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  • gretchenrubin 13:00:17 on 2017/04/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , free, , , , management, , , , , , , self-promotion, , tools, , ,   

    Big Announcement: the “Better” App Is Now Free to Use! 

    My obsession with my Four Tendencies framework is just as strong as ever.

    Ever since I first came up with the Four Tendencies framework, I’ve grown more and more interested in it — and more and more people keep asking me questions about it. (Don’t know about the framework? Don’t know if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Take the quiz here.)

    People want information about the Four Tendencies, and they also want help — they email because they’re eager to join an accountability group, they want to work with a coach who understands the Tendencies, they want to apply the framework with their medical patients or as a manager at work or with their coaching clients. And I hear from a lot of parents who want to use the Tendencies (especially parents of Rebels).

    I’m finishing up my book The Four Tendencies (sign up here to hear when it goes on sale in fall 2017), but I also wanted a way for people to exchange ideas and questions. I’ve been staggered by people’s brilliant insights, imaginative solutions, and compelling examples. Henry James couldn’t do better.

    So I created the app Better, an app to help you harness the Four Tendencies framework to create a better life. You can use it as an app on your phone, or you can use it on your desktop.

    Since launch, there has been so much fascinating, helpful discussion on the Better app. It’s exciting to see how everyone puts the Four Tendencies into action – at home, at work, in health, and in life.

    I can hardly drag myself away from reading the comments and posts.

    When it launched, there was a $9.99 monthly charge for the app, but as publication of The Four Tendencies drew nearer, I started to think about how the app experience would be better and better (sorry, couldn’t resist that) as more people contributed.

    And I knew that for some people, a fee is a barrier.

    So I decided to make the Better app free for anyone who wants to join. The more, the better, for all of us.

    If you know people who would be interested, or who would benefit from the discussions here, or want to start or join Accountability Groups, please let them know they now can join for free.

    I hope this change makes your life a little better!

    The post Big Announcement: the “Better” App Is Now Free to Use! appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 17:55:57 on 2017/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , coloring book, , , , , self-promotion, ,   

    Announcing My New Happiness Project Coloring Book! Do You Love to Color? 

    Coloring book by Gretchen Rubin

    As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’ve become obsessed with the subject of color — and I’m also a big fan of coloring.

    So I was thrilled to get the chance to design my own coloring book, which goes on sale today: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book of 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

    Click here to get a peek inside the pages and learn about a special giveaway from my publisher. (Winner will be chosen April 4.)

    I had so much fun working with the artist on the design for the pages, and choosing the quotations to include.

    I’m not the only grown-up who still enjoys coloring — more and more adults are returning to the coloring books they loved as children. Great idea! Coloring boosts happiness for many reasons.

    Coloring is calming, even meditative. The activity of coloring helps to focus the mind and rest the body in a constructive, creative way. In my coloring book, I hope that the quotations, too, will inspire quiet reflection.

    Coloring is very satisfying, because there’s a special pleasure in doing things with our hands. Very often these days, we’re sitting behind screens and living in our heads. Like activities such as knitting or tying flies or walking, coloring allows us to connect with the physical world, in the present moment. And there’s something about the repetitive, wordless nature of the work that boosts creativity and energy.

    Coloring is a great activity to do with other people. Research shows that a secret—probably the secret—to happiness is strong connections with other people. Coloring is fun to do with other people. It’s companionable, and allows for conversation, and at the same time, gives a sense of shared purpose.

    With my sister Elizabeth Craft, I host a podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Many people have written to tell me that they like to color as they listen to the latest episode—the two activities are highly compatible.

    On a less lofty note, coloring helps to curb snacking! Coloring keeps hands busy, which diminishes the urge to snack; plus, after carefully working on a beautiful design, who wants to risk getting a grease stain or smudge on the page?

    Finally, one of my own favorite things about coloring is that It gives me a reason to buy and use beautiful supplies—gorgeous colored markers and pens, as well as lovely books of designs and paper. Well-made tools make work a joy. And I love to feast my eyes on beautiful, brilliant colors.

    Do you love to color? If so, I hope the The Happiness Project Mini Posters makes you happier.

    The post Announcing My New Happiness Project Coloring Book! Do You Love to Color? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:07:16 on 2017/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: Big Little Lies, prop, self-promotion, , , ,   

    Fun! My Book “The Happiness Project” Makes a Cameo in the HBO TV Show “Big Little Lies.” 

