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\n","excerpt":"\

I’m a huge fan of Gary Taubes’s work. As I describe in Better Than Before, my book about habit change, while on vacation in March 2012, I read Gary’s book Why We Get Fat and overnight, I changed practically everything about the way I ate. I call this form of habit change the “Strategy of […]\

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Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2016-11-29T23:10:12","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=40582"},"modifiedGmt":"2016-11-30T13:00:00","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2016/11/interview-with-gary-taubes-case-against-sugar/","featuredMedia":40586,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1480461012,"featuredImage":"https://i2.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/gary-taubes-case-against-sugar.jpg","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2016/11/interview-with-gary-taubes-case-against-sugar/","disqusIdentifier":"40582 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=40582","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"Interview with Gary Taubes: The Case Against Sugar"},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"41554":{"id":41554,"date":"2017-02-21T05:30:11","modified":"2017-02-15T12:56:16","slug":"11-tips-for-getting-morning","author":2,"title":"Do You Hate to Rush? 11 Tips for Getting Ready Faster in the Morning.","content":"\

\One small but annoying daily challenge? Getting ready each morning.\\

\n\

I very much dislike rushing or feeling pressed for time, and fervently agree with Thoreau, who wrote in \\\Walden\\\, \\"I love a broad margin to my life.\"\\

\n\

By figuring out easy, quick ways to make it faster to head out the door, we can give ourselves a bigger margin of time.\

\n\

Need some ideas? Here are eleven simple morning-related habits that may make your life easier.\

\n\

11 Simple Morning Habits to Make Your Life Easier\

\n\
    \n\
  1. Put your alarm clock across the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. \No more snooze button!\\
  2. \n\
  3. The night before, set an alarm to tell you that it’s time to go to bed. It's a lot easier to get going in the morning if you’ve had enough sleep the night before. Also...\
  4. \n\
  5. Set an alarm to remind you when you've spent enough time in the shower.\
  6. \n\
  7. Buy several pairs of the same socks, so you never have to hunt for a mate.\
  8. \n\
  9. Decide your outfit while you brush your teeth to go to bed the night before, so you don’t have to take the time for inner debate in the morning. Or even better…\
  10. \n\
  11. Give yourself a work uniform, so you have very few choices to make when dressing. (I loved this piece by an art director, \\ \"Why I Wear the Exact Same Thing to Work Every Day\\.\")\
  12. \n\
  13. Always put your keys, wallet, sunglasses, and cell phone away in the same place, so you don't have to spend any time hunting for an important possession.  (Can't find something? Here are\\ 8 tips for finding misplaced objects\\. Bizarrely, I've found, these tips really do work.)\
  14. \n\
  15. The night before, gather everything you need for the next day--papers in your briefcase, exercise clothes in the gym bag, the book you're returning to a friend at work.\
  16. \n\
  17. Always keep gas in the car.\
  18. \n\
  19. Drink the office coffee instead of stopping at a coffee place on your way to work.\
  20. \n\
  21. Convince everyone in your household to follow these same tips.\
  22. \n\
\n\

How about you? What tips and tricks do you use, to help yourself get ready faster each morning?\

\n","excerpt":"\

One small but annoying daily challenge? Getting ready each morning. I very much dislike rushing or feeling pressed for time, and fervently agree with Thoreau, who wrote in Walden, “I love a broad margin to my life.” By figuring out easy, quick ways to make it faster to head out the door, we can give […]\

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Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2017-02-21T10:30:11","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41554"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-02-15T17:56:16","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/02/11-tips-for-getting-morning/","featuredMedia":41568,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1487673011,"featuredImage":"https://i2.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/hurrymorning.jpg","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/02/11-tips-for-getting-morning/","disqusIdentifier":"41554 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41554","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"Do You Hate to Rush? 11 Tips for Getting Ready Faster in the Morning."},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"41858":{"id":41858,"date":"2017-03-30T06:00:35","modified":"2017-03-31T11:07:30","slug":"john-freeman-gill","author":2,"title":"“Deciding to Write Consistently and Actually Doing So for 5 Years Are Very Different Things.”","content":"\

Interview: \\John Freeman Gill\\.\

\n\

I've been friends with brilliant writer John Gill since the first months of our freshman year at Yale -- the days are long, but the years are short!\

\n\

He's been a \New York Times\ contributor for many years, and writes for many other publications as well. He has just published his debut novel, \\\The Gargoyle Hunters\\\, and it is \so good\. I was thrilled to have the chance to write a blurb for the cover, and here's what I said:\

