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  • feedwordpress 07:00:58 on 2018/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , Dalai Lama, , , hepatitis c, , , , quitting sugar, , Your happiness project   

    A Question I’m Often Asked: What’s Changed in My Life Since “The Happiness Project” Was Published? 


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    Zoikes, it’s hard to believe that almost a full decade has passed since The Happiness Project first hit the shelves. In many ways, my life is much the same—and of course, many things have changed as well. The Tenth Anniversary edition is on shelves today. Order a copy here.

    By far the most important thing that happened was that my husband Jamie’s hepatitis C was cured—a medical miracle.

    As I write about in The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Jamie got hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation when he was eight years old. You really don’t want to have hepatitis C; eventually, it destroys your liver. Jamie tried many treatments over the years, but nothing worked.

    When a new treatment was approved, Jamie went on it right away, and as of January 9, 2015 (a date we celebrate every year), Jamie was cured. You can read more about it in my post "Today is one of the happiest days of my life. Here’s why."

    Brief service announcement: If you support organ donation, sign the registry at organdonor.gov, tell your family that you’d want to donate your organs, or post a message with #organdonor.

    Other big news: My older daughter Eliza is now off at college! That was a big family milestone. Here's the advice I gave her when she left.

    After much discussion and pleading, my family got a dog, a delightful black cockapoo named Barnaby. If you want to hear me talk about this decision, Elizabeth and I discuss it in episodes 24 and 27 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast.

    Speaking of the Happier podcast, launching the podcast has been one of my favorite undertakings from the last ten years. My co-host is my sister Elizabeth Craft, the TV writer and producer who lives in Los Angeles, and together we talk about happiness, habits, and human nature. We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much! We’ve had so many terrific sisterly adventures together because of the show.

    I quit sugar, and really, almost all carbs. (If you want to know more about this change, I write about it in my book Better Than Before.)

    Since The Happiness Project came out, I’ve written four additional books: Happier at Home, Better Than Before, The Four Tendencies, and Outer Order, Inner Calm. (Plus I’ve written My Color Pilgrimage, but it’s still in the manuscript stage.)

    In The Happiness Project, I write about starting a children’s literature reading group. Well, that group got so big that I started a second group, and now even a third group. Yes, I’m in three kid-lit reading groups, and these groups are a giant engine of happiness for me.

    A big personal highlight was getting interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. She recorded the interview at her home in Montecito, so I got to visit "The Promised Land," and I also got to bring my sister Elizabeth with me, on a terrific sisterly adventure. Oprah is so...Oprah. In person, she’s exactly the way I’d imagined her to be. (You can listen to the interview here.)

    Another highlight was meeting the Dalai Lama. In fact, at the end of our meeting, we needed to walk to the other end of the conference center in the rain, so he grabbed my arm to help him stay steady—yes, I walked arm in arm with the Dalai Lama.

    I had dinner with Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman—he’s notable for his work on the psychology of judgment, decision-making, and behavioral economics, subjects that fascinate me. He’s the author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, among countless other accomplishments, and a person I was thrilled to meet.

    One very fun thing that happened—though I had nothing to do with it—was that "The Happiness Project" was an answer on the gameshow Jeopardy!

    Less flashy, but very gratifying, was that my personality framework of "Four Tendencies" was written up in a scientific journal.

    I’ve been on the cover of a few magazines. That’s surreal.

    I’ve also created several interesting projects. One-sentence journals, habit journals, mugs, Page-a-Day calendars, 21 Day Projects—I even designed a coloring book.

    My blog (which I now call my "site," because the very word "blog" seems old-fashioned) has been going strong for more than a decade. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, I created an e-book, The Best of the Happiness Project Blog—that was a lot of fun to put together.

    I started "Ask Gretchen Rubin Live," a weekly show on Facebook. It’s great to get a chance to talk about happiness, habits, and human nature with people in real time.

    I launched the free "Better" app to help people make their lives happier, healthier, more productive and more creative—just search "Better Gretchen Rubin" in the app store. It’s a place where you can join discussions, ask questions, weigh in, and form accountability groups.

    I also created my first video course to help more people harness the power of the Four Tendencies.

    Of everything I’ve written in the last ten years, I think my one-minute video "The Years Are Short" resonates most with people. It was a truth that I felt deeply at the time that I wrote The Happiness Project, and I feel it more deeply with every passing year. The days are long, but the years are short.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:53:55 on 2017/01/15 Permalink
    Tags: , E. M. Forster, , , , , , , , , Story of a Soul, Two Cheers for Democracy, Your happiness project   

    E. M. Forster Explains How To Know If a Book Is Influencing You. 


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    “I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have got ourselves. I suggest, furthermore, that when you feel that you could almost have written the book yourself—that’s the moment when it’s influencing you. You are not influenced when you say, ‘How marvelous! What a revelation! How monumental! Oh!’ You are being extended. You are being influenced when you say ‘I might have written that myself if I hadn’t be so busy.'”

