Six Things I Learned

Here’s what I learned about myself.

Why You Must Give Yourself Treats

“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.

A Surprising Way to Feel Better About Yourself.

Although it’s always tempting to think, “I’m doing too much, I’m so stressed out, I can’t ask this of myself, I need to cut back.” But it may be that asking more of ourselves will actually make us feel more competent, more energized, and less stressed.

What Appeals to You?

The very words we choose to characterize our habits can make them seem more or less appealing.

What Habits Are Best for Creativity?

Often, people make the case for adopting a particular habit by pointing to a renowned figure who practiced that habit, with great success.

Daylight Saving Time

We all love to “fall back” and to get that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. It’s a great boon to get a little extra sleep.

12 Rules for Making Better Habits

Writing a personal manifesto is a great exercise for clarifying your thinking — and it’s also a creative, absorbing process.

Buddhism Has Eight “Auspicious Symbols”

I particularly love Buddhism’s eight auspicious symbols.

Secret of Adulthood

Agree, disagree? I asked people about the habits they most wanted to change. I found that most habits fall into the “Essential Seven“:


I’ve concluded that when dealing with temptation, people are either “Moderators” or “Abstainers.”

Important: Do Not Overfeed.

In talking about their attempts to have healthier eating habits, people often told me that an important person in their life made this aim more difficult.

Questioners, What Questions Do You Ask About Your Habits?

Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.

Are You a “People-Pleaser?” What Do You Feel Obliged to Do?

Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.

Do You Resist When Anyone Asks or Tells You to Do Something?

Many experts suggest a magical, one-size-fits-all solution, but we all know from experience, that alas, such an answer doesn’t exist.

Can a Vine Behave like an Olive Tree? No.

We can’t change our fundamental nature. We have to form the habits that work for us.

How to Make an Exception to Your Rules

How can we make an exception to a good habit, without disrupting that good habit

Why the Issues that We Ignore Often Come Back to Plague Us

All too often, the areas of our lives that we decide to ignore can become the areas that dominate our lives, later. And not in a good way.

A Strategy to Manage Your Time That You've Never Thought Of

In one week, this has resulted in me having the fortitude to address dreaded tasks for her, because after all, tomorrow is MY day.

Secret of Adulthood: Don’t Believe Everything You Think

With a lot of loopholes — especially those in the Questionable Assumptions category — if you look at them closely, you realize that you don’t really believe what you think.

Agree, Disagree? September Is the Other January

Do you feel inspired to turn over a new leaf in September?

From the Gods Who Sit in Grandeur...

Zeus, who guided men to think, who has laid it down that wisdom comes alone through suffering.

Instead of Feeling That I’m Never Going to Finish…

How about you? Do you do better with small changes or big changes?

7 Ways to Just Get It Done

Often, I know I’d be happier if I do something I really don’t feel like doing.

A New Experience: I Was in the Napa Valley Earthquake

As I was lying there, I felt the earthquake hit.

Which Virtue Gives Other Virtues Their “Principal Lustre”?

“Self-command is not only itself a great virtue, but from it all the other virtues seem to derive their principal lustre.”

Are You “Addicted” to Something?

Sometimes, a behavior that one person considers to be healthy and positive is viewed as another person as extreme and negative.

5 Ways to Make Your Day Work for You

Habits are easier when they feel like treats. Try never to let yourself feel deprived.

Accept Yourself, and Expect More From Yourself

Is there an area where you struggle to decide whether to “accept yourself” or to “expect more from myself”?

13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done

Of my hundreds of happiness-project resolutions, and of the habits I’ve tried to form, one of my very favorites is to read more.

When Facing Temptation, Are You an All-or-Nothing Person?

One of my big conclusions: if you want to change a habit, you should start by understanding yourself.