\n\
\

\“\John Freeman Gill's \\The Gargoyle Hunters \\is a brilliant evocation of many things: the world of a thirteen-year-old boy, with its mixture of thoughtless destructiveness and wrenching emotion; a son’s relationship with a charismatic, architecture-loving, thieving father; the endless changes to timeless Manhattan during the crumbling, tumultuous 1970s. Funny, heartbreaking, elegiac, unforgettable—David Mitchell’s \\Black Swan Green\\ meets E. B. White’s \\Here Is New York.\\”\

\
\n\

The novel is getting tremendous buzz and praise. Among other things, \\\The Gargoyle Hunters\\\ was named one of \\Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection for Spring 2017\\. And if you'd like to read a (terrific) review, check out \"\\'The Gargoyle Hunters': A Love Letter to New York City.\\\"\

\n\

I'm going to do a \Facebook Live interview with John on Friday, March 31, at 3:00 pm Eastern\ -- we're going to do the interview on the steps of the townhouse where the novel is set. How great is that!\

\n\

John has been working on this novel for a long time, and I was curious to learn how his habits helped (or hurt) the process.\

\n\

\GRETCHEN: Have you ever been hit by a \lightning bolt\, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, etc.?\\

\n\

\JOHN\: Yes, but to explain I’ll first need to give a bit of background. \I’ve wanted to be a novelist ever since fifth grade\, when I wrote a series of waggish short stories about a raffish British private detective named Anthony Bristol. My tastes became more literary as I grew up, and ever since high school, my favorite novel has been \\\The Horse’s Mouth\\,\ by the Anglo-Irish writer Joyce Cary. The book is a hilarious and irresistible 1944 tale about a winningly irreverent old London painter named Gulley Jimson, who begs, borrows, steals, and cons his way through life, shoving all else aside in a relentless drive to finish a gigantic modern painting that has seized his imagination and won’t let go.\

\n\

When I was in my twenties, I attended an MFA program in creative writing, and in 1995, the first week after I graduated and was on my own, I sat down in a fever and banged out 15 pages of a novel. I liked those pages, but life took me in another direction (screenwriting), and then another (journalism). \Over the next two decades, despite writing no new fiction,\ \I \read\ literary novels nonstop and never stopped seeing myself as a novelist who just happened to be writing other kinds of stories. But somehow I never quite took the plunge and committed myself to writing a novel\.\

\n\

Then, a few years ago, I was walking around in Park Slope, Brooklyn, not far from my home, and I stumbled upon a cardboard box full of discarded books in front of an old brownstone. One of the books was a crumbling, yellowed paperback copy of \\\The Horse’s Mouth\\,\ a 1957 edition with a tattered purple cover. \The serendipity of that moment really did feel like a lightning bolt. I’d forgotten how much I loved Gulley and his relentless artistic drive, and I’d forgotten how much I needed to write fiction\. That old paperback book, its spine broken and its pages falling out, reminded me. I gathered up the pages and began to read as I walked home, so engrossed that I nearly got hit by a car in a crosswalk. The novel is narrated in the first person by Gulley himself, and one sentence in particular resonated with me. “And I perceived I hadn’t time to waste on pleasure,” Gulley writes on the very first page. “A man of my age has to get on with the job.”\

\n\

“The job,” of course, is the making of art. And I, in my forties at the time, decided that Gulley had it exactly right. \The time for procrastination was past.\ I began writing my novel the next morning and didn’t stop until I finished it five years later. It’s called \\\The Gargoyle Hunters\\\\,\ and Knopf is publishing it.\

\n\

\So it sounds like you managed to gain a challenging healthy habit—writing fiction consistently—that had eluded you for ages. How did you do it?\\

\n\

It’s a fair question. Because, of course, \\deciding\ to write consistently and actually doing so for five years are very different things\. The new habit that I think proved most important was that I began keeping a \daily log\ of how many hours I wrote. This kept me from lying to myself with all kinds of rationalizations about how hard I was working if I wasn’t really buckling down.\

\n\

\When you’re writing a novel, see, you don’t have a boss either to pat you on the head or kick you in the ass\. All you have is your own constantly fluctuating sense of how good a day’s work you just performed and how the novel is going over all. So I felt it was necessary to superimpose an overarching structure on the writing process, to\ simulate having a boss who would take me to task if I was underachieving\. And for me, the best way to ensure steady progress was to monitor the time spent at my desk. For me, time equals writing. Some writers talk about how many words they write each day, and I’ve always admired authors who can crank out page after page in a single sitting. But for me, that measurement is pretty meaningless. I’m a very slow, methodical writer who labors over the language, so for me, word count is sort of beside the point. I mean, the idea is to write the \right\ words, not just a lot of them, isn’t it? So \by logging the number of hours I write, rather than the number of words, I free myself from the tyranny of quantity\ and permit myself to take as long as I need to get every sentence and paragraph into a form I’m happy with.\

