If "Get happy" is your mantra for 2017, Gretchen Rubin is your go-to guru. At 51, the lawyer turned writer has had three best-sellers: The Happiness Project, Happier at Home and Better Than Before. Rubin's new book, The Four Tendencies, will hit stores this September. Here she shares with Deirdre Donahue her top 10 tips for making the New Year more joyous:
1. Get more sleep. Rather than waiting until you feel sleepy, give yourself a firm bedtime, and set an alarm to ring at that time each night to remind you. Rubin goes to bed around 10:30 p.m.
2. Broaden and deepen your connections. Join a group. If you can't find one that interests you, start your own. The activity you have in common can be hiking, reading — anything fun. "I know a group of friends who make fancy desserts for each other," Rubin says.
3. Make things more convenient. Want to exercise more? Join a gym closer to your workplace or home. Hate paperwork? "Upgrade the experience," Rubin recommends, by investing in an attractive tray you can use to keep your important papers in one place.
4. Tap into the power of smell. Vanilla extract. Fresh towels. Grapefruit. Taking the time to savor any one of these, Rubin says, is "an effort-free lift that connects you with the moment." (The author reveals she's a "sucker for flowers.")