves in just 41 days. So close, and yet so far!

    Pre-orders give a big boost to a book, so to thank readers who pre-order, I worked with a terrific production team to create a series of videos about the Four Tendencies. After the book goes on sale, I’ll charge for these videos, but until then, you can get access to them for free if you pre-order. Find all the info here. There’s an overview video, then subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.

    Try This at Home:  Connect through television. On episode 9 of “Happier in Hollywood,” the weekly “Hollywood Hack” was to “watch the TV shows your boss watches” to create an easy way to connect.

    But TV is a great way to connect not only with a boss, but also with co-workers, teenagers, grandparents…many relationships. Have you ever used TV to strengthen an important relationship?

    I quote from Tyler Cowen’s Discover You Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Your Motivate Your Dentist.

    Happiness Hack: Put your alarm device across the room, so you have to get out of bed in order to turn off the noise.

    1pix

    Four Tendencies Tip: If you want to take the Quiz, to see whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

    People often suggest that they think they’re a mix of Tendencies, but I argue that just about every one of us does fall into one core Tendency.

    That said, the Tendencies do overlap, and it’s possible to “tip” to a Tendency that overlaps with your core Tendency. For instance, I’m an UPHOLDER/Questioner, and Elizabeth is an OBLIGER/Questioner.

    Listener Question: Debbie asks how to figure out if she truly finds it fun to pursue the outdoor activities that her husband loves.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth has started playing a new app game, Two Dots.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I managed to stay (reasonably) calm while Eliza and I were shopping for some things she needs for college.


    Three Resources:

    1. To get the pre-order bonus, you can find info here, or at happiercast.com/4tbonus. You’ll get the overview video as well as subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.  Free now; after the book comes out, there will be a charge for the video series.
    2.  I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    As I mentioned above, I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Check out Lyft  — join the ride-sharing company that believes in treating its people better. Go to Lyft.com/happier to get a $500 new-driver bonus. Limited time only.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

     

    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.

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

    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.)

    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 to the award-winning Happier 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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 128: Connect with TV, Conquering the Snooze Alarm–and Is It Possible to be a Mix of the Four Tendencies? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • Crystal Ellefsen 10:00:12 on 2017/08/01 Permalink
    Tags: , Parenthood, ,   

    A Mother’s Brilliant Strategy for Dealing with Rebel Pre-schooler 

    Rebel preschooler help

    In Very Special Episode 120 of the “Happier” podcast, Elizabeth and I discussed listeners’ question about the Four Tendencies. This was a real treat for me, because I love talking about this subject so much.

    Starting at about minute 10:38, we discussed a question from Dawn, an Upholder who wanted tips for dealing more effectively with her daughter, a Rebel pre-schooler.

    We talked about focusing on identity and on the information-consequences-choice sequence, which are the two main strategies of dealing more effectively with Rebels. A useful third option? Just doing nothing at all! Which is often the best solution.

    After the episode aired, I was fascinated to get this follow-up email from Dawn, about how she changed her way of engaging with daughter, with great success.


    Hi Gretchen,

     

    Thank you SO much for addressing my question about my Rebel preschool daughter in episode 120 on the podcast! I was so delighted to hear my question made it in. (A friend actually texted me before I had a chance to listen to ask if I had sent in a question b/c it sound so much like my situation)

     

    I wanted to send a quick update to let you know how much your advice has helped. I really have tried to embrace the idea that I CAN’T make her do anything. I can’t! She knows it, I know it, and it’s changed a lot of how I talk to her about things.  I make such an effort to make everything her choice. She can do it if she wants to, and if she doesn’t well then here’s what will happen. Very matter of fact, very calm, not punitive, just the facts.

     

    Here’s an example of how I’ve changed my language.  She was looking at books on the couch and my parents were about to arrive for dinner. She had to wash up for dinner and I thought she should get it over with now, before the get here, to not miss the fun hellos. If I were speaking to my older daughter (tendency TBD but definitely not rebel) I would have said:

     

    “You need wash up before dinner. Please go do it now so you won’t have to do it when Nanny and Poppy are here.”