\n\

\Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?\\

\n\

I’m terrible at going to bed. I just won’t do it. I’m a sleep idiot. I stay up too late, which saps my energy and keeps me from ever becoming that well-organized fellow of lore who leaps out of bed each morning, \carpe\-ing the \diem\ and immediately penning reams of deathless prose.\

\n\

\Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, etc.)\\

\n\

I think the most important newish habit I have is swimming. I have no fear of the water—I grew up in the ocean at Fire Island, exultantly body-surfing hours a day—but I’ve never been a strong swimmer; for most of my life I was never good enough to do more than three or four frantic, exhausted laps at a time. My wife’s parents have a beautiful pool up in the Berkshires, though, and two summers ago I basically taught myself to swim. I’m sure I’m doing it all wrong—I’m just going on memory from the lessons I was given as a child—but by taking it slowly and breaking down the elements of what my body was doing in the water, I taught myself to breathe properly, and now I can basically swim laps indefinitely. I belong to a gym that has an Olympic-size pool, and it’s just half a block from my house in Brooklyn, so \anytime I’m feeling stressed or just need to escape my own mind, I go swim until I’ve got my zonk on\. Immersing yourself in the world of a novel for several years is so consuming that it’s hard to turn your mind off at the end of the work day. Your brain wants to keep rehashing those creative issues you’ve been grappling with all day. And that’s just really destructive and counter-productive. So I’ve found that the best way to make a clean break from the day’s mental efforts is to swim myself to exhaustion. When I do that, I get out of the pool happily devoid of thoughts. \Part of the secret to writing, it turns out, is to learn how \not\ to write.\\

\n\

\Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits?\\

\n\

\The Internet is the enemy. And lunch\. I know from experience that if I ever meet someone for lunch, I never refocus on my work again properly that day. So I solve that problem simply by never having lunch with anyone. I meet someone for lunch maybe five times a year.\

\n\

The Internet is even more insidious. There’s simply no way to do serious creative work if you keep interrupting yourself to check e-mail or read online articles that fuel your righteous indignation about the state of our national politics. I used to belong to a writers room here in New York, and I found it very enlightening and motivating. On the one hand, there are writers—usually women in their fifties or sixties, I’ve found—who are hardcore: banging away at the keyboard as if they can barely type fast enough to keep up with the rapid-fire verbiage their Muse is shouting in their ear. On the other hand, though, you wouldn’t believe how many people spend their writing days reading about celebrity Scientologists or shopping for shoes. News flash: You can’t write fiction while checking out sparkly high-tops on Zappos.\

\n\

The truth is, though,\ I don’t have particularly good self-control myself. So I installed a great piece of software on my laptop called Freedom,\ which you can program to lock you out of the Internet for whatever period of time you like. It’s a life-changer.\ I think of it as prosthetic will-power.\\

\n","excerpt":"\

Interview: John Freeman Gill. I’ve been friends with brilliant writer John Gill since the first months of our freshman year at Yale — the days are long, but the years are short! He’s been a New York Times contributor for many years, and writes for many other publications as well. He has just published his debut […]\

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Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2017-03-30T10:00:35","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41858"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-03-31T15:07:30","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/john-freeman-gill/","featuredMedia":41886,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1490868035,"featuredImage":"https://i2.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/john-freeman-gill-gargoyle-hunters.png","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/john-freeman-gill/","disqusIdentifier":"41858 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41858","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"“Deciding to Write Consistently and Actually Doing So for 5 Years Are Very Different Things.”"},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"41860":{"id":41860,"date":"2017-03-23T06:00:16","modified":"2017-03-21T14:02:22","slug":"robb-wolf","author":2,"title":"“I Wish My 18-Year-Old Self Had Realized That Incrementalism Is ‘OK.’”","content":"\

Interview: \\Robb Wolf\\.\

\n\

I often write about how I eat a \low-carb, high-fat diet\. As I describe in \\\Better Than Before\\\, I experienced the \"\\Strategy of the Lightning Bolt\\\" after reading \Gary Taubes's book\ \\\Why We Get Fat\\\, which convinced me of the health benefits of avoiding carbohydrates -- I changed practically everything about the way I ate, overnight, after reading that book. (If you'd like to listen to the podcast interview with Gary Taubes, about his new book \\\The Case Against Sugar\\\, it's \\here\\.)\

