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Podcast 206: Use Gentle Language, a Gold Star for Magical Pancakes, and Answers to the Question, “What’s the Best Resolution You’ve Ever Made?”


Update: Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered my forthcoming book Outer Order, Inner Calm! I so appreciate it. Get your pre-order bonus when you submit your order number or receipt at You'll get my 21-day clutter-clearing challenge, videos, downloads, and more starting on February 1.

Remember, if you pre-order five copies or more, you'll get a shout out here on the podcast from me. (When you submit your proof of purchase,  you can specify the number of copies you pre-ordered.)

Try This at Home: Use gentle language.

If you want to watch the clip from the excellent TV show The Good Place, it's here.

Happiness Hack: As a way to choose among activities, write suggestions on the backs of cards, and choose a card at random. This approach is fun, and works either for choosing a hobby or choosing a chore.

Listener Answers: It was fascinating to hear listeners describe the best resolution they've ever made, and why it worked so well. So many terrific, life-changing ideas.

Elizabeth's Demerit: She's using the app Noom to log her meals, but she's doing it selectively, and not logging meals or snacks she doesn't want to record.

 Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to my daughter Eliza, who in one minute was able to solve a mystery that has haunted me since childhood: What was that wonderful movie that I watched in school when I was in second and third grade, as part of our Halloween celebration?

You can watch the twenty-minute movie Winter of the Witch here. It's excellent. And a real period piece.

You can also read Jennifer Mendelsohn's 2011 New York Times article "Something About a Witch," about people having uncannily similar experiences to mine.

And funnily enough, it turns out that the movie is all about...happiness!

Have you seen it? I'd love to hear from other people who remember it.


  1. Are you giving my new book Outer Order, Inner Calm as a gift? Request a bookplate now to make sure you have it by the time the book is released. Request free personalized bookplates here—for you or a friend. As many as you like, within reason. Alas, U.S. and Canada only (mailing costs).
  2. If you’re trying to create a habit of regular exercise in 2019, download my “Tips for Exercising Better Than Before” PDF at

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

Quote From the Podcast

In general, I find that gentle language makes me feel calmer, more in control of myself, and less volatile.
Gretchen Rubin

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