Podcast 298: Award Yourself with a Sticker, A Memory Hack, and a Conversation with Rachel Hollis About Dealing with Unexpected Challenges

Note: This episode was recorded the day before the U.S. election, and it’s going live the day after the election.

Also, if you’re planning to give my books as holiday gifts, I’m happy to send a signed, personalized bookplate (as many as you like, within reason, though this is for U.S. and Canada only, because of shipping costs). Request them here—and make your requests as soon as possible, so I can be sure to send it back to you in time for the holidays.

Try This at Home

Award yourself a sticker for an important accomplishment.

Elizabeth’s childhood collection of scratch-and-sniff stickers. I was inspired by people’s strong reactions to the “I Voted” sticker. People really love to get a sticker to mark the fact that they’ve done something important.  My early voting sticker.  Elizabeth’s voting sticker on her treadmill. 

We mention the “Facts of Life Book” from episode 185

Happiness Hack

If you’re having trouble remembering something, close your eyes


Rachel Hollis is an enormously popular writer, podcaster, and speaker. Her books Girl, Wash Your Face (AmazonBookshop) and Girl, Stop Apologizing (AmazonBookshop) have been giant bestsellers.

She has a terrific podcast called The Rachel Hollis Podcast where she talks to interesting people about ideas for how to make life better.

Gretchen and Liz interview Rachel Hollis

Her new book is very timely! Didn’t See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart (AmazonBookshop) is a book about how to bounce back after 2020.

We discuss issues like:

  • what it was like to write this book during the pandemic, and how the pandemic has affected Rachel’s life and sixty-person business
  • what it was like to realize  during this time that she wanted to get a divorce
  • why the book is divided into three sections: What to do today; What to do tomorrow; What to do forever.
  • how do we know when to keep pushing toward a goal, and when do we decide that we’re on the wrong track?

Some particularly interesting comments from Rachel:

  • “I had my moment of freak-out—I allowed myself that time to wallow—then I said, ‘You’ve got people counting on you…it’s time to figure yourself out.”
  • “Anxiety, fear, feeling stuck, and feeling unsure of the future—there are tactics and tools for how to manage those things.”
  • “I was trying to teach, to help other people, while I was experiencing one of the most painful seasons of my life.”
  • “I made the choice to teach in the moment.”
  • “I knew I had to touch on my divorce. I’ve talked so openly about so many parts of my life, and if I pulled this book out but didn’t say anything about that, I felt like my readers would say, ‘You’re full of it.’”
  • [About her divorce] “What has helped me, as a writer, is to step back and say, ‘You have your own narrative of what this experience is, and so does he. You have your own list of hurts, you have your own stories, and so does he. And we’re both right.’”
  • [Of individual goals] “’Goonies never say die’ is a personal motto of mine. I believe that you always persist in the long game. I don’t give myself a time limit on my goals or aspirations…But there are times in today, the short game, in this moment, when I think, ‘You know what? I’ve got to stop.’”
  • “We used to say to each other, ‘If we met today, we would not go on a second date.’”
  • “If I want to be able to create and put things out in the world, social media is a really great platform, and if I want to be able to use social, I have to be okay with putting things out in the world and having people dislike them—or dislike me!”

Rachel’s Try This at Home
: Have an evening routine that sets up your morning routine. Every night, Rachel cleans the kitchen and sets up her coffee machine for the morning.

In my Four Tendencies personality framework, Rachel is an Upholder. (Don’t know if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Take the quick, free quiz here.)

Gold Stars & Demerits

Joint Gold Star: Gold star to everyone who has volunteered at a poll site! I voted early, and volunteers made a huge difference in helping the process to run smoothly. I especially appreciate the work of the guy who stood at the end of the line for hours, holding a sign saying “END OF LINE.” It was surprisingly tricky it was to figure out where to get in line, so I felt a huge relief when I spotted him.


  • Could you use more outer order and inner calm in your life these days? I sure could. If you’re looking for simple, concrete ways to reduce clutter and increase self-command, check out my brand-new project: the Outer Order Inner Calm 30-day SMS challenge. This is a 30-day text (SMS) challenge to help you declutter your life and make more room for happiness. 
  • Thinking ahead to holiday gift-giving? Most of my books make great gifts for friends, family members, students, teachers, coworkers, and more. If you want to request a free, signed bookplate, request now by clicking this link to make sure you receive it before the holidays.
  • If you listen to Happier (or most other podcasts), you hear the hosts ask listeners to rate and review the show. Why? Listeners respect the views of other listeners, so by rating and reviewing—assuming you have good things to say!—you make other people get interested. Rates and reviews also build buzz around the show. It’s easy to rate and review—once you know what to do. Click here to find step-by-step instructions. Give yourself a gold star if you’ve subscribed, rated, reviewed, or recommended the show. It really is a tremendous help to Elizabeth and me.




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