\n\

\Because of my interest in eating low carb, I got to know Robb Wolf.\ Robb comes at the issues of diet, eating, and nutrition from the Paleo perspective. It's a different philosophy of eating, but in the end, we eat mostly the same way, so it's interesting for me to hear about it.\

\n\

Robb has a popular podcast, \\The Paleo Solution\\, and \he has new book that just hit the shelves\ called\\\ Wired to Eat: Turn Off the Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods that Work for You\\\.\

\n\

\\\Wired to Eat\\\ emphasizes that it's important to figure out how to eat in the way that works for \you\. It also discusses the importance of things like sleep and movement in trying to eat more healthfully.\

\n\

As I've written and spoken to people about their happiness and habits, the issue of \"\wanting to eat healthier\\" comes up again and again as a habit that people struggle with; they'd know they'd be happier and healthier if they ate healthier, but they find it tough. (Sound familiar?)\

\n\

So I was curious to hear what Robb had to say.\

\n\

\Gretchen: You’ve done fascinating research. What’s the most significant thing you’ve concluded on the subject of habits?\\

\n\

\Robb\: This may seem a bit far afield to your readers but one of the best insights into habits and human behavior came to me when I started looking at this topic from the perspective of evolutionary biology. If we think about the environment that forged our genetics, we can get a sense of some important “hard wiring” that may seem to defy logic in the modern world. Let’s consider healthy eating as an example. It’s easy to vilify overeating, to make this tendency some kind of character flaw, but in our not so distant past it made good sense to eat anything one could find and then to REST. All organisms that move to eat follow a process called “Optimum Foraging Strategy” which is just a fancy way of looking at the energy accounting an organism must maintain to go on living. If a given critter (in this case let’s say us) consistently burns more energy than it finds in the environment…it dies. So, humans are literally wired to “eat more, move less.” This is a completely normal and even healthy state of affairs when living in an ancestral environment, but with modern culture and technology we can order a nearly infinite variety of foods to our door, and barely expend any energy at all. It is now incredibly easy to overeat and we experience a host of health problems as a consequence. This evolutionary biology perspective can help with habits in that if we are not starting a process from a perspective of guilt or shame (which is common when folks are contemplating diet and lifestyle changes) we stand a much better chance of making that process of change stick.\

\n\

\What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?\\

\n\

When I start feeling cranky and like life is working against me I have found that a \few minutes of gratitude\ goes a long way towards making me feel better. I do this every night before bed and it is incredibly calming and also keeps me grounded in all the good things I have in my life.\

\n\

\What’s something you know \now \about forming healthy habits that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?\\

\n\

Something I wish my 18-year-old self had been aware of is that incrementalism is “ok.” \For much of my life I tackled things with a perfectionist attitude and what this did is set me up for failure in anything that I was not inherently good at\. If I struggled a bit at something I’d get self-conscious and default back to those things I’m good at. Not a great way to add new habits and skills to one’s life!\

\n\

\Would you describe yourself as an \Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger\?\\

\n\

I’m pretty strongly a \Questioner\. I love seeking out information from folks that are better versed in a topic than I am but I tend to run their advice or teaching through the following filter: Does it make sense? When I implement the recommendations, does the process work? I rarely, if ever, dismiss something out of hand, but I will stress-test the concept and see if it holds up to scrutiny. I’m also always looking for ways to improve upon the original teaching or advice.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Interview: Robb Wolf. I often write about how I eat a low-carb, high-fat diet. As I describe in Better Than Before, I experienced the “Strategy of the Lightning Bolt” after reading Gary Taubes’s book Why We Get Fat, which convinced me of the health benefits of avoiding carbohydrates — I changed practically everything about the […]\

\n","terms":[2255,2266,6,267,290,315,357,17,403,409,508,28,30,1546,2163,2162,2269],"metadata":{"primaryCategory":"","readerPoll":"","diveInto":{"module":{"title":"Dive Into The Blog","moreLabel":"","moreLink":""},"items":[{"title":"Top 100","description":"Start here with the 100 most read posts of all-time.","link":"/top-100/","icon":"top100"},{"title":"Quizzes","description":"Everyone likes a good quiz. Learn about yourself here.","link":"/category/quizzes/","icon":"quizzes"},{"title":"Tips","description":"Get good tips here.","link":"/category/tips/","icon":"tips"},{"title":"The Archive","description":"Find any post based on month, year, or topic.","link":"/blog/","icon":"archive"},{"title":"Subscribe","description":"Get my free “Moments of Happiness” quotes newsletter.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"emailNewsletterLight"},{"title":"Join The Book Club","description":"Get monthly book recommendations from me.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"book"}]},"morePosts":{"postIds":[45962,45827,45888,45722,42210,40479,43646,43466,43391,45896,43211,45840,36800,43985],"labels":["Up Next","More in Books","More in diet","More in eating","More in energy","More in food","More in Food and Drink","More in habits","More in happiness","More in health","More in Health, fitness, and weight","More in Interview","More in nutrition","More in Uncategorized"]},"oneLastThing":{"id":44068,"title":"Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?","content":"\

