Podcast 267: Write a Letter of Congratulations to Your Future-Self, Solutions to School Spirit T-Shirt Overload, and Why I Should Check My Calendar.


For my April Fool’s trick, I put gel food dye around the inside of the bathroom faucet, so that the water would turn purple.

Try This at Home

Write a letter of congratulations to your future self.

Write a letter to your future self, to say congratulations for having achieved whatever you want to achieve. In that letter, outline the steps you took that allowed you to be so successful. How did you handle predictable challenges? What changes did you make in your life? Put in as much detail as possible.

Think about your Tendency, too, and what messages and approaches tend to resonate with an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. (Don’t know your “Tendency?” Take the quick, free quiz here.)

I mentioned the 21 strategies for habit change. You can get the “Checklist for Habit Change” one-pager here (scroll down to “Better Than Before”). Note, this one-pager is more valuable when you’ve read Better Than Before, my book about how to change habits because you understand how to use each of the strategies.

Happiness Hack

Because this is the season of spring cleaning: If you can’t go outside, combine your twenty minutes of daily walking with clutter-clearing on a rainy day. #Walk20in20.

Know Yourself Better

Would you rather have one excellent example of something, like gloves or an umbrella, or many cheap versions?

Listener Answers

In episode 261, we talked about a question from the listener A.J., a teacher who feels pressure to buy t-shirts to celebrate various holidays at her school.

  • Many people suggested wearing the same shirt from year to year.
  • Many people pointed out that making all these specialty t-shirts is very wasteful—especially the idea of a t-shirt only printed for Earth Day!
  • Listeners suggested having a single t-shirt that could be customized or could be a single “spirit t-shirt” to stand for all the different celebrations.
  •  Listeners suggested finding other items to use for the special days, such as buttons, bandanas, caps, etc. For buttons—we talk about using button-makers in episode 239; here’s an example of a button maker.

Gretchen’s Demerit: Before debating whether or not to do something, I should check my calendar. Often I can’t do something, so there was no need for any decision fatigue.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to the idea of adult game night. She recommends Cards Against Humanity and Taboo. Some retro, fun games are Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary.


  • We don’t talk about COVID-19 in this episode, but if you’d like to check out the resources I’ve created for coping during this crisis, click here.
  • Did you know that I have a free, online quiz to help you discover if you’re an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner or Rebel? It takes less than 5 minutes and you get the result instantly. Visit quiz.gretchenrubin.com.
  • Curious what I’ve been reading? Follow me on Goodreads or check out my monthly “What I Read” blog posts. If I like a book enough to finish it, it’s on the list.




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