Episode 357: Yearly Challenge Reveal “[Fill in the Blank] 22 in 2022”


The Fantasy Island Christmas special airs December 23, 2021.

Thanks to all the people who joined the Super-Fan group! I appreciate it so much. if you’re interested in joining the Super-Fans, sign up here. (It’s free.)

Try This at Home

Join our yearly challenge!

Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. If we have habits that are good for us, we’re far more likely to be happier; if we have habits that are bad for us, we’ll find it tougher to be happy.

 In 2020, in episode 252, we challenged ourselves and listeners to “Walk 20 in 20,” i.e., to walk for 20 minutes every day in 2020. In episode 305, we proposed a new habit: Read for 21 minutes every day in 2021. 

Listeners have told us about the extraordinary benefits they’ve received from these daily actions. You can read some success stories from #Walk20in20 here.

Now that we’ve come to the end of 2021, I want to write a post that rounds up some of the success stories from #Read21in21, so send your stories my way!  (If you want give yourself a reading challenge in 2022, check out episode 310, a Very Special Episode of “Great Hacks, Tips, Tools, and Suggestions About How to #Read21in21.”)

People are really worn out, so our challenge for 2022 is…drumroll…REST 22 in 2022!

Rest can take many forms. Some ideas:

  • Go to sleep earlier – here’s a list of tips about how to get yourself to go to bed on time
  • Rest on a bed while listening to an audio-book (Elizabeth’s favorite way to rest)
  • Take a nap – in episode 337, we proposed this Try This at Home idea
  • Think about your fantasy self
  • Consider the lessons from childhood rest – teachers, weigh in if you have suggestions!
  • Consider changing your environment to signal “rest time”
  • Do you have a rest ritual?

Note: Rest time should give you a break from stress. Don’t use this time to worry.

Research shows that rest is an essential element of working well and working smart. Rest helps us to think and increase our productivity; rest can refresh the mind and replenish mental energy. Research also suggests also that taking regular breaks raises your level of engagement which, in turn, is highly correlated with productivity. It also boosts creativity by helping people make unexpected connections and stay open to different possibilities.

Some useful links:

Email us or post using the hashtag #Rest22in22 about how you plan to rest 22 in 22.

I want to write a kick-off post full of suggestions, tips, and hacks. So if you have suggestions already, please send them my way, about ways you’ve helped yourself to rest. Like do you have a rest ritual? I don’t, and am realizing that would be useful.

If you want a one-pager when you can mark every day that you rest, you can download a free “Don’t Break the Chain” PDF here.

As you’re thinking about how to build this daily habit into your 2022, consider your Tendency! What works for Upholders won’t work for Obligers won’t work for Rebels. To learn more or take the quiz, look here.

Happiness Hack

An idea for last-minute holidays gifts:

  • Donate in someone’s honor to a cause they support. The New York Public Library makes this easy, and so do countless other organizations.

Announcement: More Happier!

If you’ve ever thought, “I just wish I had more “Happier” in my life,” well, here it comes! Starting January 8, every other Saturday in 2022, you can get more happier with our new bi-weekly episode, MORE HAPPIER.

Every other Saturday, join us for some weekend listening as we kick back and get More Happier! Tune in for more observations and reflections, with a looser vibe. Gretchen unleashes her inner happiness bully. Elizabeth finally gets the chance to impart wisdom gleaned from the Real Housewives! And of course, we’ll talk about what’s making us and our listeners more happier.

This is free—lots of podcasts have content for people who pay, but this is just bonus.

And don’t worry, completists, this doesn’t “count”! It’s purely for fun, if you want More Happier.

Demerits & Gold Stars

Gretchen Demerit: I haven’t worked hard enough to push Eliza and Eleanor to get their drivers’ licenses.

Elizabeth Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to our mother and father for doing such a fabulous job with holiday decorating. This year, Elizabeth was so overwhelmed–between Fantasy Island and a new puppy–that she didn’t do any decorating. But that was okay, because she knew in Kansas City, we would have full Christmas cheer, with trees decked out with ornaments, tablescapes, special china, gingerbread decorating, carols playing, all of it!

Photo of Santa decorations and a white pointsetta Christmas tree with ornaments and garland Gretchen and Liz's parents holiday decorations


  • Reflecting on happy times in the past can boost happiness in the present–but cataloging memories can be a lot of work. I’m partnering with Chatbooks on a 2021 year-in-review photo journal. It includes reflective prompts from me to help you capture the highlights from your year.
  • If you’re interested in going deeper with the Four Tendencies, especially as you think about #Rest22in22, I have a resources hub for the Four Tendencies. You’ll find tips for using the Four Tendencies at work, with families, sweethearts, and children, and to build the habits you want to master. And you can take the free, quick quiz to find out whether you’re an Obliger, Rebel, Questioner, or Upholder.

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Life by Keith Richards (Amazon)
  • Gretchen: Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog (AmazonBookshop)




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