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2017-03-23T10:00:16","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41860"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-03-21T18:02:22","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/robb-wolf/","featuredMedia":41884,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1490263216,"featuredImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/robb-wolfe-wired-to-eat.png","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/robb-wolf/","disqusIdentifier":"41860 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41860","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"“I Wish My 18-Year-Old Self Had Realized That Incrementalism Is ‘OK.’”"},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"41936":{"id":41936,"date":"2017-03-17T16:57:49","modified":"2017-03-17T16:57:49","slug":"healthy-treats-give-yourself","author":2,"title":"What Healthy Treats Do You Give Yourself? (Note the “Healthy.”)","content":"\

In my book \\\Better Than Before\\\, I describe the many strategies that we can use to change our habits. We all have our favorite strategies — but I think most of us would agree that the \\Strategy of Treats\\ is the most \fun\ strategy.\

\n\

“Treats” may sound like a self-indulgent, frivolous strategy, but it’s not. Because forming good habits can be draining, treats can play an important role.\

\n\

When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.\

\n\

Studies show that people who got a little treat, in the form of receiving a surprise gift or watching a funny video, gained in self-control. It’s a Secret of Adulthood: \If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.\\

\n\

[tweet_box design=\"box_02\"]\If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.\[/tweet_box]\

\n\

When we don’t get any treats, we begin to feel burned-out, depleted, and resentful.  We start to feel deprived — and \\feeling deprived is a very bad frame of mind for good habits.\\\

\n\

When we feel deprived, we feel entitled to put ourselves back in balance. We say, \\“I’ve earned this,” “I need this,” “I deserve this”\\ and feel entitled to break our good habits.\

\n\

So we need treats.\

\n\

\But it's crucial to give ourselves\ \\healthy\ treats\, because unhealthy treats are often bad for us. \We don't want to give ourselves something to feel better that just makes us ending up feeling worse.\ Like a costly splurge, an extra glass of wine, a big brownie.\

\n\

All of us should have a long list of potential healthy treats. That way, when we think, \"I need a treat,\" we have ideas.\

\n\

For something to be a treat, we have to think of it as a treat; we make something a treat by calling it a “treat.” When we notice our pleasure, and relish it, the experience becomes much more of a treat. Even something as humble as herbal tea or a box of freshly sharpened pencils can qualify as a treat.\

\n\

For instance, once I realized \\how much I love beautiful smells\\, a whole new world of treats opened up to me. If I need a treat, I visit my \"collection of smells\" in my apartment or I stop by a perfume counter.\

\n\

At the same time, it's important not to call something a \"treat\" if it's not really a treat. It may be good for you, and it may even feel good, but it's not a treat if you don't look forward to it with pleasure. So a yoga class could be a treat for someone, but it's not a treat for me. I do it, and I'm glad I do it, but I don't think, \"Oh, yay, time for yoga!\"\

\n\

\\Sometimes, treats don’t look like treats\\. For example, to my surprise, many people consider ironing a “treat.”\

\n\

\Here are some other treats I've heard about:\\

\n\\n\

 \

\n\

If you want to hear me and Elizabeth talk about why you should treat yourself, listen to \\this episode of the \Happier\ podcast\\.\

\n\

And if you want to hear Donna and Tom of \Parks and Recreation\ talk about their annual Treat Yo' Self day,\ watch the hilarious clip\ \\here\\.\

\n\

What healthy treats are on your list?\

\n","excerpt":"\

In my book Better Than Before, I describe the many strategies that we can use to change our habits. We all have our favorite strategies — but I think most of us would agree that the Strategy of Treats is the most fun strategy. “Treats” may sound like a self-indulgent, frivolous strategy, but it’s not. […]\

