'Happier' in January

Friday, February 5, 2016
Does this time of the year make anyone else feel a little blah? Unless you live in Florida, I think January and February can be tough months to get through sometimes. Mike and I joke that we never see the sunlight this time of year. We both leave the house before sunrise, we both work in offices with no windows (yeah, it’s a dream), and we both get home as the sun is setting. If you’re a vampire, it’s really a perfect life. Thus my skin is also Twilight-chic this time of year.

With the current gray, blas
é conditions I think it’s appropriate that I read “Better than Before” by Gretchen Rubin in January, and I’ve filled my commutes and runs with her podcast, “Happier.”  I knew I was going to love Better than Before because I find Gretchen a kindred spirit of sorts – we both have some alarmingly similar Upholder traits. If you read the book, you’ll know what an Upholder is, and you’ll know if you are one, too. (Most likely not – upholders aren’t a large percentage of the population.)  I loved Gretchen’s first two books about happiness, “The Happiness Project,” and “Happier at Home,” so much that they’ve completely changed the way I live my life, how I act, and how I spend my day. Did I just get a little Dr. Phil on you?

But seriously, they have.

While The Happiness Project and Happier At Home focus on tips and tricks to make your life, well, happier, Better than Before looks at our habits and tendencies and how those affect our happiness. A big takeaway from the book is that it’s important to build habits but we also have to know ourselves and ‘Be Gretchen’ (a big theme in the first book!) and know what we can change and what we can’t change. One of my favorite lines from her first book that she also uses frequently in Better than Before is, 
“What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you – and vice versa.”

In an effort to ‘know yourself better’ Gretchen provides a very interesting quiz in Better than Before to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or a Rebel. Take the quiz and find out what you are. It’s fascinating, and definitely helped me understand why I act the way I do, and how to form habits that are appropriate for me. 

In addition to devouring this book just like I did her others, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her podcast, “Happier” that she records with her sister, Elizabeth, a TV writer. For all the Type-A-ness that Gretchen is, Elizabeth complements the podcast perfectly with her relaxed demeanor, humor, and far from Type-A ways. It’s entertaining, and so informative. Give it a listen. 

Better than Before, and Happier have really offered some wonderful tips for me lately. I’d definitely give them ‘gold stars.’ (Again, if you listen you’ll know!)

In the words of Gretchen and Elizabeth here’s to going ‘onward and upward!’ 

1 comment on "'Happier' in January "
  1. Obliger, myself. And I'd have to read the book to know if that's how I always was or a result too of doing this job for five years. I've listened to a few of the podcast - they did one from KC that I loved!


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