    Several thoughtful readers emailed me to let me know that they spotted my book The Happiness Project in the first episode of HBO’s new dark comedy-drama TV miniseries, Big Little Lies.

    So of course, my whole family watched the show this weekend (we had to fast-forward through some parts, because of my twelve-year-old), and we were so engrossed in the story that we utterly failed to notice the book!

    Fortunately, readers had told me to look for it in the final scene, so we were easily able to rewind.

    I think the book is meant to give an ironic touch, given that it appears on the bedside table at the moment when the mysterious character Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) is pulling a pistol out of the drawer.

    I get such a kick out of this cameo! “The Happiness Project” was an answer on the game show Jeopardy!, and that was really fun, too.

    Now I’m off to email my sister, who’s a TV writer herself.

    The post Fun! My Book “The Happiness Project” Makes a Cameo in the HBO TV Show “Big Little Lies.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:14:02 on 2016/10/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , markers, , pencils, , , , , self-promotion   

    Ta-Da! Announcing…My Coloring Book of Great Quotes. Do You Love to Color? 

    ColoringBookHappinessProjectRubin

    I’m excited to announce that I’ve created — yes! — a coloring book. Check it out: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book of 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

    It was a particular delight to be creating a coloring book now, given my recent obsession with color, and accompanying obsession with beautiful markers and colored pencils.

    Also, it’s a big trend across the United States. (Is coloring becoming a popular adult activity in other countries?) More and more adults are returning to the coloring books they loved as children.

    Great idea! Coloring boosts happiness for many reasons.

    1. Coloring is calming, even meditative.

    The activity of coloring helps to focus the mind and rest the body in a constructive, creative way. In this book, you’re coloring various quotations, and II hope that the quotations, too, will inspire quiet reflection.

    2. Coloring is very satisfying, because there’s a special pleasure in doing things with our hands.

    Very often these days, we’re sitting behind screens and living in our heads. Like activities such as knitting or tying flies, coloring allows us to connect with the physical world, in the present moment. And there’s something about the repetitive, wordless nature of the work that boosts creativity and energy.

    3. Coloring is a great activity to do with other people.

    Research shows that a secret—probably the secret—to happiness is strong connections with other people. Coloring is fun to do with other people. It’s companionable, and allows for conversation, and at the same time, gives a sense of shared purpose.

    With my sister Elizabeth Craft, I host a podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Many people have written to tell me that they like to color as they listen to the latest episode—the two activities are highly compatible.

    How about you? Do you like to color? And if so: markers or pencils? Or both — I love both.

    The post Ta-Da! Announcing…My Coloring Book of Great Quotes. Do You Love to Color? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:33:48 on 2016/10/01 Permalink
    Tags: actor, Juliette Lewis, , , self-promotion, , The Happiness Projet   

    Fun! Actor Juliette Lewis Talks about “The Happiness Project” in Us Weekly Magazine. 

    juliettelewis

    Well, Juliette Lewis admits that she hasn’t actually read The Happiness Project — but she wants to read it.1pix

    She says, “I love self-help books. I got one from the airport called The Happiness Project. It’s unopened, but who knows — it might teach me how to be more happy. We will see.”

    I always get a big kick out of seeing my book mentioned — and I spotted it in the pile of objects, too.

    JulietteLewisWhatsInBag

    The post Fun! Actor Juliette Lewis Talks about “The Happiness Project” in Us Weekly Magazine. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:39:54 on 2016/03/29 Permalink
    Tags: blogging, blogs, , , , , , self-promotion, , , Weblogs, ,   

    10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Blogging 

    The best of the Happiness Project Blog

    Unbelievable! I just hit my tenth anniversary for this blog. I can’t believe it. The days are long, but the years are short. 

    Certainly, when I started, I had no idea that I was embarking on an project that would become such a big part of my day, my identity, my writing career, and my relationships. In fact, I remember thinking, “Yes, I’m stressed out about writing these first posts, but that’s okay, because no one will ever read them.

    That first post, “The Blog Begins,” is here, if you’re curious.

    Here are ten things I’ve learned from ten years of blogging:

    1pix

    1. It’s often easier to do something every day than some days.

    This sounds counter-intuitive, but I’ve found it to be very true. I write on this site most days, so I don’t debate with myself, “Today, tomorrow? I wrote last week, can I take this week off?” I know I have to write on my blog, so I do. In Better Than Before, I explore this phenomenon more.

