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Podcast 236: Stay the Course with Your Good Habits, Helping Someone Take Medication, and the Fun of Color.


We're going on tour!

Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Kansas City, and Chicago! Tickets now on sale for our live "Happier Hour with Gretchen Rubin" shows in the fall. Details and tickets here: More cities and dates coming soon: Providence, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Charlotte.

#HappierLabor Day

Labor Day is a great reminder to think about how to be happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative at work. Post your ideas to #HappierLaborDay! We'll discuss this subject in episode 237 on September 4.

If you're interested in starting fresh after Labor Day—for many of us, September is the other January—I write about it in my book Happier at Home.

Try This at Home: Stay the course when it comes to your good habits.

When we try to make a habit change, it often means that other people need to change their own habits—and people often resist change. It's a Secret of Adulthood: If I hold the line, others fall in line.

Happiness Hack: Continuing saga of the snooze alarm: a listener points out that you can edit the features on your iPhone to disable the snooze feature.

Happier Highlights: New segment! We revisit one of our most popular ideas from previous episodes. This highlight: Choose a signature color.

In episode 71, Elizabeth and I suggested the Try-This-at-Home of "Choose a signature color," which sparked so much response that in episode 75, we did a deep dive into color.

You can choose one—or discover that you already have one! Elizabeth still can't decide. Mine is the color wheel (which is a bit of a cheat). More color!

Actually, now that I think about it, I think that the color wheel is more of a personal symbol than a signature color.

Listener Question: This week’s listener gave her name, but because she discusses medical information, we didn't include it.

My husband and I are trying to come up with strategies to help him with a new habit. About a month ago he began taking medication to help with anxiety and adult ADD, and it’s helping tremendously. He was initially worried about starting the medicine, but he’s told me multiple times since starting that he’s very glad he’s on it. The problem is remembering to take it. There have been several mornings where he has left for work, only to have to come back home to take his medicine.

My suggestion was to put it next to his coffee pot, as he goes for coffee first thing in the morning and usually has a couple of refills before work. Unfortunately, when things are sitting in the same place day after day, he tends to feel like they fade into the background, and then they don’t get noticed anymore. He recently started setting reminders on his phone, but he gets distracted between seeing the notification and actually getting the medicine—ADD at work.

Any suggestions? He’s a Questioner who is totally on board with this change, so much so that he doubles back to take the medicine when he forgets. We would love ideas for how to make the transition to daily medication easier and more convenient.

Elizabeth's Demerit: On Happier in Hollywood in episode 116, Elizabeth and Sarah talked about Sarah's “health lull.” Similarly, Elizabeth has stalled in her “#6.” One problem is her argument, "I've been so good, it's okay for me to snack."

If you want to read about the 10 categories of loopholes, read here. “Moral licensing” is a big one!

For accountability, Elizabeth commits to reporting on her progress in episode 241.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to Typewriter, a great show on Netflix. It’s an original series from India from writer-director Sujoy Ghosh. Creepy, fun, suspenseful. Five episodes, so it's not a huge commitment.


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