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Podcast 199: Evaluate Your “18 for 2018” List (We Reveal Our Own Successes and Failures), Plus an App for Finding Lost Items.


Update: I've announced my book tour for Outer Order, Inner Calm. I'll be doing events in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, San Francisco, Mission Viejo, San Diego, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington D.C., Darien, Connecticut, Fort Worth, and of course, my hometown of Kansas City.

Note: Most events are ticketed, and they often sell out; if you'd like to attend, you might want to go ahead and buy your ticket. Ticket links and details at

Please come, bring your friends! I'm sorry if I'm not coming your way. Next time!

Remember, if you pre-order my forthcoming book Outer Order, Inner Calm, snap a photo of your receipt, and I'll send you my pre-order bonus materials when they're available in January.

I've heard from many people who have already pre-ordered. Thank you! Pre-orders really do help a book.

Try This at Home: Evaluate your "18 for 2018." Looking back on the year, how did you do? What can you learn from what you did and didn't accomplish?

Elizabeth's list—note that she made a very long list, she aimed high!

  1. Get the perfect black purse.
  2. Try spin class. Note: there's still time!
  3. Have a party for the mothers in Jack’s grade.
  4. Plan family trip to New York City.
  5. For any day that I'm in my office on the Disney lot, aim to walk at least three miles on my treadmill desk.
  6. Get wall of photos up. Got the frames up, need the photos.
  7. Start my outdoor glassware collection.
  8. Have a dinner party.
  9. Refresh my Botox.
  10. See my college friends.
  11. Figure out Instagram Story.
  12. Read Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett.
  13. Watch American Vandal on Netflix, as recommended on my niece's/Gretchen's daughter's podcast, "Eliza Starting at 16".
  14. Take Jack to Disneyland at least twice—because I work for Disney, I have free passes so I should use those. Once.
  15. Host a "Happier In Hollywood" meet up.
  16. Go away for a romantic weekend with Adam.
  17. Send out Christmas cards in 2018.
  18. Get my fat frozen.

Bonus list, inspired by listeners:

  1. Date night once a month with Adam.
  2. Do a new hike.
  3. Get bikini wax done more often.
  4. Get rid of old bras and underwear.
  5. Celebrate a minor holiday. She celebrated family victories.
  6. Cook ten new recipes (low bar on what counts as “recipe”).
  7. Make a 2017 photo book.
  8. Take family hikes once a month.
  9. Update her will (that is, write a will).
  10. Clean the garage. Adam did this—that counts!
  11. Take the Judy Blume MasterClass in writing.
  12. Take a one-time flower-arranging class.
  13. Travel to a new place.
  14. Renew Jack’s passport.
  15. Get professional photos taken. Sarah and Elizabeth did a great one on an iPhone.
  16. Watch a classic movie once a month.
  17. Do food sensitivity testing.

Gretchen's list:

  1. Start having weekly "adventures" with Eleanor.
  2. Fix my headset, runs out of battery really fast.
  3. Set up a home studio in this closet for my "Ask Gretchen Rubin Live" weekly Facebook show.
  4. Work with Barnaby so he’s better about coming when I call.
  5. Clean out my massive tote bag collection. Each one is special.
  6. Take Eleanor to get her contacts checked.
  7. Start making consistent progress on "Report to the Committee on Exploration." (If you want to read about "Four to Llewelyn's Edge,” I describe it here.)
  8. Create a work calendar for the year.
  9. Finish My Color Pilgrimage and figure out what the heck to do with it; similarly, Outer Order, Inner Calm. Outer Order, Inner Calm is coming out in March! Pre-order now! So it’s happening. I decided to wait until that book was finished before trying to figure out what to do with My Color Pilgrimage. Stay tuned for more info on that.
  10. Tap more into my love of smell. Along those lines...
  11. Plan perfume field trip with a friend.
  12. New phone for camera to improve the video quality of my weekly Facebook show, "Ask Gretchen Rubin Live"
  13. Figure out Instagram features and use it regularly. 
  14. Decide on a cause to give to as a family. We gave to Bottom Line, a terrific organization that helps first generation students from low-income backgrounds get into and graduate from college: "Get in, graduate, go far."
  15. Create the Four Tendencies workshop. This was a huge undertaking! A very big one to cross off the list. Download it here, lead a workshop yourself!
  16. Deal with the items we want to donate to Housing Works.
  17. I’m creating a list for listeners of the Try This at Homes and Happiness Hacks so far. This is done—in the nick of time. Many listeners have asked for these lists; now they’re ready for you. I’ll update them regularly. Download them here (scroll down to "More Resources").
  18. Get current with making physical photo albums with Shutterfly.

Elizabeth mentions the Happier in Hollywood Facebook Group. Lots of great discussion there.

Or check out my free Better app.

Happiness Hack: In response to the discussion in episode 197 about the person who refuses to keep keys in the key bowl, and so kept losing his keys, many people suggested the solution of the Tile app for keeping track of keys, wallet, TV remote control device, etc.

Read a review on the  New York Times review site The Wirecutter here.

Gretchen's Demerit: This is a small, dumb demerit. I realized perfectly well that I kept running over my phone charger's cord with my office chair, and that this was a bad idea, but I did nothing to fix the situation—until my cord got wrapped up into the wheel, and I had to spend twenty minutes trying to get it out. Identify the problem!

Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to an old friend in Kansas City, for arranging a gathering of old hometown friends over the holidays.


  1. My publisher is giving away 40 advance copies of my next book, Outer Order, Inner Calm on Goodreads. Mark the book as “want to read,” then enter the giveaway lower down on the page. Note that you can only enter this giveaway on a desktop (not on mobile or on their app) and only Goodreads members in the US can enter.
  2. Still looking for holiday gift ideas? Give the Gift of a Podcast. More podcasts for all!
  3. If you'd like to sign up for The Happiness Project Experience, the new online course I'm launching, get  info here. “The Happiness Project Experience” gives structure and ideas for participants who want to create their own happiness projects. Over the course of twelve months, with video lessons, live calls, expert interviews, and more, this tool helps you identify the resolutions that will bring more happiness to your life—and then helps you keep those resolutions. Visit to sign up for the waiting list to be notified when it goes on sale later in December 2018.
  4. In celebration of The Happiness Project 10th Anniversary Edition, I've annotated the book for Goodreads. You can read the notes on your Kindle if you have the 10th anniversary edition, or you can follow me on Goodreads and see all the notes there. Also, while you’re on Goodreads, follow me and mark any of my books “TO READ” that you’re interested in reading.

Join the conversation! I do a weekly live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.” You can check the schedule.

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