    2. People like to learn in different ways.

    I’m a writer, and I like to provide ideas in text — and no surprise, that’s also the way I learn best. But I’ve found that some people prefer videos, some people prefer audio, some people prefer to get email, some people prefer social media. To reach a wide range of people, we have to think about all of that.

    3. People are more wildly creative, insightful, and articulate than I could possibly imagine.

    I’m constantly blown away by the comments I get from readers and listeners. Such fascinating stories, such astute comments.  I feel so lucky to live at a time when technology makes this kind of engagement so easy, because it has has deepened my understanding of my subjects immeasurably. To take just one tiny example, when I asked people, “What’s the motto of your Tendency?’ I got brilliant, hilarious answers. My favorite: “You can’t make me, and neither can I” for the Rebels.

    4. It’s fun to have a consistent record — any kind of record — of the past.

    onesentencejournalimage
    I often look back to see what I wrote on my site on this date, some years ago. It’s so fun!  I think this is why my One-Sentence Journal: a Five-Year Record has proved so popular. Most people won’t keep a blog, or write long journal entries, but writing one sentence seems manageable and fun, and is enough to bring back memories.

    5.For creativity, it’s better to pour out ideas rather than to dole them out with a teaspoon.

    When I started blogging — and I confess, I still have this thought, sometimes, ten years later — I’d think, “This is a great idea. I should hold it back, so in case I ever run out of ideas, I’ll have something in reserve.” No! I have to trust in myself, trust that I’ll get more ideas. The more I do, the more I can do.  It’s one of my Personal Commandments: Spend out.

    6. As a writer, the biggest challenge is to make readers aware that a book exists.

    There’s so much to read, watch, and listen to these days — how does a person hear about a particular book? I’ve found that it’s very helpful to have my own way to connect with an audience that’s interested in my subjects.

    7. An atmosphere of growth makes me happier.

    In my Eight Splendid Truths about Happiness, the First Splendid Truth is:  To be happier, we must think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. We’re happier when we’re growing: when we’re learning something, helping someone, improving something, making things better. With my blog, and also social media and my podcast, I have the feeling of learning new things, engaging in new ways, learning new skills, meeting new people, adding new identities to my sense of myself. Along those lines…

    8. Novelty and challenge make me happier.

    When I was writing The Happiness Project, I needed to use myself as a human guinea pig for the notion, often suggested by scientist, that novelty and challenge make people happier. I thought, “Well, that might be true for most people, but not for me.” To test the idea, I decided to start a blog — which seemed very novel and challenging to me. I figured I’d give it a short for three or four weeks, decide that it didn’t work, and abandon it — the way I abandoned my gratitude journal. But no! I realized that even for someone like me, novelty and challenge did make me happier. Of course, they also gave me moment of anxiety, frustration, and anger, but those feeling paid off. If you want to read about this, check out the chapter for March, “Aim Higher,” in The Happiness Project.

    9. It’s true, as research suggests, that we’re happier when we have many aspects to our identity.

    Having many identities protects us: if you get fired from your job, you can think, “People think I’m doing a great job at the church finance committee”; if you can’t play tennis anymore, you can think, “Now I have more time to garden.” Adding the identity of “blogger” (and then “podcaster”) to my professional identity was enormously energizing, interesting, and reassuring.

    10. Don’t get it perfect, get it going.

    The longest journey starts with a single step. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. All these proverbs are true. When I was starting this blog, I was paralyzed by the desire to do everything right — and there were so many decisions to make! Finally, I decided, “I’m going to talk to a few smart people with blogs, and do whatever they do. I can change things later, if I want.” That was a great way to get started. It’s one of my Secrets of Adulthood: Most decisions don’t require extensive research.

    To celebrate the tenth anniversary, I’ve pulled together a short e-book that features my favorite posts from the last decade. It was so much fun to choose what pieces to include.

    You can order it here, for $1.99.

    Sidenote: I just realized that my blog anniversary is the same day as the wedding anniversary for both my parents and my in-laws. That seems auspicious! Both couples have been married for more than fifty years.

    The post 10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Blogging appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:43:24 on 2016/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , Page-a-Day, self-promotion   

    It’s Back! The Page-a-Day Calendar to Make Your Days Happier. 

