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  • gretchenrubin 20:57:49 on 2017/03/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , self-command, , The book Better than Before,   

    What Healthy Treats Do You Give Yourself? (Note the “Healthy.”) 

    healthy treats

    In my book Better Than Before, I describe the many strategies that we can use to change our habits. We all have our favorite strategies — but I think most of us would agree that the Strategy of Treats is the most fun strategy.

    “Treats” may sound like a self-indulgent, frivolous strategy, but it’s not. Because forming good habits can be draining, treats can play an important role.

    When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.

    Studies show that people who got a little treat, in the form of receiving a surprise gift or watching a funny video, gained in self-control. It’s a Secret of Adulthood: If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.

    If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.

    Click to tweet

    When we don’t get any treats, we begin to feel burned-out, depleted, and resentful.  We start to feel deprived — and feeling deprived is a very bad frame of mind for good habits.

    When we feel deprived, we feel entitled to put ourselves back in balance. We say, “I’ve earned this,” “I need this,” “I deserve this” and feel entitled to break our good habits.

    So we need treats.

    But it’s crucial to give ourselves healthy treats, because unhealthy treats are often bad for us. We don’t want to give ourselves something to feel better that just makes us ending up feeling worse. Like a costly splurge, an extra glass of wine, a big brownie.

    All of us should have a long list of potential healthy treats. That way, when we think, “I need a treat,” we have ideas.

    For something to be a treat, we have to think of it as a treat; we make something a treat by calling it a “treat.” When we notice our pleasure, and relish it, the experience becomes much more of a treat. Even something as humble as herbal tea or a box of freshly sharpened pencils can qualify as a treat.

    For instance, once I realized how much I love beautiful smells, a whole new world of treats opened up to me. If I need a treat, I visit my “collection of smells” in my apartment or I stop by a perfume counter.

    At the same time, it’s important not to call something a “treat” if it’s not really a treat. It may be good for you, and it may even feel good, but it’s not a treat if you don’t look forward to it with pleasure. So a yoga class could be a treat for someone, but it’s not a treat for me. I do it, and I’m glad I do it, but I don’t think, “Oh, yay, time for yoga!”

    Sometimes, treats don’t look like treats. For example, to my surprise, many people consider ironing a “treat.”

    Here are some other treats I’ve heard about:

    • crossword puzzles
    • looking at art books
    • shopping at a very expensive store (no possibility of buying, so just enjoy looking)
    • translating Latin
    • breaking codes
    • manicure (I never get manicures and dread them; the opposite of a treat for me)
    • visiting camping stores
    • online shopping (I heard from many people who enjoy online shopping with no plan to buy–they have fun filling their cart, then abandon it)
    • choosing plants and seed for the garden
    • video games and phone games
    • getting a massage
    • taking a bath, especially if with special bath salts
    • buying yourself flowers
    • visiting a special place (a park, sculpture, or museum)

     

    If you want to hear me and Elizabeth talk about why you should treat yourself, listen to this episode of the Happier podcast.

    And if you want to hear Donna and Tom of Parks and Recreation talk about their annual Treat Yo’ Self day, watch the hilarious clip here.

    What healthy treats are on your list?

    The post What Healthy Treats Do You Give Yourself? (Note the “Healthy.”) appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:26:51 on 2017/02/01 Permalink
    Tags: , mugs, , , , tasks, The book Better than Before, , , , ,   

    Podcast 102: Tame the “Travel Beast,” Find the Missing Puzzle Piece, and a Clever Solution to Dirty Mugs in the Office Sink. 

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

    It’s hard to believe — we’re coming up on our second anniversary of the show! To celebrate, just as we did for our first anniversary show, we want to do an episode of highlights from the previous year. So if you have a favorite try-this-at-home, a great before-and-after story of something you tried, a favorite funny moment, let us know. Email us at podcast@gretchenrubin.com or call 77-HAPPY-336.

    Try This at Home: Find the missing puzzle piece from your life — the missing tool, item, or activity that’s missing.

    Happiness Hack: In episode 95, we talked about how shared spaces can tend to get messy. Our listener Hannah recounted how her boss gave everyone in the office a personalized mug, so it was obvious who was (or wasn’t) taking care of their mugs.

    Happiness Stumbling Block: Both of us turn into the “travel beast” — we get cranky, we panic that we’ve lost something, we hurry everyone along. If you have solutions to offer, please let us know.

