Episode 149: Identify Your “18 for 2018,” an Interview with Legendary Cartoonist Roz Chast, and Don’t Stash Something Without Noting Where I Put It.


Remember, every day in January 2018, post a photo on Instagram of something that makes you happier — and tag your photo with #happierpodcast. It’s so fun to see what people post. And tag us — I’m @gretchenrubin, and Elizabeth is @lizcraft.

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. In episode 147, Elizabeth and I previewed this idea, and gave our first five items. Here are our complete lists for  2018:


  1. Get the perfect black purse.
  2. Try spin class.
  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.
  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.
  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.


  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 Facebook show.
  4. Work with Barnaby so he’s better at coming when I call him.
  5. Clean out my massive tote bag collection. Each one is special.
  6. Take Eleanor to get 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. I have a lot of little projects and I need more structure than usual; trips I need to make.
  9. Finish My Color Pilgrimage and figure out what the heck to do with it; Outer Order, Inner Calm.
  10. Tap more into my love of smell. I’ve fallen out of habit of regularly wearing perfume, smelling my smell collection, burning scented candles. 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.
  15. Create the Four Tendencies workshop.
  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. And I’ll update these lists at the end of each year.
  18. Get current with making physical photo albums with Shutterfly.
We both printed out the list, posted it someplace obvious, to make sure these aims stay in our minds.


We talk to the brilliant Roz Chast, an American cartoonist and a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker. Since 1978, she has published more than 1000 cartoons in The New Yorker. She’s also a #1 New York Times bestselling author – she wrote a brilliant, thought-provoking, very unusual memoir about her relationship with her parents called Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? which won many prestigious awards. Roz Chast has a new book, Going Into Town: a Love Letter to New York. It’s a charming and useful guide to visiting New York City. Roz is a Rebel, by the way. Roz’s Try This at Home tip is to “Try the ukulele.” Here’s a funny interview with “The New Yorker Radio Hour” podcast where she and Patricia Marx talk about their ukulele band, “Roz Chast and Patricia Marx, Ukulele Superstars.”


I put my “wallet” away, and now I can’t find it. From which I learned this Happiness Hack: don’t deliberately stash something away in an inconspicuous place without making careful note of where I put it.

Gold Star

Elizabeth gave a giant gold star to Jack’s nanny Cynthia.


  1. To get the Habits Manifesto, where I list my most important conclusions about how to master our habits, go here and scroll down.
  2. Or if you’d like to get my one-pagers on how to Eating Better Than Before, Working Better Than Before, Reading Better Than Before, or Exercising Better Than Beforego here and scroll down.




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