    Happier2017Calendar

    Some years ago, I did a Page-a-Day calendar based on The Happiness Project. To my delight, the calendar proved to be a very popular item, and it sold out very quickly.

    For a variety of reasons, I haven’t done another calendar — until now! Yes, for 2017, I’ve created a Page-a-Day Calendar, crammed with tips, ideas, and quotes for how to build a happier life.

    I have so much fun creating this calendar. For my whole life, my family has always given lots of Page-a-Day calendars to each other as gifts. I get the Word-a-Day calendar in my stocking each year (fun fact: today’s word is “nonplus”), and for a long time, my father always got the Gary Larson Page-a-Day; we’re all huge fans of Gary Larson’s cartoons. He kept it on his desk at his office, and when there was an especially good cartoon, he’d bring it home to show us. He even mailed me some of the pages when I was in college.

    I love this way of taking in information in a bite-sized, day-by-day way. Thinking about one idea each day feels helpful and manageable, and gives a feeling of slow and steady progress.

    The calendars are still being printed, but you can pre-order a calendar now:

     

    Because pre-orders build buzz among readers, retailers, and publishers, if you’re planning to buy a calendar (or one of my books), it really helps me if you pre-order it now. Plus, last time I heard from a lot of people who wanted to buy the calendar after it was out of stock. As you can imagine, calendar publishers are very wary about printing too many calendars.

    1pix
    calendar-example2

    As always, if you’d like to give the calendar or a book as gifts, sign up here to get free, personalized bookplates for the recipient. (U.S. and Canada only, sorry, mailing costs.) Or request a bookplate for yourself, of course.

    I hope you find the calendar an engaging tool as you try to make your life a little happier. It’s not about perfection — it’s about being better than before.

    Are you a fan of these kinds of calendars, that give you more than just the dates? I love them.

    The post It’s Back! The Page-a-Day Calendar to Make Your Days Happier. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:30:07 on 2016/01/01 Permalink
    Tags: , Happiness Project groups, , , self-promotion, , ,   

    Want to Make 2016 a Happier Year? Here’s How I Did It, Month by Month. 

    HappinessProjectonBookstoreShelf

    If you’re looking for ways to make 2016 a happier, healthier, more productive year, may I self-promotingly suggest my book, The Happiness Project?

    The first day of the new year always feels so fresh and full of promise to me — but at the same time, it’s very discouraging to look back over the year that’s just ended, and realize that I’d never accomplished an important, happiness-boosting change that I’d hoped to make.

    This feeling is one of the major reasons that I undertook my happiness project.

    I remember so clearly the moment when I had the idea to do it. I was on the 79th Street cross-town bus, and I looked out the window and thought, “What do I want from life anyway? I want to be happy.” I realized, though, that I didn’t spend any time thinking about whether I was happy, or how I could be happier. “I should have a happiness project!” I decided.

    I ran to the library the next day to get a big stack of books about happiness—and I had no notion of how much that single moment’s thought was going to shape my life, and bring me so much happiness.

    I divided the year into twelve categories — each month, I worked on a different area of my life where I wanted to make myself happier.  Areas such as energy, marriage, play, mindfulness, money, parenthood, work, and friendship. I identified a handful of specific, manageable resolutions to try, to see if I could boost my happiness. And I often found that I really could.

    What I found out about myself, and I think this is true for a lot of people, is that there was a lot of low-hanging fruit — steps that didn’t take much time, energy, or money yet could significantly boost my happiness. And why not be as happy as we can be?

    And I can’t resist adding: The Happiness Project was on the New York Times‘s bestseller list for more than two years, including at #1, has sold more than two million copies, and been publishing in more than thirty languages. Yowza! As a writer, it’s thrilling to be able to connect with so many people. Thanks, readers, for all your enthusiasm and support.

    You may think, “Why should I read about your happiness project? Gretchen and I may be nothing alike.” Very true. But it seems to be the case that reading about someone else’s very specific experience is often the best way to get ourselves thinking about what would work for us. Somehow, we identify and learn more from a personal story than from the most high-minded philosophical treatise or major study covering large populations.

    For ideas about how to start your own happiness project, look here. It’s never too late to start — it’s always the right time to begin.

    Intrigued? You can…

     

    I also can’t resist mentioning a crazy highlight — “The Happiness Project ” was an answer on the game show Jeopardy! How nuts is that.

    How about you? Have you done a “happiness project” of your own, and if so, what form did it take? HAPPY 2016!