\n","terms":[2256,2267,315,19,21,1445,403,409,595,33,879,49,1573,1122],"metadata":{"primaryCategory":"","readerPoll":"","diveInto":{"module":{"title":"Dive Into The Blog","moreLabel":"","moreLink":""},"items":[{"title":"Top 100","description":"Start here with the 100 most read posts of all-time.","link":"/top-100/","icon":"top100"},{"title":"Quizzes","description":"Everyone likes a good quiz. Learn about yourself here.","link":"/category/quizzes/","icon":"quizzes"},{"title":"Tips","description":"Get good tips here.","link":"/category/tips/","icon":"tips"},{"title":"The Archive","description":"Find any post based on month, year, or topic.","link":"/blog/","icon":"archive"},{"title":"Subscribe","description":"Get my free “Moments of Happiness” quotes newsletter.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"emailNewsletterLight"},{"title":"Join The Book Club","description":"Get monthly book recommendations from me.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"book"}]},"morePosts":{"postIds":[45962,42210,42115,42659,43483,43466,43391,42120,41868,30145,43656,40997,32545],"labels":["Up Next","More in energy","More in Fun","More in Goals","More in Habit strategies","More in habits","More in happiness","More in leisure","More in Mindfulness","More in self-command","More in Self-knowledge","More in The book Better than Before","More in treats"]},"oneLastThing":{"id":44068,"title":"Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?","content":"\

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2017-03-17T20:57:49","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41936"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-03-17T20:57:49","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/healthy-treats-give-yourself/","featuredMedia":41966,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1489784269,"featuredImage":"https://i0.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/healthy-treats-flowers.png","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/03/healthy-treats-give-yourself/","disqusIdentifier":"41936 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=41936","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"What Healthy Treats Do You Give Yourself? (Note the “Healthy.”)"},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"42162":{"id":42162,"date":"2017-04-09T10:00:59","modified":"2017-04-07T19:32:30","slug":"spring-cleaning","author":2,"title":"Like Me, Do You Get the Urge to Do Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Areas I Plan to Tackle.","content":"\

One of my great realizations about happiness (and a point oddly under-emphasized by positive psychologists) is that for most people, \\outer order contributes to inner calm\\. More, really, than it should. After all, in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet is trivial. And yet over and over, people tell me, and I certainly find this, myself, that \creating order gives a huge boost in energy, cheer, and creativity.\\

\n\

\So I'm a big believer in the value of clutter-clearing.\\

\n\

\Also, I'm a big believer in using outer milestones as a catalyst for action or change.\ Whether that's New Year's day, September (the other new year), my birthday, or a holiday, I think it's helpful to be reminded that I might want to make changes in my life. (Yes, \\Questioners\\, I know you think that \January 1 is an arbitrary date\. Noted.)\

\n\

So spring, for me, is a reminder to think about spring clutter-clearing. I'm not inspired to do deep cleaning like window-washing, carpet-cleaning, or anything like that. Spring reminds me to tackle nagging clutter build-ups.\

\n\

I look for places where I tend to stick things and forget about them. Do you have this problem? For me, I'm looking at these areas:\

\n\

My Spring Cleaning areas to tackle:\

\n\

\Closet shelves\\

\n\

Are any items jammed in? Can I see the clothes that are stored there, at a glance? Are piles teetering precariously? Can I easily reach the things I want? Is there plenty of room to put things away? I need to tackle the shelf in our main coat closet.\

\n\

\Dump zones\\

\n\

Where do I tend to \"collect and neglect?\" It's time to dig out those piles and make decisions about where things should have a permanent home. Or if they don't deserve a permanent home, where will they go? Speaking of which...\

\n\

\Thrift-store pile\\

\n\

I need to make a few trips to the thrift store to drop off the books, clothes, and other things we've collected to give away. They're still clutter until they're out of the apartment.\

\n\

\Bedside drawer\\

\n\

I recently thought I'd lost my passport, and  I was in an utter panic until I realized what had happened. We keep our passports in the drawer of my husband's bedside table (not sure why, but that's what we do), and his drawer was so jammed with stuff that my passport had been pushed out the back of the drawer into the space behind it. Fortunately I realized pretty quickly what had happened, and was able to wiggle it out. Time to clear out that drawer -- and my bedside table drawer is just as bad.\

\n\

\File holders\\

\n\

I have two file holders in my office. In theory, I use them for active files that I need to be able to get my hands on quickly. In practice, I often put materials there when I'm not sure what else to do with them, and then they languish. So I'm going to see what I've got there, and figure out a permanent place for those files. If they're so important that they have to be at my fingertips, why don't I ever look at them?\

\n\

If you're interested in reading more about spring cleaning and clutter clearing, check out...\

\n\\n\

 \

\n\

The great thing about clutter-clearing -- and the thing that surprises me every time -- is how energizing and satisfying it is, once completed. A month ago, I tackled my giant messy pile of past-their-prime white t-shirts, and I \still\ get a thrill of pleasure when I see my short, neat stack of acceptable t-shirts.\