    Listener Question: Heather asks, “How do you stop Obliger-rebellion?” If you don’t know whether you’re an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger, or a Rebel, take the quiz here. My book The Four Tendencies comes out in September — don’t worry, that’s not the real cover.

    Demerit: Elizabeth is procrastinating about moving her clothes back into her newly renovated closet.

    Gold Star: While in Havana, I stayed out late! Probably, most people wouldn’t give themselves a gold star for staying out until 2:00 a.m. at a bar, but for me, that’s gold-star territory.

    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, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    And 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.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 102: Tame the “Travel Beast,” Find the Missing Puzzle Piece, and a Clever Solution to Dirty Mugs in the Office Sink. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 23:09:40 on 2016/12/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Strategy of Distinction, The book Better than Before   

    Want to Keep a New Year’s Resolution? How to Make It Right for YOU. 

    new-year-clock

    Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and many people get frustrated and abandon their New Year’s resolutions.

    A common mistake? Setting up the resolution in the wrong way. We think we “should be able to” do it first thing in the morning, or we think we should imitate a resolution that works well for someone else.

    But there’s no one, correct way. It’s just whatever works for us.

    I know this, because I used to try to indulge moderately in sweets — but I’m an Abstainer. And I used to try to do difficult writing in the afternoon — but I’m a Lark. And I use to hold myself back from buying too much at one time — but I’m an Under-buyer. Etc. Now that I set up resolutions to suit my nature, I succeed much more often.

    As you set up your resolutions, be sure to consider these distinctions, as outlined in the “Strategy of Distinctions” in my book Better Than Before, which is all about the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits.

    Before you decide on the resolution you’ll make, consider…

    -are you a Lark or Owl?

    are you a Marathoner or Sprinter?

    are you a Simplcity-lover or Abundance-lover?

    are you a Finisher or Opener?

    are you an Abstainer or Moderator?

    -are you an Under-buyer or Over-buyer?

    As you’re thinking about these distinctions, it can be helpful to ask, “When have I succeeded with this resolution in the past?” If there was a time when you exercised regularly, cooked frequently, got enough sleep, etc., that might hold clues for how you might be able to do a better job in the present.

    When we know ourselves, we can set up a resolution in the way that’s right for us. It’s not that hard to keep our resolutions, and to change our habits — when we know what to do.

    The post Want to Keep a New Year’s Resolution? How to Make It Right for YOU. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:18:02 on 2016/12/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , The book Better than Before, , ,   

    9 Tips if You’re Making Work-Related New Year’s Resolutions. 

    workplacelaptopglasses

    The new year is here, and for many of us, that means new year’s resolutions. And many of us make resolutions related to our work lives.

    Now Questioners, I know you object to the arbitrariness of the January 1 date; Obligers, I know you may have given up making resolutions because you’ve struggled in the past; and Rebels, I know you may not want to bind yourself in advance. But some people do want to make resolutions. (Don’t know where you fit in the “Four Tendencies” framework, i.e.,  if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Look here.)

    For instance, some common work-related resolutions include “I want to broaden my horizons,” “I want to do a better job with record-keeping,” “I want to network,” “I want to find a mentor,” and “I want to expand my skills.”

    One key to consistent progress is to make a behavior into a habit. Habits are freeing and energizing, because they save us from the difficult, draining business of making decisions and exercising our self-control.

    Habits matter, because research shows that about 40% of everyday life is shaped by habits. If we have habits that work for us, we’re far more likely to be happier, healthier, and more productive.

    In my book Better Than Before, I discuss the twenty-one different strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. I know, twenty-one sounds like a lot to manage — but it’s helpful that there are so many, because some of these strategies work for some people, and not others. But we all have a big menu from which to pick.

    So how might you make a habit of actions that will help you succeed at work? Consider these strategies:

    1. Use the Strategy of Clarity, and be specific about what you’re asking of yourself.

    Resolutions like “network more” or “research new opportunities” are too vague. Put your resolution into the form of a concrete, measurable, manageable action, such as “Every month, go to at least two events with networking opportunities” or “Spend one hour every Friday afternoon updating my time sheets and expenses.” Being specific helps you figure out what to do, and it also makes it possible to…

    2. Use the Strategy of Monitoring, and monitor your habit.

    Monitoring is almost uncanny in its power. Research shows that simply by monitoring a behavior, we tend to do a much better job of it, whether that’s how fast we’re driving, how much we’re eating, how many cold calls we’re making, or how many instructional videos we’re watching. Keep track, and you’ll push yourself in the right direction.