    – E. M. Forster, “A Book That Influenced Me,” from Two Cheers for Democracy

    Does this ring true for you?

    I have to say, I think that people sometimes get that feeling from my books, especially The Happiness Project. People often say to me,  “Wow, I could’ve written a book like yours myself.” And I always think, “Terrific, you should!”

    One of my favorite happiness-project resolutions is to “Imitate a spiritual master,” and I feel influenced (I hope) every time I read Story of a Soul, the memoir of my spiritual master, St. Therese of Lisieux. She’s a great saint and a Doctor of the Church and I’m me, of course, but still, when I read St. Therese, I think, “That’s exactly right, I’ve thought the same thing myself, I’ve struggled with that impulse, too. ”

    What books have influenced you — or extended you?

    The post E. M. Forster Explains How To Know If a Book Is Influencing You. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:56:40 on 2016/12/28 Permalink
    Tags: , book clubs, , , , , , , , fashion, , happiness project, , , , , photos, , , , , , , , Your happiness project   

    Podcast 97: Start Your Own Happiness Project, a Deep Dive into Break-Ups, and a Sweatpants Demerit. 


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    Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2016-09-27 16:40:51Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

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

    We’re coming up on our Very VERY Special Episode — Episode 100! Hard to believe. For this episode, send us questions about anything, whether related to happiness or not. For instance, if you’ve wondered, “Why don’t Gretchen and Elizabeth ever have their parents come onto the show?” or “What was the brand of Gretchen’s hard-boiled egg-maker?” you can ask! (KRUPS, by the way.) Email us or call us at 774-277-9336.

    To start the new year in a happier way, we’re doing a fun project on Instagram. Every day, for the month of January, Elizabeth and I will post a photo on Instagram of something that makes us happier (by giving us a boost, helping us stick to good habits, reminding us to feel grateful, etc.).  Join in! Use the hashtag #Happier2017 and tag us — I’m @gretchenrubin and Elizabeth is @lizcraft.

    Try This at Home: Start your own happiness project. I wrote about my own “happiness project” in my book, The Happiness Project.

    My Twelve Personal Commandments are here.

    Email me if you want to see my happiness-project chart. If you want to take a look at the The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five Year Record, it’s here.

    If you’re curious to see Eliza’s Squarespace site for her podcast Eliza Starting at 16, it’s here.

    Happiness Hack: Jane says, “To deal with unloading the dryer, I tell myself I only have to fold five items. That gets me started.”

    Deep Dive: How to survive a break-up. Our fellow podcaster, Andrea Silenzi of the great podcast Why Oh Why, is dealing with a break-up. We talked about it first in episode 93, and Andrea came onto the show to give us an update.

    Demerit: Elizabeth gives herself a demerit for wearing sweatpants every day.

    Gold Star: Our mother decorates beautifully for Christmas. It’s a lot of work, but it adds so much to the holiday, because it’s so festive.

    Don’t forget: Elizabeth’s young-adult book Flower is ready for pre-order!

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    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 Squarespace. Start building your website and get your free trial today.  Go to Squarespace.com, and enter the offer code “happier” to get 10% off your first purchase.

    Also check out Casper, the online retailer of premium mattresses. Pay a fraction of what you’d pay in the store, get free delivery, and returns within a 100 day period. Go to Casper.com and get $50 off a mattress purchase by using 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 97: Start Your Own Happiness Project, a Deep Dive into Break-Ups, and a Sweatpants Demerit. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:44:47 on 2016/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , intention, , , , , , , , , Your happiness project   

    A Little Happier: What’s Your One-Word Theme for the New Year? 


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    new-years-resolution-goal-setting

    A Little Happier: We’re all getting geared up for 2017, and January 1 is often a prompt that people use to reflect on ways to make life happier in the new year.

    This week’s holiday hack is to choose one word, or a short phrase, to sum up what we want to focus on for the new year. When we distill our aims into a single word or phrase, it’s easier to remember it — and to take action.

    In the past, I’ve picked words and phrases like “Upgrade” and “Lighten Up.” This year, I’m picking “Re-purpose.” I want to tackle the question: How can I make more of what I already have?

    Elizabeth has picked words like “Free Time,” “Style,” “Hot Wheels,” “Novel” — this year, she’s picking “Home.” Her renovation is finally almost finished!

    If this one-word theme “Home” appeals to you, you might enjoy my book Happier at Home — it’s all about how to be (surprise) happier at home.

    In the past, we’ve heard from listeners that they’ve picked terrific, thought-provoking one-word themes like Adventure, Renew, Energize, Travel, Rest, Finish.

    What one-word theme will you choose for 2017?

     

    Check out LOFT.com — it’s a great go-to spot to pull together modern,  feminine outfits for all your holiday adventures.

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

     

    Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: What’s Your One-Word Theme for the New Year? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:51:06 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Your happiness project   

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


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    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.

     
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