\n\

[tweet_box design=\"box_02\"]Creating outer order can give a huge boost in energy, cheer, and creativity. [/tweet_box]\

\n\

What areas are you planning to tackle for spring cleaning? Any hints about effective strategies for solving -- or better, avoiding -- clutter?\

\n","excerpt":"\

One of my great realizations about happiness (and a point oddly under-emphasized by positive psychologists) is that for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should. After all, in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet is trivial. And yet over and over, people tell me, and […]\

\n","terms":[2255,9,315,29,608,724,928,1929],"metadata":{"primaryCategory":"","readerPoll":"","diveInto":{"module":{"title":"Dive Into The Blog","moreLabel":"","moreLink":""},"items":[{"title":"Top 100","description":"Start here with the 100 most read posts of all-time.","link":"/top-100/","icon":"top100"},{"title":"Quizzes","description":"Everyone likes a good quiz. Learn about yourself here.","link":"/category/quizzes/","icon":"quizzes"},{"title":"Tips","description":"Get good tips here.","link":"/category/tips/","icon":"tips"},{"title":"The Archive","description":"Find any post based on month, year, or topic.","link":"/blog/","icon":"archive"},{"title":"Subscribe","description":"Get my free “Moments of Happiness” quotes newsletter.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"emailNewsletterLight"},{"title":"Join The Book Club","description":"Get monthly book recommendations from me.","link":"/#newsletter","icon":"book"}]},"morePosts":{"postIds":[45962,42210,41858,42115,43483,39780,4582,38439],"labels":["Up Next","More in Clutter-busting","More in energy","More in Home","More in lists","More in order","More in spring","More in spring cleaning"]},"oneLastThing":{"id":44068,"title":"Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?","content":"\

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here and the Facebook Page.\

\n","icon":"emailNewsletterLight","buttonText":"Sign Up Now","buttonUrl":"/#newsletter"},"dateGmt":"2017-04-09T14:00:59","guid":{"rendered":"http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=42162"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-04-07T23:32:30","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/04/spring-cleaning/","featuredMedia":42164,"commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"unixTimestamp":1491746459,"featuredImage":"https://i2.wp.com/api.gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cleanbroom.jpg","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"https://api.gretchenrubin.com/2017/04/spring-cleaning/","disqusIdentifier":"42162 http://gretchenrubin.com/?p=42162","disqusContainerId":"disqus_thread","disqusShortname":"thehappinessprojectblog","disqusTitle":"Like Me, Do You Get the Urge to Do Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Areas I Plan to Tackle."},"postTypeObject":{"name":"post","label":"Posts","labels":{"name":"Posts","singularName":"Post","addNew":"Add New","addNewItem":"Add New Post","editItem":"Edit Post","newItem":"New Post","viewItem":"View Post","viewItems":"View Posts","searchItems":"Search Posts","notFound":"No posts found.","notFoundInTrash":"No posts found in Trash.","parentItemColon":null,"allItems":"All Posts","archives":"Post Archives","attributes":"Post Attributes","insertIntoItem":"Insert into post","uploadedToThisItem":"Uploaded to this post","featuredImage":"Featured Image","setFeaturedImage":"Set featured image","removeFeaturedImage":"Remove featured image","useFeaturedImage":"Use as featured image","filterItemsList":"Filter posts list","itemsListNavigation":"Posts list navigation","itemsList":"Posts list","menuName":"Posts","nameAdminBar":"Post"},"description":"","public":true,"hierarchical":false,"excludeFromSearch":false,"publiclyQueryable":true,"showUi":true,"showInMenu":true,"showInNavMenus":true,"showInAdminBar":true,"menuPosition":5,"menuIcon":null,"capabilityType":"post","mapMetaCap":true,"registerMetaBoxCb":null,"taxonomies":[],"hasArchive":false,"queryVar":false,"canExport":true,"deleteWithUser":true,"builtin":true,"editLink":"post.php?post=%d","cap":{"editPost":"edit_post","readPost":"read_post","deletePost":"delete_post","editPosts":"edit_posts","editOthersPosts":"edit_others_posts","publishPosts":"publish_posts","readPrivatePosts":"read_private_posts","read":"read","deletePosts":"delete_posts","deletePrivatePosts":"delete_private_posts","deletePublishedPosts":"delete_published_posts","deleteOthersPosts":"delete_others_posts","editPrivatePosts":"edit_private_posts","editPublishedPosts":"edit_published_posts","createPosts":"edit_posts"},"rewrite":false,"showInRest":true,"restBase":"posts","restControllerClass":"WP_REST_Posts_Controller"}}},"42210":{"id":42210,"date":"2017-04-20T11:50:15","modified":"2017-05-02T10:20:05","slug":"marie-kondo","author":2,"title":"Observations from Marie Kondo about the Life-Changing Magic of Creating Good Habits.","content":"\