    3. Use the Strategy of Scheduling, and schedule time for your habit.

    Something like “Research that company this week” is a goal that can keep getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Even if it’s important, it’s just not urgent. So schedule a specific time for research, for learning, for following up, and give it a slot on your calendar. But it’s crucial to remember that…

    4. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.

    When you schedule time to do certain work, you should do that work, and nothing else. No filing, no cleaning, no research, no checking emails. Do that work, or stare at the ceiling. Otherwise, you may work and work and work, and never get around to doing the very thing you set out to do.

    5. Use the Strategy of Distinctions, and take time to think big.

    In the rigors of everyday life, it can be hard to step back and see what matters most.  Where do you want to be in two years? How could you develop your skills to make your work more interesting and yourself more valuable? Some people prefer to do this kind of thinking alone, with just a pad of paper; others prefer to talk it out, with a few trusted co-workers or an old friend; others might hire a coach. Or…

    6. Use the Strategy of Distinctions, and take time to think small.

    Sometimes people get overwhelmed when they try to make grand plans or ask huge questions; it’s also useful to focus on small, manageable steps that you can incorporate into your life immediately.

    7. Use the Strategy of Clarity, and ask yourself: Whom do you envy?

    Envy is an uncomfortable emotion, but it’s instructive. If you envy someone, that person has something you wish you had. Do you envy your friend who gets to travel all the time—or the friend who never has to travel? Do you envy your co-worker who’s taking night class toward getting an MBA, or who gets to make lots of presentations? Envy can help show us how we want to grow and change.

    8. Use the Strategy of Other People, and spend time with people who have the habits  that you want to emulate.

    Studies show that we tend to pick up habits from the people around us, so choose your company wisely. If you know that some of your co-workers cultivate habits that help them succeed at work, go out of your way to spend time with them, and you’ll more easily pick up those habits, yourself.

    9. Use the Strategy of the Four Tendencies and the Strategy of Accountability, if it works for you.

    If you’re an Obliger — that is, if you readily meet other people’s expectations, but struggle to meet your expectations for yourself — the answer, the solution, the key element is external accountability. Rebels, on the other hand, often do worse when they’re being held accountable. Figure out your Tendency and plug in accountability as necessary.

    The most important thing to remember about habit change? We must shape our habits to suit ourselves—our own nature, our own interests, our own strengths. When we understand ourselves, we can apply the twenty-one strategies with the greatest success, and we can also help other people to change their habits.

    It’s not hard to change your habits, when you know what to do. And it matters. When we change our habits, we change our lives.

    The post 9 Tips if You’re Making Work-Related New Year’s Resolutions. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:35:37 on 2016/11/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , festive, , , , , , , Thankgiving, The book Better than Before,   

    Want to Eat Healthier at the Thanksgiving Feast? Watch Out for These 10 Types of Loopholes. 

    Thanksgiving Turkey

    As I was working on Better Than Before, I enjoyed writing every single chapter. In the book, I identify the 21 strategies we can use to make or break our habits, and each strategy is powerful and fascinating to study.

    But I have to admit, I particularly enjoyed writing the chapter on the Strategy of Loophole-Spotting, because the loopholes are so ingenious and so funny. I loved spotting and collecting loopholes.

    Now, why should we worry about loophole-spotting? Because when we try to form and keep habits, we often search for loopholes, to justify breaking a good habit.

    However, if we spot these  loopholes, we can  reject them.

    Holidays are a time when many of us face challenges to the good habits we want to maintain — and because holidays tend to involve lots of food and drink, those habits need special attention at that time.

    To help you recognize loopholes you might be invoking, here’s a list of some popular ones that are often heard around Thanksgiving:

    1. False choice loophole

    “I can’t do this, because I’m so busy doing that.” “I can’t go for my usual 20 minute walk, because I have to get ready for guests.”

    2. Moral licensing loophole 

    “I’ve been so good, it’s okay for me to do this.” “I’ve been eating so healthfully, it’s okay for me to eat anything I want today.” Or conversely…

    3. Tomorrow loophole

    “It’s okay to skip today, because I’m going to do this tomorrow.” “It’s okay for me to drink as much as I want today, because starting tomorrow, I’m not going to drink for six months.”

