Podcast 250: Very Special Episode: We Review Our “19 for 2019” Lists and Report on How We Did.

Very Special Episode

In episode 203, we revealed our “19 for 2019” lists. We did this for 2018 too. We’ve been surprised and gratified by how enthusiastically people embrace this approach to the new year. Now, we report back.

Elizabeth’s list

She decided to do “9 for 2019″ because she did 36 for 2018 (she did a double list, because she had so many things she wanted to do), and she didn’t get many of them accomplished.


  1. Visit the Integratron in Joshua Tree National Park, as discussed in Happier in Hollywood episode 72.
  2. Throw an adult dinner party. She’s done this with families, but now wants to do a party just for adults. She’s going to suggest starting a “dinner club” with some friends.
  3. Plan a weekend away with Adam—repeat from 2018.
  4. Hold a Happier in Hollywood retreat. DONE.
  5. Plan a Happier in Hollywood meet-up. DONE.
  6. Learn to make a perfect guacamole. At one of our shows, an audience member suggested getting the Rick Bayless mix, which Elizabeth has embraced. DONE.
  7. Buy the perfect long gold necklace. She has identified a few good ones for when she’s ready. [Because this item was on Elizabeth’s list, I decided I needed the perfect gold necklace too, and I did buy one!] 
  8. Get Fraxel. DONE.
  9. Spend time with college friends—repeat from 2018. PARTLY DONE.

My list

  1. Give away Christmas decorations we don’t want. DONE.
  2. Figure out what to do with My Color Pilgrimage, the little book I wrote out of my obsession with the subject of color. IN PROCESS, MAYBE.
  3. Get to inbox zero, at least for one moment. DONE TO MY CURRENT STANDARD.
  4. Create more terrific merchandise for Happier and my books. DONE.
  5. Use phone technology to make my life easier. I want to get in the habit of dictating texts, using Siri reminders, deleting apps I don’t use, etc. DONE BUT I WANT TO DO MORE.
  6. Stop eating off other people’s plates. BETTER BUT NOT PERFECT. As promised, here’s the Checklist for Habit Change.
  7. Learn to play the ukulele—at least one song. If you want to listen to our interview with the brilliant writer and cartoonist Roz Chast, where she talks about her love for the ukulele, it’s here.
  8. Launch a daily Flash Briefing and an accompanying podcast. I CROSSED THIS OFF MY LIST.
  9. Have a Summer of Proust. DONE
  10. On my book tour, read children’s literature instead of watching HGTV before-and-after shows, which for some reason is what I want to do when I’m alone in a hotel room. DONE
  11. Visit the Museum of Illusions in New York City with my daughters. DONE.
  12. Take Eliza to Las Vegas. PLANNED FOR JANUARY.
  13. Make a scrapbook of “now.”
  14. Walk faster. SOMETIMES.
  15. Plan a 2020 reunion for my year of law clerks. I TRIED.
  16. Have six people over for dinner, six times. WE DID THIS ONCE, AND ARE NOW FIRED UP TO DO MORE.
  17. Figure out what, if anything, to do with the little pieces I wrote a few years ago for the New York Times Motherlode site about my love of picture books. I CROSSED THIS OFF MY LIST.
  18. Mad Men binge watch—it would take 92 hours!
  19. Use the “1 Second Everyday” app. DONE

In January, we’ll reveal our “20 for 20” lists. Be thinking of what you want to put on your list, and send us your ideas—we often get great ideas for our own lists from listeners.


For everything we haven’t done…

Gold Star

For all the things we did do.


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