Last week I had the pleasure of meeting one of my idols, author Gretchen Rubin. Her popular books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home are required readings for my clients.
Click here for my book review for Happier at Home and learn why I hate book jackets.
Gretchen was at Books, Inc. in San Francisco to discuss personal happiness and give a preview of her upcoming book Before and After, which is all about habits. I’m craaaaazy excited about this new one.
As soon as I got to the bookstore, I headed for the bathroom ‘cause that’s what you do when you know you won’t want to get out of your seat during a presentation for any reason.
The restroom was in the attached coffee shop, and while I waited in line (because there’s always a line), I saw Gretchen sitting at one of the tables being interviewed by a reporter!
I probably gaped at her like an idiot before I composed myself and tried to play it cool. But she was RIGHT THERE! Gaaah!!!
Gretchen was as funny, personable, and…well, happy as you’d expect her to be. She’s totally someone I’d invite to a dinner party or pal around with at a museum. You know, she’s like that brainy but down-to-earth friend I’ve always wanted.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
Her presentation was especially timely for January, and she explained that our new year’s resolutions don’t have to be complicated. And in fact, we’re probably more likely to keep our resolutions if we think smaller and more manageable.
So how are your resolutions coming along? Need a little boost to get you moving again?
Here are 7 doable happiness resolutions from Gretchen Rubin.
- Get 8 hours of sleep. Of course, I love this.
- Get some exercise. No excuses.
- Cultivate good smells. Can you guess my favorite smell?
- Make your bed. Don’t forget to keep your bedroom sacred.
- Abandon a project. Or abandon old ways of thinking.
- Make holiday breakfasts. I love putting in the effort to celebrate holidays. I even invent my own holidays!
- Practice warm greetings and farewells. And while you’re at it, give a compliment.
Easy peasy. Who said happiness had to be difficult?
I got to talk with Gretchen for a few minutes after her presentation, and she said how happy she was to see “a smiling face right up front.” As a speaker myself, I know how important it is to see the audience really engaging with you when you pour your heart out on stage.
It was a magical night, and I’m still feeling the happiness glow.
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