     

     
  • feedwordpress 21:40:07 on 2015/12/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , self-promotion, , ,   

    How to Get Your Habits Fix over the Holidays. 

    Gretchen Rubin Christmas ornaments

    This morning, I posted a video of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. I have one table-top tree (pictured here) where I hang my collection of blue-bird ornaments — bluebirds are my personal symbol, because they’re a symbol of happiness. On another tree, I have the ornaments I collected in childhood, and on yet another tree, I have my fabulous collection of Alice in Wonderland ornaments. My parents give me a new ornament each year.

    I’m in the holidays spirit, because my family and I leave tomorrow for Kansas City. Yay! I love going back to my hometown for the holidays.

    So I won’t be posting much next week. Except — on Wednesday, watch out for the post about the latest podcast episode. Elizabeth and I will be interviewing a fascinating guest — and if you look at my weekly photo of the books I’ve read that week, on my Facebook Page, maybe you can guess; I hinted at it.

    If you don’t want to miss this special episode of Happier, make sure to subscribe to the podcast

    Also, because so many people have requested the “21 Days, 21 Strategies for Habit Change” email package, I’ve decided to keep offering it for free until January 1. Request it here.

    If you want some ideas about how to do a better job of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions this year, check out this post and this post.

    If you’re thinking, “But Gretchen, how can I learn more about habits and happiness while you’re on vacation?” you’re in luck! You can…

     

    Here’s to your greater happiness and better habits in 2016. Onward and upward!

     
  • feedwordpress 19:15:48 on 2015/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , , paperback, , self-promotion,   

    Today Is a Big Day for Me! 

    Gretchen Rubin - Better Than Before

    Warning: Blatant self-promotion to follow. You’ve been warned!

    Yesterday was my birthday, so I’m very happy that today is the release date for the paperback of Better Than Before. A wonderful kind of birthday marker.

    I’m so lucky. Every book I write has been absolutely fascinating to me. I mean, that’s why I’ve picked these subjects! When I choose a subject, I have to expect that I’ll be happy to think about it, constantly, for years.

    And I’ve been lucky, too, with the last several books, the way they’ve led naturally to each other. The Happiness Project — what a joy to write. Then I went deeper into happiness, with Happier at Home. Ah, how I loved writing that book.

    And all that thinking about happiness made me eager to understand the crucial role that habits can play in allowing us to make our lives better than before — happier, healthier, and more productive. And I loved writing Better Than Before so much — though I do think that of all my books, it was the toughest to write, because of the sheer mass of material to organize and analyze and perceive and present. And I say that as someone who wrote a biography of Winston Churchill.

    If you want to change your habits, you have to know yourself.

    This is the essential point about habits that I identified in  Better Than Before. 

    You have to change your habits in the way that’s right for you. This is the secret. This is the answer. This is the key to habit change! And in Better Than Before, I explain how to do that — how to understand yourself, and act on that understanding.

    It’s very exciting for me when my book goes out into the world for the first time, because I love hearing from readers. And it’s great when the paperback comes out, because there’s a second wave of response. Plus many people prefer to buy paperbacks, so there are even more readers.

    After reading the book, many people write to ask for the “starter kit” for Better Than Before Habit Change Group. For many people (i.e., Obligers), accountability is a crucial element of habit change, and being in a group is a great way to create accountability. If you’d like to get the starter kit, request it here.

    Many of my readers have written that they want to buy Better Than Before to show their support—a “thank you” for everything I do for free, like this blog, and the podcast, and the book club, and the daily quotation email. This is an impulse that I very much appreciate.

    Sidenote: with Better Than Before, it’s interesting — so many people have mentioned how much they’ve marked up their copies. When I love a book, I mark up it up a lot myself, so it’s great to hear that other people are inspired to do the same with this book.

    If you’re thinking, “Yes! I’m intrigued! But, Gretchen, how can I learn more about Better Than Before?” well, you’re in luck. You can…

    read the opening chapter

    listen to a clip from the audio-book (yes, that’s me reading)

    download the one-page book-club discussion guide, or the guide for spirituality book clubs, Bible study groups, and the like; or the guide for people at work.

    download the one-page guides for Exercising Better Than Before; Eating Better Than Before; Working Better Than Before; and (my personal favorite) Reading Better Than Before.

    Thank you as always, dear readers, for your enthusiasm, ideas, and support. You make me very happy. 

     
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