     

    I now know I would NEVER say that to the rebel. NEED to do something! HA! She would say. I don’t NEED to do anything.  I really thought for a minute and picked my words carefully.

     

    “I’m going to ask you to wash up before dinner. Nanny and Poppy will be here soon. You can choose. You can go now and then you won’t have to do it when they’re here, or you can do it right before dinner, but then you’ll have to leave them to do it. Whatever you choose is fine with me. It’s your choice.” (I did in fact say choice that many times)

     

    A minute after I left her I heard her little footsteps walking over to the sink. She was done right before they walked in the door and was THRILLED that she could say hello and chat and walk right over to the table.

     

    I’ve also appealed to her sense of identity. She was hyper when we were visiting my frail old grandparents and I was truly afraid she was going knock one of them over. Telling her she HAS to stop running and calm down would have failed. I told her Grammie just got out of the hospital b/c she fell and she’s not sturdy on her feet yet and she needs her protectors. She needs the kids to be careful around her and protect her and make sure she doesn’t fall again. Success!  Or when she was sharing a room with her little cousin on vacation. Instead of you HAVE to be quite while he’s falling asleep I said, he’s younger than you and he’s so tired and needs to sleep. Will you be his helper? Will you help him go to sleep by ignoring him and letting him rest? She jumped at the chance.

     

    Overall I would say part of the success has come from me changing my language and how I talk to her, but part of the success has also come from me changing my perspective and fully embracing that I can’t make her do things.

     

    As an Upholder it’s also been freeing to let her help me break the rules a little. Like so what if we’re late? It was a self-imposed timetable, no one is counting on us. I’ve embraced her rebel-ness and this has allowed me see things differently. You’re so right. We’re free-er than we think!!!

     

    Thank you so, so much.

    Dawn


    I have to say, I’m constantly astonished by the subtlety and imagination people use in applying the Four Tendencies. Dawn asking her daughter if she’d like to be her great-grandmother’s “protector!” Her young cousin’s “helper!” Brilliant.

    If Rebels are pushed to show you that “you’re not the boss of me, you can’t tell me what to,” they may seem wild, inconsiderate, irresponsible, unmanageable, in their desire to demonstrate their freedom. If they’re given the choice to act with consideration, love, protectiveness, self-interest, they may well choose to do so.

    It’s also interesting to me to read that Dawn feels that she’s learned, as an Upholder, from the example of her Rebel daughter. As an Upholder myself, I’ve certainly gained tremendously from studying the Rebel perspective. We’re more free than we think.

    I love hearing stories and examples of how people have put the Four Tendencies to work in their own lives. Henry James himself couldn’t invent such rich, creative examples of character in action. Keep them coming!

    Don’t forget, if you’ve pre-ordered The Four Tendencies, you can get access to a very special pre-order bonus. This 5-part video series will help you to start harnessing the power of the Four Tendencies immediately. I explain how to harness the strengths—and manage the weaknesses—of each Tendency, whether at work, in relationships, as a parent or teacher, or as a health-care provider.

     

    The post A Mother’s Brilliant Strategy for Dealing with Rebel Pre-schooler appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 13:00:53 on 2017/07/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Parenthood, , relationhships,   

    Podcast 127: Make or Accept a Relationship “Repair Attempt,” A Sharpie-Related Travel Hack, and a Vow to Write More Legibly. 

    Update:  Tomorrow, I get to make a cameo appearance on episode 11 of the “Happier in Hollywood” podcast to talk about my favorite subject these days: the Four Tendencies, and how knowing your Tendency can help you make progress on a writing project.

    Try This at Home: Make or accept a “repair attempt.” We mention relationship expert John Gottman’s book, Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. I explore the issue of “Fight Right” in my book The Happiness Project.

    Happiness Hack: When traveling with young children, write your cell-phone number on the child’s arm with a permanent marker.

    Know Yourself Better: If you’re facing a difficult task, do you prefer to tackle it early, or do you prefer to work your way up to it?

    Listener Answers: Many listeners suggested ideas for handling a sad anniversary.