Interview: \\Marie Kondo\\.\

\n\

It's hard to exaggerate the influence that Marie Kondo has wrought with her blockbuster books \\\The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up\\\ and \\\Spark Joy\\\. The latter book takes its name, of course, from the question she urges us to ask ourselves, \"\Does this possession spark joy\?\"\

\n\

Her ideas about how to create order and fight clutter have helped countless people to give themselves more energy and peace. (You might ask, \\"How does something paradoxically give you more \energy\ and give you more \peace\?\\" and I would say, \\"That is exactly the effect of clutter-clearing.\\")\

\n\

The\ New York Times\ called her \"perhaps the world's only decluttering celebrity.\" Absolutely!\

\n\

Even I don't agree with everything that Marie Kondo prescribes (as I write about \\here\\), I'm a huge fan of her work. It's practical, thought-provoking, and often surprising. For most of us, \outer order contributes to inner calm\, and her \"KonMari method\" resonates with many, many people.\

\n\

One thing I love is that alongside detailed instructions for how to fold a t-shirt, Marie Kondo makes observations like this: “\Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature\.\" Profound.\

\n\

In my books \\\The Happiness Project\ \\and \\\Happier at Home\\\ (can't resist mentioning--both bestsellers), I write a lot about the role of possessions in building a happy life. It's a fascinating area.\

\n\

I was thrilled to get the chance to ask Marie Kondo questions about happiness and good habits.\

\n\

\Would you describe yourself as an \Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger\?\\

\n\

In terms of tidying, I’m definitely an Upholder. I stay tidy because I feel that the effects ground me and allow my home to spark joy for my family and me.  However, I’m not sure if I qualify as an Upholder in other aspects, as I’ll procrastinate submitting written work or sometimes show up late to get-togethers with friends or colleagues!\

\n\

Perhaps this makes me a \\Questioner\\, as I’ll only do things if, when I ask myself: “\Does it spark joy?\” and the answer is “yes.” My very profession is centered on encouraging others to ask themselves: “Does it spark joy?” This must qualify me as a Questioner! [Yes, that sounds Questioner to me.]\

\n\

\Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits? \\

\n\

I usually go to bed early and wake up early with my kids, who are 18 and 5 months old. However, because I travel frequently for work, I’ll sometimes get jet-lagged. This can disrupt my sleep pattern for a couple of days after! When this happens, I get a little anxious that I am getting behind on work or missing out on time spent with my daughters while I try to catch up on rest.\

\n\

\Simply having children can interfere with healthy habits!\  For instance, before bed, I usually like to stretch and release any tension that may have developed over the course of the day. However, if one of my daughters cries or calls out for me, I’ll tend to them and, by the time they’re calmed down, I’m tempted to pass on stretching and head straight to bed.\

\n\

\Have you ever been hit by a \lightning bolt\, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?\\

\n\

When I was 15, I would continually tidy my room, only to have it become cluttered again shortly after.  \This cycle contributed to so much stress that one day, I fainted\. This breaking point made me realize that I was approaching tidying the wrong way.  Instead of focusing on discarding things and approaching tidying as the removal of negativity, I realized that I needed to focus on finding and keeping things that spark joy.\

\n\

\Do you embrace habits or resist them?\\

\n\

For daily life, I try to keep to routines, but for work, I prefer variety. For example, I get new ideas by traveling and exposing myself to other countries’ cultures. I enjoy giving talks in a variety of locations, because it allows me to interact with different people and learn from their diverse perspectives.\

\n\

\Has another person ever had a big influence on your habits?\\

\n\

\My grandmother taught me the importance of tidying up even those places you don’t openly see\, such as the insides of drawers and bureaus.  She recognized the intrinsic beauty in belongings and took pride in their presentation in her home.  When she dressed and accessorized, she applied the same philosophy to her personal appearance – everything mattered.  I developed my initial respect for my belongings as a result of her influence.\

\n\

Connect with Marie Kondo here:\

\n\\n","excerpt":"\

Interview: Marie Kondo. It’s hard to exaggerate the influence that Marie Kondo has wrought with her blockbuster books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. The latter book takes its name, of course, from the question she urges us to ask ourselves, “Does this possession spark joy?” Her ideas about how to create […]\

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