Podcast #5: Embrace Good Smells; Remember That Working Is One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Procrastination.

My sister Elizabeth Craft and I are having so much fun with our new podcast,  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.“

I was in Los Angeles last weekend, as part of my book tour for Better Than Before, which was published last week. (Buy early, buy often!) It was great to have a chance to visit Elizabeth and her family — they live in Encino. While I was there, Elizabeth and I got a professional photo taken of ourselves, for the podcast, and we also managed to record two episodes. Usually, we don’t get to be in the same room as we talk, so it was great to be able to see each other for the conversation.

We also recorded an episode that will be a little bit…different.  I’m dying to see how that one turns out.

As I’ve been doing events for Better Than Before many people have told me that they’re enjoying the podcast. Thanks so much, and thanks for listening!

Here’s what we discuss in today’s episode:

Try This at …

Read More

I Had a Very Odd Experience at the Gym This Morning.

Something odd happened to me this morning.

Right now, I’m in Dallas for my book tour for Better Than Before (buy early, buy often!) I was in the gym, walking on the treadmill, when suddenly I felt something shift in my personality.

The experience lasted about twenty seconds.

It was like a dial turned inside me. Or like the chips of glass inside a kaleidoscope made a new pattern.

I was still myself, but somehow in different proportions. I felt, for that moment, what it would be like to be…different. More light-hearted, more easy-going.

One fact about me is that I’m intense. There’s a relentlessness to my nature. And I don’t mind that. My discipline is my freedom. My sister Elizabeth tells me that I’d make a good monk. I’m an Upholder, and I love being an Upholder! Even though I recognize the downsides to it.

But for just a minute, for some reason, I felt like a different person. Then I snapped back to normal.

Something like this has happened to me once before. A few years ago, I was walking down Lexington Avenue, and suddenly I felt all my ambition vanish. It was …

Read More

Wow. I Was on the Cover of Parade Magazine.

I’m still in shock. Yesterday, I was on the cover of Parade magazine. The week before, it was Al Pacino. Crazy!

One small, nice thing: many people have emailed me to say that they enjoyed getting to see what my husband looked like.  He’s a great guy, but he’s very uncooperative whenever anyone tries to take his picture, so I was relieved that I did have a good photo to supply.

I saw the magazine while I was spending the weekend with my sister Elizabeth and her family in Los Angeles. We had a lot of fun and also managed to record two podcasts of Happier with Gretchen Rubin while we were together.

Now I’m in Dallas, getting organized for a fun day tomorrow. I love getting to meet readers, and I love to get the chance to talk about habits with a lot of different people, and I love to read on airplanes. So I’m enjoying myself tremendously on this book tour.

Here’s something odd I’ve noticed from hotel-room TV. When I’m feeling all alone — like tonight in …

Read More

What Do You Do When You Wake Up Early Due to Jet Lag?

Do you suffer much from jet lag? I do.

Right now, I’m in Los Angeles, at the beginning  of my book tour. I’m at my sister’s house, and because of jet lag, I’m up very early. I feel very productive now, but I’ll have to go to sleep extremely early tonight.

I’m up, so I figured…it’s a good time to write my daily post. About what? My new book of course!

Better Than Before, explains how we can master our habits. In it, I reveal the secret to changing habits—really.

It turns out that changing habits isn’t that hard, when you know what to do. The book hit the shelves last week.

Want to know more about the book, before you head to the bookstore, order it online, or add it to your library list?

To read an excerpt, look here.

To listen to a clip of the audio-book, listen here (yes, that’s me, reading).

Listen to the NPR Weekend Edition interview with Rachel Martin.

Watch me on the

Are You Unnecessarily Severe with Yourself and Your Habits?

“All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.”

— Samuel Johnson, as quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson

I often think about this remark by Samuel Johnson.

Because I’ve been so focused on habits over the past few years, during the writing of Better Than Before, people often talk to me about the habits they want to change.

And although I have so many strategies and ideas that I’ve identified to help people master their habits, to my surprise, I frequently find myself making the case against changing a habit.

I’ve noticed that people often say they want to change a habit because “I really should ___” or “this person in my life tells me I have to ___.”

And I always say, “Well, maybe you would be better off if you changed the habit — but maybe not. Do you care if you change that habit?” And often, they don’t really care.

For instance, a friend said, “I really love coffee, but I know I should stop drinking it.”

“Why?” I pressed. “Does it keep you up at night? Does it make your stomach …

Read More