    Gretchen’s  Demerit: I’ve developed a bad habit of making illegible entries in my Filofax planner. It’s extremely annoying.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to my daughter Eliza for her interview on episode 38 on the podcast “The Other ‘F’ Word” [the other f word is failure]. You can also listen to her podcast “Eliza Starting at 16.


    Three Resources:

    1.  Sign up for my free newsletter, where I collect highlights from my blog, Facebook, links, behind-the-scenes looks, etc. — and sometimes I offer bonus material.
    2. If you’d like to get an email every time a new “Happier” episode becomes available, you can sign up here.
    3. If you want to pre-order my book The Four Tendencies (and it’s a big help to me, if you do), go here. For the book tour calendar,  info is here.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Little Passports. Check out “Science Expeditions” — the new educational subscription with a science theme that kids and parents will love. To save 40% on your first month’s subscription, go to littlepassports.com/happier, and enter the coupon code HAPPY.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

    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.

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

    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.)

    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 to the award-winning Happier 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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 127: Make or Accept a Relationship “Repair Attempt,” A Sharpie-Related Travel Hack, and a Vow to Write More Legibly. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 17:43:43 on 2017/07/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , Parenthood, , , ,   

    Help! Have Ideas for a Four Tendencies Quiz for Kids? 

    Four Tendencies Quiz Kids

    I’m getting geared up for publication of my book The Four Tendencies — planning the book tour, getting ready to launch the major pre-order bonus (stay tuned for that!), thinking about my book talk.

    I can’t wait for the book to go out into the world.

    One question keeps coming up, over and over, and I want to sit down to figure out the answer before the book hits the shelves: people keep asking me to write a version of the Four Tendencies Quiz aimed at children — so I’m going to try to draft one.

    I need to adapt the existing Quiz so that it uses vocabulary that children understand as well as examples that resonate with them. How do I help determine if a child is an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel?

    I could really use your suggestions and ideas! What questions should I ask? Related to dealing with school, parents, friends, coaches, classes, pets, anything that’s part of a child’s life.

    I asked this question over on my Better appmy free app that’s all about the Four Tendencies — and got such helpful, insightful responses, that I decided to ask here, too.

    One difficulty is that an eight-year-old and an eighteen-year-old inhabit very different worlds. I’m not going to write multiple versions of the child test (at least not at this point), so one challenge is to try to be general enough to cover most ages.

    For some children, their Tendency is very obvious at a very young age. For other children, it’s much harder to determine. Partly, of course, this is because children aren’t autonomous in the way that adults are. Also, their lives tend to include tremendous amounts of accountability. Nevertheless, in my experience, it’s often possible to see a child’s Tendency.

    To spark your thoughts, here are the questions from the adult version:

    1. Have you kept a New Year’s resolution where you weren’t accountable to anyone—a resolution like drinking more water or keeping a journal? 

    • Yes. I’m good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, even ones that no one knows about but me.
    • I’m good at keeping resolutions, but I make them whenever the time seems right. I wouldn’t wait for the New Year; January 1 is an arbitrary date.
    • I’ve had trouble with that kind of resolution, so I’m not inclined to make one. When I’m only helping myself, I often struggle.
    • No. I hate to bind myself in any way.

     

    2. Which statement best describes your view about your commitments to yourself?

    • I make a commitment to myself only if I’m convinced that it really makes good sense to do it
    • If someone else is holding me accountable for my commitments, I’ll meet them—but if no one knows except me, I struggle.
    • I bind myself as little as possible.
    • I take my commitments to myself as seriously as my commitments to other people

     

    3. At times, we feel frustrated by ourselves. Are you most likely to feel frustrated because…

    • My constant need for more information exhausts me.
    • As soon as I’m expected to do something, I don’t want to do it.
    • I can take time for other people, but I can’t take time for myself.
    • I can’t take a break from my usual habits, or violate the rules, even when I want to.

     

    4. When you’ve formed a healthy habit in the past, what helped you stick to it?

    • I’m good at sticking to habits, even when no one else cares.
    • Doing a lot of research and customization about why and how I might keep that habit.
    • I could stick to a good habit only when I was answerable to someone else.
    • Usually, I don’t choose to bind myself in advance.

