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Podcast 252: Walk for 20 in ’20! Plus We Discuss “Power Hour” and Answering Frivolous Questions During Job Interviews.


Reminder: The next choice for the Happier Podcast Book Club is Adrienne Brodeur’s gripping memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me. Send us your questions and observations!

Next week's show (episode 253) will come out on Thursday, December 26, rather than Wednesday, which is Christmas.

Registration for my twelve-month video course, The Happiness Project Experience is now open. Early-bird pricing ends this Friday, December 20. Click here to get more details and to register. If you've always wanted to do a happiness project, and would like a bit of structure and accountability around it, this course is for you.

Intrigued? You can watch some free bonus interviews with my daughters, as well as an interview where I answer people’s most frequently asked questions about doing a happiness project, here

Try This at Home: Walk for 20 in ‘20.

Research makes it clear that exercise boosts our health. Studies show that active people have lower incidences of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, and Type 2 diabetes, and usually live longer than people who are sedentary. Exercise improves circulation and posture, as well as focus, energy, sleep, and creativity. Exercise makes people less likely to develop depression and reduces anxiety, and is linked to happy moods.

But many of us don't get much physical activity.

The encouraging thing is that when we go from no activity to a little activity, we get great benefits.

Let's do this!

If you'd like to read more about why "Walk 20 in '20" is good for your health and happiness, check out these articles:

If you're trying to cultivate the habit of walking, my book Better Than Before explores the 21 strategies we can use to build our habits. Sometimes people tell me, "Twenty-one is too many! Give me the three big ones!" But different strategies work for different people, so consider the menu of options and choose the strategies that work for you.

For instance, we talk about the Strategy of Pairing, the Strategy of Convenience, the Strategy of Scheduling, the Strategy of Accountability, the Strategy of Monitoring, the Strategy of Identity.

Join my free app, the Better app—I've set up a walking group within the app.

You can also use the #Walk20in20 to post from your daily walk on social media.

Also, my book The Four Tendencies can help you figure out the approach that's most likely to work for you. If you don't yet know if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, you can take the quick, free quiz here (more than 2.5 million people have taken this quiz).

I've created a one-page “Checklist for Habit Change” that lists all the strategies that you can use to create this habit. You very well might use many strategies in combination—which is easier than it sounds.

To download the checklist, go to, look for the section connected to Better Than Before, and you’ll see it.

And if, like many people, you like the "Don't break the chain" approach, I created a one-pager for 2020 that lets you cross off every day you walk. You can download it here—just scroll to the bottom.

Remember: we don't want to break the chain, but if we do break the chain, it's not a big deal -- just start back up the next day. It's one of my habit aphorisms: What we do most days matters more than what we do once in a while.

Happiness Hack: Choose a default meal that's easily accessible, wherever you are—such as from Starbucks, CVS, Walgreens, etc. For instance, we figured out on our live tour that Elizabeth likes the Starbucks Protein Box.

Happier Highlights: We revisit the very popular idea of “Power Hour,” which we introduced way back in episode 6. I also discussed it in one of my weekly Monday segments for CBS This Morning.

We know that this idea has really resonated with listeners.

We often over-estimate what we can get done in an afternoon or a weekend, but under-estimate what we could do in ten seconds, one minute, one hour. We can accomplish a lot in one hour.

Listener Questioner: Donna asks: "As a Questioner, I dislike the frivolous questions that I'm often asked during job interviews. How do I handle this more effectively, to do a better job with interviews?"

Gretchen's Demerit: To get things done more efficiently, I need to create a tickler system rather than continue to rely on my memory.

Elizabeth's Gold Star: For a small dinner party, a friend named called the dinner a “Fall Frolic”; giving it a name elevated the gathering and made it seem more fun.

We mention the service Paperless Post.


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