Podcast 147: Identify Your “18 for 2018,” the Problem of Clutter-Creating In-Laws, and an Instagram Project.

Try This at Home

Identify your “18 for 2018.” Our listener Mary created her own happiness project by doing 35 things she wanted to do in her 35th year. We decided to adapt this terrific idea for the New Year.

We’re still making our own complete lists of 18, but here are our five five items:


  • Get the perfect black purse.
  • Try spin class.
  • Have a party for the mothers in Jack’s grade.
  • Plan family trip to New York City.
  • Any day that she’s in her office on the Disney lot, she aims to walk at least three miles on her treadmill desk.


  • Start having weekly adventures with Eleanor.
  • Fix my phone headset, which keeps running out of battery.
  • Set up a home studio for my Facebook show “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live” with better lighting.
  • Work with Barnaby so he’s better at coming when I call him.
  • Clean out my massive canvas tote bag collection.

Happiness Hack

Back by popular demand: every day, post a photo on Instagram of something that makes you happier — and tag your photo with #happierpodcast, because it’s so fun to see what people post. And tag us — I’m @gretchenrubin, and Elizabeth is @lizcraft.

Know Yourself Better Question

What is harder for you to do: say the word “no,” or hear the word “no?”

Listener Questioner

This listener and her husband are simplicity-lovers, and so have a lot of space in their house, and as a result her in-laws keep asking to store their clutter there. How politely to tell them no?

Gretchen’s Demerit

I’ve been eating egg salad for lunch so often that I’m worried that I’ll get sick of it. As promised, here’s the link to my beloved egg-cooker.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star

During their house renovation, Adam persisted to get the perfect bench for their fire pit.




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Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.