     

    5. If people complain about your behavior, you’d be least surprised to hear them say…

    • You stick to your good habits, ones that matter only to you, even when it’s inconvenient for someone else.
    • You ask too many questions.
    • You’re good at taking the time when others ask you to do something, but you’re not good at taking time for yourself.
    • You only do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

     

    6. Which description suits you best?

    • Puts others—clients, family, neighbors, co-workers—first
    • Disciplined—sometimes, even when it doesn’t make sense
    • Refuses to be bossed by others
    • Asks necessary questions

     

    7. People get frustrated with me, because if they ask me to do something, I’m less likely to do it (even if they’re a boss or client).

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    8. I do what I think makes the most sense, according to my judgment, even if that means ignoring the rules or other people’s expectations.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    9. Commitments to others should never be broken, but commitments to myself can be broken.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    10. Sometimes I won’t do something I want to do, because someone wants me to do it.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    11. I’ve sometimes described myself as a people-pleaser.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    12. I don’t mind breaking rules or violating convention–I often enjoy it.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

     

    13. I question the validity of the Four Tendencies framework.

    • Tend to agree
    • Neutral
    • Tend to disagree

    But a new question for the kid’s version doesn’t need to inspired by this existing Quiz. It could be something completely different, as long as it shows the differences among the Four Tendencies.

    I appreciate any thoughts or examples you might have!

    The post Help! Have Ideas for a Four Tendencies Quiz for Kids? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:00:42 on 2017/07/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , Parenthood,   

    A Little Happier: You Get What You Get, and You Don’t Get Upset. 

    It’s funny what we remember. When handing out scarves with different patterns, or cupcakes with different colors of frosting, I would hear my daughter’s nursery school teachers admonish the children, “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.”

    I remind myself of this all the time. Sometimes, I can change, control, or choose; sometimes I can’t — in which case, it doesn’t help to get upset about it.

    This saying is a good example of the “fluency heuristic,” by the way: we remember ideas better, and find them more valuable, when they’re easy to remember — for instance, because the words rhyme. (For some reason, I get a big kick out of this.)

    Do you have any childhood sayings that have stuck with you? Rhyming or non-rhyming.

    This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: You Get What You Get, and You Don’t Get Upset. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 18:01:09 on 2017/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , Parenthood, ,   

    Podcast 125: Plan a Virtual Move, a Deep-Dive for College-Bound Students, and an Easy Cure for Splinters. 

    Update: A listener planned not just a Power Hour, not just a Power Day, but an entire Power Week.

    Try This at Home: Plan a virtual move.

    Happiness Hack: To get rid of a splinter, coat the skin with glue, then peel it off. I’ve also heard that duct tape works, too.

    Deep Dive — Advice About a College-Bound Child: In episode 122, I asked listeners for advice as I help Eliza go off to college in the fall. Listeners gave so many great suggestions — covering everything from what to pack, to how often to call, to how to build new family traditions.

    Here are the posts I mention from the Eyeliner Wings and Pretty Things blog:

     

    Gretchen’s Demerit: On Happier in Hollywood, Elizabeth and Sarah talked about how we all need a good professional photograph of ourselves. And although I know perfectly well that I need additional photographs for my redesigned website, I haven’t done anything about it.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives herself a gold star for driving to Legoland and back. (As I write about in Happier at Home, Elizabeth and I share a real dislike of driving.)

    Three Resources:

    1. If you love great quotes, sign up for the free “Moment of Happiness” newsletter, and every day I’ll send you a great quotation about happiness or human nature.
    2. If you want my one-pager on the Paradoxes of Happiness (I do love a great paradox), request it here.
    3. If you want to pre-order my book The Four Tendencies (and it’s a big help to me, if you do), go here.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

    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.

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

    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.)

    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 to the award-winning Happier 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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 125: Plan a Virtual Move, a Deep-Dive for College-Bound Students, and an Easy Cure for Splinters. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:00:07 on 2017/07/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , mottoes, Parenthood, ,   

    A Little Happier: A Happiness Lesson from My Daughters’ School Motto to “Go Forth Unafraid.” 