    4. Lack of control loophole

    “I can’t help myself.” “A considerate host wouldn’t have served something so tempting.”

    5. Planning to fail loophole

    “I’ll just stand here right next to the dessert table, because the other room is so crowded.”

    6. “This doesn’t count” loophole

    “It’s Thanksgiving!” “We’re out of town!”

    7. Questionable assumption loophole

    “These cookies are healthy. Look, they’re gluten-free.”

    8. Concern for others loophole

    “If I don’t drink wine with dinner, other people will feel uncomfortable.” “I have to eat seconds and thirds of everything, or my host will feel insulted.”

    9. Fake self-actualization loophole

    “You only live once!” “I have to do this now, or miss out forever.”

    10. One-coin loophole

    “What difference will one meal make, over the course of a lifetime?”

    Of course, sometimes we do want to break a habit—say, as part of a celebration. A very effective safeguard for that situation is the planned exception, which protects us against impulsive decisions. We decide in advance how we want to behave.

    We’re adults, we make the rules for ourselves, and we can mindfully choose to make an exception to a usual habit by planning that exception in advance. That’s different from saying, “Yay, this loophole means that I can break my habit, I’m off the hook.” We’re never off the hook. Everything counts.

    One good question is to ask yourself, “How will I feel about this later? Will I think, ‘I’m really glad I had a piece of my grandmother’s famous pie. I only get that once a year, and I’d hate to miss it.’ Or will I think, ‘Shoot, I’d been on such a roll at cutting out sugar, and I blew it to eat a piece of my grandmother’s pie, which I don’t even like.’”

    What are some of your favorite loopholes?

    #1 is my personal favorite. Have you found any good ways to avoid invoking them?

    Better Than Before includes many more examples of loopholes, and how to avoid using them. Gosh they’re funny. To learn more about Better Than Before, you can…

    The post Want to Eat Healthier at the Thanksgiving Feast? Watch Out for These 10 Types of Loopholes. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:51:06 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , The book Better than Before, , , ,   

    Podcast 90: Very Special Episode on the “Essential 7” for Happiness and Good Habits. 

    seven-columns

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

    NOTE: This episode was recorded before Election Day 2016, which is why Elizabeth and I don’t mention it. The election has been unusually emotional and contentious. As with any milestone moment, it provides an opportunity for us to reflect about our own values, and how we can serve the highest ideals of our country and ourselves.1pix

    Update: To hear the Happiness 911 songs, the link is here, or you can search for “Happier 911” on Spotify. Currently at 397 songs — that’s almost 25 hours of happy music.

    podcastt-shirthappierblackIf you want to buy a Happier t-shirt, email us here, and we’ll get your information.

    Every tenth episode is a Very Special Episode. For this VSE, we talk about the “Essential Seven,” the seven areas in which just about every desirable habit falls.

    Try This at Home: Figure out what you’d do using the Essential Seven, to make your life happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative:

    1. Eat and drink more healthfully (give up sugar, eat more vegetables, drink less alcohol)

    2. Exercise regularly

    3. Save, spend, and earn wisely (save regularly, pay down debt, donate to worthy causes, make purchases that contribute to happiness or habits, pay taxes, stay current with expense reports, take classes to expand career options)

    4. Rest, relax, and enjoy (pursue a hobby instead of cruising the internet, enjoy the moment, stop checking email, get enough sleep, spend less time in the car, take time for myself)

    5. Stop procrastinating, make consistent progress (practice an instrument, set aside two hours daily for uninterrupted work, learn a language, maintain a blog, keep a gratitude journal)

    6. Simplify, clear, and organize (make the bed every day, file regularly, put keys away in the same place, recycle, give away unused clothing) If you want listen to Episode 10, the clutter-clearing episode, it’s here.

    7. Engage more deeply—with other people, with God, with yourself, with the world (call family members, read the Bible every day, volunteer, spend time with friends, observe the Sabbath, spend time alone in nature)

    Of course, the same habit might satisfy different needs for different people. For one person, yoga might be a form of exercise (#2), for someone else, a way to find mental rest (#4); for someone else, a spiritual practice (#7). And people value different habits. For one person, organized files might be a crucial tool for creativity; another person finds inspiration in random juxtapositions.

