Podcast 201: Choose a One-Word Theme for the Year, Check Your Worries in Two Weeks, and Chris Guillebeau Talks About the “Annual Review.”


Elizabeth announces the premier date for The Fix: Mondays, 10 p.m. starting March 18. The countdown begins! As promised, you can watch the trailer for The Fix here.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of my book The Happiness Project, so I decided to do something people have asked me to do for years – create a happiness project video course. It’s done!

And registration opens today. Join at courses.gretchenrubin.com/happiness.

The Happiness Project Experience” gives structure and ideas to participants who want to create their own happiness projects. Over twelve months, with video lessons, live calls, expert interviews, and more, this tool helps you identify the resolutions that will bring more happiness to your life—and then helps you keep those resolutions.

Try This at Home

Choose a one-word or one-phrase theme for the year.

In the past, I’ve had themes such as “Upgrade,” “Bigger,” “Lighten Up,” “Re-purpose,” and ”Delegate.” This year, my word is “Growth.”

Elizabeth’s past choices have included “Free Time,” “Style,” “Hot Wheels,” “Novel,” “Home,” and “Control.” This year, her theme is “#6.” Intriguing!

Elizabeth and her writing partner Sarah Fain also have a team theme, like “Relentlessly Entertaining.” On Happier in Hollywood episode 84, they reveal their team theme for 2019: “Explode.”

Happiness Hack

A listener suggests that if you’re worried about something, make a plan of action and note a date in two weeks. When that time comes, reevaluate your situation and decide if you need to keep worrying or not.


We talk to the brilliant Chris Guillebeau. He’s the host of the terrific podcast Side Hustle School, he’s the author of many blockbuster New York Times bestselling books, such as Born for ThisHappiness of PursuitThe $100 Startupand others, and he’s the founder of the massive conference, World Domination Summit.

Chris is one of the most thoughtful people talking about work, purpose, productivity, and how to create the lives we want. Elizabeth and I wanted to talk to him about how he does his Annual Review each year. He writes about it here.

Listener Answers

We want your answers to this question from a listener: What’s the most effective or life-changing resolution you’ve ever made? Let us know!

Gretchen’s Demerit: Repeat demerit: One of my Twelve Personal Commandments is to Spend out, and yet once again, I’m holding back. I bought a pair of new boots, and I haven’t worn them yet, because I’m “saving” them.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: She gives a gold star to herself and her writing partner Sarah Fain, for pushing themselves to plan a few days off. Often it’s hard to take a break, even when you need one. But if we want to keep going, sometimes we have to let ourselves stop.


  1. 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 outerorderinnercalmbook.com.
  2. You asked for it, you got it: The “Try This at Home” guide is available here. This list includes every Try-This-at-Home challenge, all the way back to episode 1.




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