    I’ve mentioned many times how much I love all teaching stories, koans, parables, aphorisms, maxims, epigrams, proverbs, and the like — anything that crams a big idea into a small space.

    And for that reason, I’ve always been intrigued by school mottoes.

    Recently, my older daughter graduated, which was a huge moment for her — and for me too.

    Her school’s motto is “Go forth unafraid.” It’s part of the school song: “We go forth unafraid/Strong with love and strong with learning…” It’s deeply embedded in the school culture.

    During the graduation ceremony, that motto was projected on a giant screen above the students’ heads.

    And as I sat in the audience and watched all the seniors receive their diplomas, I thought, “That’s what I want for my daughter, and it’s what I want for myself too. Go forth unafraid.

    What was your school motto? Did it make a serious impression on you?

    As I said, I think about my school motto all the time. By contrast, when I asked my husband Jamie about his school motto, he couldn’t remember it! I guess not everyone is as entranced by mottoes as I am.

    This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: A Happiness Lesson from My Daughters’ School Motto to “Go Forth Unafraid.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 18:11:20 on 2017/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Parenthood, , ,   

    Podcast 122: Tackle a “Power Day,” People Who Question Your Good Habits, and What’s Your Advice about College-Bound Children? 

    Update: The September book tour for The Four Tendencies is set! I’ll be going to New York City (obviously), Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  I hope to see you there — please come, bring friends. Info is here.

    Try This at Home: Tackle a “Power Day.” In episode 6, we discussed a “Power Hour.”

    Are you wondering if you’re a Rebel? Take the quiz here to see if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

    Happiness Hack: Jen explains why having a two-person book group has made her happy. (I love one of their reading choices, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.)

     Happiness Stumbling Block: Kelly’s in-laws discourage her from eating the way she likes to eat.

    I mention several strategies of habit change from my book Better Than Before.

    If you’d like to know what a low-carb zealot like me eats every day, here’s the post.

    Listener Question: This week, I have a question for listeners. My daughter Eliza is starting college in the fall, and I would love insights, suggestions, experiences, and advice about dealing with a child going off to college. This is a big transition, so I would love to hear people’s ideas.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth gives herself a demerit for lamenting the end of the first grade for Jack.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: How I love the waterfall in the ravine of the North Woods of Central Park.

    Two Resources:

    1. Follow me on LinkedIn — just go to happiercast.com/linkedin.

    2. In just 21 days, you really can take steps to make your life happier—without spending a lot of time, energy, or money. I’ve created four premium 21 Day Happiness Projects for you to follow, if you want to tackle one of these common happiness challenges. Or buy the Omnibus, to get them all. Find out more by clicking on the links below.

     

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

     

    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.

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

    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.)

    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 to the award-winning Happier 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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 122: Tackle a “Power Day,” People Who Question Your Good Habits, and What’s Your Advice about College-Bound Children? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 11:00:00 on 2017/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , Parenthood, , , ,   

    “Sometimes I Dream About Him When He Was Younger, and I Remember It with Such Sweetness that It Wakes Me.” 

    “I also can still see many of Sam’s ages in him. New parents grieve as their babies get bigger, because they cannot imagine the child will ever be so heartbreakingly cute and needy again. Sam is a swirl of every age he’s ever been, and all the new ones, like cotton candy, like the Milky Way. I can see the stoned wonder of the toddler, the watchfulness of the young child sopping stuff up, the busy purpose and workmanship of the nine-year-old…

    “I held him loosely and smelled his neck. Sometimes when I dream about him, he’s in danger, he’s doing things that are too risky, but most of the time he’s stomping around or we’re just hanging out together. Sometimes I dream about him when he was younger, and I remember it with such sweetness that it wakes me.”

    –Anne Lamott, “Diamond Heart,” in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

    My daughter graduated from high school this week, so you see where my head is.

    The post “Sometimes I Dream About Him When He Was Younger, and I Remember It with Such Sweetness that It Wakes Me.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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