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I invoke the False-Choice Loophole to skip the gym.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Adam discussed a renovation decision at length, because he knows that Elizabeth likes to talk things through.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing 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 Olive and Cocoa. Surprise someone you love with a meaningful gift today. Go to OliveandCocoa.com/happier to see gift options specifically chosen for our listeners — and for a limited time, you’ll get 10% off your purchase.

    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, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

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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.

    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.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 90: Very Special Episode on the “Essential 7” for Happiness and Good Habits. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:40:29 on 2016/11/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , The book Better than Before, ,   

    Want to Get an Extra Hour in Your Day? Use the End of Daylight Saving Time. 

    daylight-saving-time

    For Better Than Before, my book about habit change,  when I talked to people about the habits they want to change, they often mention that they lack the time for a new habit.

    To clear time to schedule a new morning habit, many people try waking up a bit earlier, but this can be tough for people who struggle to get out of bed.

    One trick? Use the autumn end to Daylight Saving Time on November 6 as a painless way to add an extra hour to the morning. (Obviously this only works if you live in a place that follows DST.) Getting up earlier is a great way to make time for something important to you.

    We all love to “fall back” and to get that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. It’s a great boon to get a little extra sleep. In fact, car accidents and heart attacks are more common in the week after Daylight Saving Time starts, because losing that hour puts stress on people’s bodies.

    On the other hand, the autumn change means earlier darkness, and that poses safety challenges for pedestrians and drivers.

    But while you may love that extra hour of sleep, consider not sleeping in, but instead get up after your customary amount of sleep. Your body is getting up as usual, but the clock will say that you’re up an hour early.  And there’s a lot you can do with that hour–especially if the people around you are still sound asleep.

    Remember, when it comes to habits, it’s easier to change your surroundings than to change yourself or other people. It’s easier to get in the habit of waking up earlier by getting up at the same time, when the clock changes, than to train yourself to get up earlier.

    A reader commented: “A couple years ago I decided not to reset my clock at the end of daylight savings. I suddenly had writing/exercise time.”

    You could use that time to do something like exercise or work on a project–or maybe you want to use it for pure pleasure. I have a friend who wakes up early to read for fun.

    The morning is a great time to form a regular habit, because self- control is high, there are fewer distractions, and it’s highly predictable.

    NOTE: This system wouldn’t work for true “owls” who stay up late and sleep late. Night people are at their most productive, energetic, and creative later in the day, and mornings are tough for them. But for many people, it’s possible to make a very satisfying use of that hour.

    ALSO NOTE: If you try this strategy, you must also go to sleep earlier! It’s so, so, so important to get enough sleep, and if you lose an hour in the morning, you need to gain that time in sleep. (Here are some tips for getting yourself to go to bed on time.)

    The question is: where would you rather have the hour? At the end of the day, or at the start of the day?

    Most people would use those slots in very different ways.  The hour of 7:00-8:00 am looks very different from the hour of 11:00-mindnight. Which hour would contribute the most to your happiness?

    If you suddenly had an extra hour in your day, how would you use it? Have you ever used this method–or any other–to shift your waking time?

    The post Want to Get an Extra Hour in Your Day? Use the End of Daylight Saving Time. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:12:25 on 2016/10/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , event, , , , , , , , , , Seattle, , teachers, , The book Better than Before, ,   

    Podcast 87: Live From Seattle! Pick Your “Happiness 911” Song, Deep Dive into Manifestos, an Interview with Chris Guillebeau, and More on the Four Tendencies. 

    Happier with Gretchen LIVE in Seattle

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.1pix

    This episode was recorded live! Elizabeth and I were at Town Hall in Seattle on October 13. We had such a great time. Thanks to everyone who came.  Elizabeth and I had fun doing a live video on Facebook before the show. If you want to see what everything looked like, watch here.

    Elizabeth mentions the Seattle-based  novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.

    podcastliveeventseattleegkristenTry This at Home: Identify your “Happiness 911” song. Please send us your Happiness 911 song! Email your choice here. We’re making a Spotify playlist, so we can all listen to everyone’s choices. You can find the Spotify list here or on your smart-phone app, you can find the playlist by searching “happierwithgretchenrubin” (one word).

    Deep Dive: We take a closer look at manifestos. We talked about this in episode 76, and we’ve received so many great ones. (By the way, Adam loved Elizabeth’s Marriage Manifesto.)

    podcastliveeventseattleegchrisInterview: Chris Guillebeau. His latest book is Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do.

