Tag Archives: holidays

Podcast 56: Schedule Time to Worry, Beware of Loopholes, and Dealing with a Troublesome Writers’ Accountability Group.

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

Update: Elizabeth is with me in the studio, because she’s in New York City shooting a TV pilot. So glamorous! But she’s so busy, I hardly get to see her.

In less exciting news, Jamie and I have a new duvet cover. (Note, when I took this photo, we were one decorative pillowcase short, now we’ve fixed that, too. Victory.) If you missed the kerfuffle related to the duvet cover, listen to episode 52.
duvetcover

Try This at Home: Schedule time to worry.  See above for Johnny Cash’s to-do list.

Strategy for Habit Change: We discuss the hilarious Strategy of Loophole-Spotting. I love all ten hilarious, popular categories of loopholes. We also mention the Evil Donut-Bringer. Which is your favorite loophole?

Listener Question: “I’m an Obliger, and I started a writing group. But some people stopped turning in their pages, and now others have stopped submitting.” If you want a starter kit for launching an accountability group, it’s here. We’re talking about Obligers, which is one of the Four Tendencies.

Gretchen’s Demerit: I narrowly missed getting a demerit for not observing Leap Day — but in the end, I did make a festive plan for my daughters and me. To read about our last Leap Day, which was more elaborate, read here.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s iPad Pro is changing her life. Any suggestions for the perfect tote bag?

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #56

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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!

Why I Celebrate Leap Day, and Other Minor Holidays. Do You?

One of my favorite resolutions — and I write about it in my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home — is to celebrate minor holidays.

Celebrating minor holidays is fun, it’s low-stress, and it helps make memories.

And today is Leap Day! Last Leap Day, I took my daughters to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and to Dylan’s Candy Bar.

But this year, our lives are different. After school, my older daughter has lacrosse practice, and she also has to study physics, so she didn’t have time to go on an adventure — even a minor adventure.

But I wanted to do something. So I’ve told them, “At about 9:15 tonight, when we’re usually winding down for the evening, we’re going to go out! For a fancy dessert!”

For me, Leap Day is a variation of Opposite Day. It’s a day when unexpected and crazy things can happen. I’m usually very focused on family members being ready for bed on time, and while I don’t enforce my own low-carb rules on my family, I usually don’t go out of my way to seek out high-sweets situations.

But that’s the fun of Leap Day, and the thing that will make it memorable. It’s so different from what we usually do.

Did you do anything special to celebrate Leap Day? Or to celebrate any other minor holidays?

Podcast 48: Create a Temporary Photo Gallery, and Do You Suffer from the Sunday Blues?

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

Update: We’re thrilled! Our first live show is tomorrow! And it has SOLD OUT. Yowza. If you’re coming to the Brava Theater on January 21, when we record an episode live, want a chance to be on the show? Email us with your New Year’s resolution, and maybe we’ll get to talk about it on stage. Send an email to podcast@gretchenrubincom, with the subject line “New Year’s resolution.”

Update: Henry joins us to tell us some fascinating listener responses to the question about New Year Rituals.

Try This at Home: Create a temporary photo gallery in your house. I mention this behind-the-scenes video from Happier at Home where I show the photo gallery I put up only for Valentine’s Day.

Happiness Stumbling Block — with Special Guests. Laura Mayer and Sarah Bentley from Panoply join us to talk about the happiness stumbling block of the Sunday blues. Do you suffer from the Sunday blues? How do you deal with it?

Listener Question: Brett asks, “Does maintaining relationships with unhappy friends and family  have to be toxic to your own happiness?”

 Gretchen’s Demerit : I keep tinkering with the parts of my book draft that are already good, instead of focusing my attention on the Introduction — doing what’s fun instead of what matters most.

 Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to the Harry Potter audio-books. So good!

 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid post-office pain, 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 no-risk trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

Also check out The Great Courses Plus for a wide variety of fascinating courses taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: free access to one of their most popular courses! To get The Everyday Gourmet for free, go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier Limited time.

 

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.)

Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Listen to this episode at Happiercast.com/48

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!

What Do You Do with Holiday Cards? Keep, Toss, Store…?

This week  we started getting holiday cards in the mail. I love it! I love seeing photos of people’s families, and I love the friendly feeling of getting all that good mail (for once).

But here’s the question: what do you do with the cards?

I admire the cards, keep them on the table in the hallway for a few days so that my husband and daughters can admire them — and then I toss them.

When I mentioned this to a friend, she literally gasped out loud. She was shocked. She keeps cards through January before she throws them away, and she thought it was callous and disrespectful of me to toss them so quickly. (She didn’t say that to me, in just those words, but I got her drift.)

Some people display cards, on the fridge, the mantelpiece, the bulletin board. But I like a bare fridge, and we don’t have a mantelpiece or bulletin board to use. So if I kept them, they’d just be in a stack on a counter someplace.

I started asking friends what they did, and I discovered that one friend keeps the cards. Indefinitely.

Now, I do keep a copy of our annual card — which, as I explain in Happier at Home, we send at Valentine’s Day, because life is so crazy in December. If my sister or my parents sent cards, I’d keep those cards. But to keep every card we get? Even from close friends? In a New York City apartment, every inch of space is valuable. And even if I lived in a giant barn in the country, I wouldn’t keep the cards. It would be too much space, devoted to items of too little personal value.

I don’t want to sound like the Grinch.  As I said, I love seeing the cards, and I appreciate the effort that people go to, to send them. Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that relationship are a key — probably the key — to happiness, and holiday cards are a tradition that helps to keep social bonds going. And it makes us happier to be reminded of the people who are important to us.

But I feel like once I’ve seen the cards and been reminded of the relationship, they’ve done their work.

Are you shocked by the idea of throwing them out after just a few days? If you save them for a certain amount of time, how long?

What do you do with holiday cards?

Podcast 40: Holiday Episode: Cornucopia of Try-This-at-Homes from Listeners, and Thoughts on Decorations.

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

Very Special Episode, Holiday edition! Don’t miss the bonus at the end of the episode, when Elizabeth’s son Jack recites a holiday poem.

Update: Elizabeth and I talk about how we divide up our holidays.

Listener Try This at Home: We asked everyone, “What’s your Try This at Home for staying happier, healthier, and more productive over the holidays? We got so many great answers.

One listener suggested reading my post about “8 tips for dealing with difficult relatives during holidays.

I mention being an under-buyer. Want to read about under-buyer vs. over-buyer?

Questioner for Listeners: We also asked, “What’s the thing that’s the essential element of the holiday for you?” For instance, for Elizabeth, the essential element of Thanksgiving is stuffing — and the hanging-out time.

Elizabeth’s Demerit:  Elizabeth has non-functioning twinkle lights dangling off her house.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I gave a gold star to our mother, who gave me a pre-assembled set of holiday decorations for Halloween. See photo! And note that although tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I still haven’t put away our Halloween decorations.

Call for comments, questions, observations!

In a few weeks, we’re going to do a round-up episode on the Four Tendencies. We’ve had so many great comments from listeners, so we want to highlight some responses — and we want more. In particular, we want to throw out a few questions.

How does your career align with your Tendency, for better or worse?

If you use the Four Tendencies at work — you’re a doctor, a teacher, a manager — how do use them?

How does your Tendency influence your relationship with your sweetheart?

 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Listen at Happiercast.com/40

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.

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.)

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

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!