What Type of Gold Star Works for You?
Gretchen Rubin
by gretchenrubin
1d ago
We all love a good self-discovery question. Are you a morning person or a night person? An over-buyer or an under-buyer? A simplicity-lover or an abundance-lover? Do you prefer competition or cooperation? When we know ourselves, we can tailor our surroundings, our schedules, and our choices to suit our own nature. It’s easier to change our environment than to change ourselves. Self-knowledge is especially useful when we’re trying to make progress on our aims—so we can set ourselves up for success. Here’s a useful question: When you do something right, what type of gold star do you appreciate ..read more
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My Visits to the Met Reminded Me of This Profound Truth
Gretchen Rubin
by Gretchen
3w ago
For more than four years, I’ve been visiting the Metropolitan Museum every day. (I skip when it’s closed or I’m traveling.) I started this practice for my book Life in Five Senses. I hoped this daily visit would help me to learn more about my five senses and myself, and how an experience changes with familiarity. I’d planned to make daily Met visits for one year, but I love going so much that I can’t imagine ever stopping. And to me, it’s important to go every day. It’s so different to do something every day rather than some days or even most days. As Andy Warhol observed, “Either once only ..read more
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The Benefits of Looking Back and Looking Forward
Gretchen Rubin
by Gretchen
1M ago
For more than a decade, each year, I’ve been meeting with two friends to do a “look back/look forward” exercise. Sometimes we break this exercise into two meetings; this year, we did both parts in the same meeting. How do we conduct this “look back/look forward” exercise? Meet in person, if possible Have a pad of good paper and good markers at hand Bring look back/look forward pages from previous years I find this exercise extraordinarily valuable, but if I’m being honest, I don’t think I’d do it on my own. It takes several hours, a lot of hard thinking and soul-searching; I’m not sure I ..read more
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Introducing the Habits for Happiness Quiz
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
1M ago
Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. When we change our habits, we change our lives. If we have habits that work well for us, it’s much easier to be happy. For that reason, ever since my habit-change book Better Than Before was published, people have asked me, “What’s the one habit that will make me happier? Where should I start?” But the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to happiness. The answer depends on you. So I’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the right answer, right now, for you. Take the Habits for Happiness Quiz The quiz is helpful, b ..read more
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Tips for Your “24 for 2024” List
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
2M ago
Every year, on the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, my sister Elizabeth and I do the Happier Trifecta to set ourselves up for the new year. Many people don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, and the exercises of the Trifecta offer a fun (and still effective) alternative. The Trifecta for 2024: One-word theme—Elizabeth’s is “Book” and mine is “Revisited” Yearly Challenge—this year’s challenge is “Write 24 in ’24“ “24 for ’24” list—see below! Research shows that when we set specific aims for ourselves,  we’re far more likely to achieve them. So taking the time to make a list of t ..read more
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Join us for #Write24in24
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
2M ago
Every year on the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, as part of the Happier Trifecta, my co-host and sister Elizabeth and I do an annual challenge with listeners. We’ve done #Walk20in20, #Read21in21, #Rest22in22, and #GoOutside23in23. For some reason, framing a habit this way makes it feel more fun—and also easier to maintain. For 2024, our challenge is…#Write24in24! Join us. Find the approach to writing that works for you and your aims If you write consistently, you’ll be astonished by how much you can accomplish in 2024. We often underestimate what we can do if we work consistently ..read more
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How to Handle Holiday Burnout
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
2M ago
It’s the holiday season. We love to talk about holiday fun, and we also love to talk about holiday burnout. For many people, the holidays leave us feeling overwhelmed or exhausted rather than refreshed. “Burnout” is a very broad term. Why do you feel burned out? Because if you identify the problem, you’re much better able to address it. For instance, if you’re feeling burned out because you’ve been staying up late every night, drinking and eating unhealthfully, and missing your usual work-outs and meditation, you need one kind of solution. If you’re feeling burned out because you want to make ..read more
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Why It’s Not Helpful to Call Someone—Including Ourselves—“Lazy”
Gretchen Rubin
by Gretchen
3M ago
In talking to people about happiness and good habits, people sometimes talk about “laziness.” Either they say, “I’m lazy” or they say, “That person is being lazy.” But I think it’s unhelpful to think about “laziness.” It seems to me that when people (including ourselves) appear lazy, there are more helpful explanations. In my observation, other things may be going on: Avoidance: There’s something that a person should do, but they’re avoiding it. This person should work, but is avoiding doing tough analysis, so is spending hours watching Game of Thrones clips on YouTube. That person should go ..read more
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Schedule an “Empower Hour”
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
3M ago
In my book Better Than Before, about how we can make or break our habits, I write about why I find it so helpful to schedule a weekly “Power Hour.” The fact is, things that can be done at any time are often done at no time, even things that are important to us. So I keep a list of nagging tasks that I’ve been putting off, and once a week, for one hour, I “power” through them. It’s surprising how much I can get done in just one hour. We talked about “Power Hour” in episode 6 of the Happier podcast, and in later episode 277, we talked about a twist to the idea, with “Empower Hour.” Scheduling a ..read more
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Find the Perfect Gift with the Gift-Giving Quiz
Gretchen Rubin
by hannah@gretchenrubin.com
4M ago
As a writer, my subject is human nature, and I love nothing more than to identify a new character distinction, such as… Abstainers and moderators (I’m mostly an abstainer) Finishers and openers (I’m a finisher) Over-buyers and under-buyers (I’m an under-buyer) Upholders, Questions, Obligers, and Rebels (Of the “Four Tendencies,” I’m an Upholder) In fact, in my book Better Than Before, about the 21 strategies we can use to change our habits, one strategy is the Strategy of Distinctions. To change our habits, we must know ourselves, and distinctions help us to know oursel ..read more
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