     

    Happiness Stumbling Blocks for the Four Tendencies. If you want to take a quiz for the Four Tendencies, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

    If you want to know when my new book The Four Tendencies hits the shelves, sign up here.

    Happiness Hack Speed Round: We took happiness hacks from the audience. So many great ideas packed into a short time — thanks, everyone.

    coloringbookhappinessprojectrubinIf you’d like to get my coloring book, you can pre-order one here. One of our audience members mentions the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth started using Candy Crush again.

    Gretchen’s  Gold Star: Contact lenses!

    Click here to get the Wedding Readings PDF now

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. 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, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    1pix

    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 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!

    The post Podcast 87: Live From Seattle! Pick Your “Happiness 911” Song, Deep Dive into Manifestos, an Interview with Chris Guillebeau, and More on the Four Tendencies. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:39:35 on 2016/10/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , The book Better than Before, ,   

    Podcast 86: Why It’s Good to Bring Good News, How Other People Affect our Habits, and a Look at Obliger-Rebellion. 

    newspaperonlawn

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

    Remember, if you live near Seattle, please come to our live event! We’ll be recording an episode of the podcast live on stage at Seattle’s Town Hall on October 13, 7:30. Tickets are $25. More info and buy tickets here. Please come, bring your friends. We’re going to sell t-shirts — cash only.

    Try This at Home: Be the bearer of good news (at least sometimes).

    Happiness Hack: Cathy suggests that after you return from a vacation, read books set in your vacation location, to keep the vacation vibe going.

    Better Than Before Habit Strategy: The Strategy of Other People — one of the most powerful strategies.

    Listener Question: Thalia asks, “I’m an Obliger, but I’m with my parents, I act like a Rebel. What’s going on?” Thalia is experiencing Obliger-rebellion.

    If you want to know when my new book about the Four Tendencies hits the shelves, sign up here.

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I narrowly escape giving myself a demerit for vengefully refusing to answer Jamie’s questions.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives Adam a gold star for getting into the spirit of Halloween and wearing a costume.

    Click here to get the Wedding Readings PDF now

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Sign up for The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get a month of unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Get a free month when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

    And 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, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    1pix

    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 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!

    The post Podcast 86: Why It’s Good to Bring Good News, How Other People Affect our Habits, and a Look at Obliger-Rebellion. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:31:51 on 2016/09/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , strategy of accountability, The book Better than Before,   

    An Interesting Accountability Solution from a Fantasy Novel: the Booth of Promises. 

    quillpenwrite

    I love fantasy fiction, and I recently discovered the work of Sharon Shinn. I’ve been reading my way through all her novels.

    I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of her novel Unquiet Land, which is the new addition to her Elemental Blessings novels.

    These days, everything reminds me of my Four Tendencies framework, and Unquiet Land was no exception. (Don’t know about the Four Tendencies? Find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel here.)

    One key aspect of the Four Tendencies is understanding the role that accountability can play. For Obligers, outer accountability is crucial; for other Tendencies, it may not be needed, and for some people, may even be counter-productive.

    But because Obliger is the largest Tendency, accountability is a very important strategy. And Unquiet Land features a great accountability solution.

    In the country of Welce, people can go to the Plaza of Men to visit the booth of promises. “Here patrons could swear, before witnesses and for all eternity, that they would accomplish specific tasks, and their vows were recorded in books kept by the booth owner and his family.” The promissor can choose whether to make a public recording that anyone can ask to read, or a private one that’s not released until he or she gives permission or dies.

    In beautiful script, the promise is written in a record book and on a heavy sheet of paper. Both copies are signed and can be sealed, and one copy is given to the promissor.

    An interesting method of holding yourself to a promise! Using the strategies that I outline in Better Than Before, a person commits in writing (Strategy of Clarity), decides whether that promise is more powerful when public or private (Strategy of Distinctions), and is creating accountability (Strategy of Accountability). Plus, the promise is made as part of a formal, elaborate ritual, which gives it extra strength (Strategy of First Steps).

    I wish we had something like a booth of promises — but of course, we probably do. I’m sure there’s an app that does the same thing!

    If you want to read the first book in the Elemental Blessings set, get Troubled Waters. So good.

    Do you think that you’d be better able to stick to a good habit if you made a promise in a booth of promises?

    The post An Interesting Accountability Solution from a Fantasy Novel: the Booth of Promises. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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