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Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits

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A Fun Way to Shape the New Year: Pick a One-Word Theme.

January 2nd, 2015

Episode 12 of 397 episodes

I love New Year’s resolutions – and I’m not the only one. Some 44% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. There’s one kind of resolution that I particularly love: identifying one idea, often summarized in just one word, as an overarching theme for the entire year. My sister often does this kind of resolution. This year her theme is “Novel.” One year was the year of “Free Time,” another, “Hot Wheels” — that year, she got a car and started driving; she and I have both struggled with a fear of driving, which was much tougher for her, given that she lives in Los Angeles and I live in New York City. If you want to hear about my fear of driving, click here. (Warning, non sequitur: follow my sister on Twitter, @elizabethcraft.) Another friend of mine does the same thing. One year, I remember, was “Dark,” another was “Make.” One year I chose “Bigger.” I have to fight the urge to simplify, to keep things manageable; this word will remind me to think big, to tolerate complications, to expect more from myself. Many people work to simplify their lives, but I struggle against the tendency to simplify too much. As ...

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