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Gretchen Rubin is the author of <i>The Happiness Project.</i>
Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project. / Handout

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Rubin tweeted “Of everything I've ever written, I think this resonates most with people -- especially parents:

Resolution chart from her Happiness Project:

Continue the happiness conversation on Facebook:

To start your own Happiness Project group:


Our Mother's Day cover story featured six pieces of wisdom to help moms find happiness from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.

Rubin joined USA WEEKEND for a Twitter chat on May 16. Using the hashtag #happymom, readers were able to tweet their happiness and parenting questions with the happiness expert.

Here are highlights from the chat.

What makes Rubin a happymom?

@gretchenrubin I like a calm, playful, lighthearted atmosphere at home -- from all of us. That makes me a happy mom.

What surprised her about being a mom?

@gretchenrubin I was surprised by how utterly engrossing my children were -- staring at my newborn, in a trance, unable to tear my eyes away.

@gretchenrubin Also, how so many things in culture I just ignored, until having kids made me tune in. E.g., 'The Wiggles.'

How can you be a happier mom? Rubin's advice:

@gretchenrubin For most people, it is possible to make yourself happier, by doing small, manageable changes in everyday life.

A few of those "manageable changes?"

@gretchenrubin Get enough sleep. Be active. Imitate a spiritual master. Sing in the morning. Make time for fun. Be a tourist in your neighborhood.

Reader takeaways from 'The Happiness Project':

@claud1019 I make my bed in the am & buy tons of socks 4 me & 2 kids, to avoid the scramble, b/c of you! What ideas do readers mention most?

@gretchenrubin @claud1019 It's funny how often "make your bed" comes up! Also, staying on top of photo albums. Not nagging. Getting enough sleep.

@claud1019 I also love your "don't skip exercise 3 days in a row" That rings in my head all the time, and works great.

Rubin asked readers to share the Secrets of Adulthood for parents:

@gretchenrubin Secrets of Adulthood for parents: Leave room in the suitcase. Pack a snack. End things while everyone's still having fun.

@buybk Allow extra time, don't let the tank get down to empty.

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@WomenOnTheFence Relationships come first before everything.

Rubin agreed with this reader. @gretchenrubin @WomenOnTheFence Ancient philosophers AND contemporary scientists agree with you.

@usaweekend @gretchenrubin I love the 5th Splendid Truth: I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.

@kalanicut Joyful living is not a destination but found in bits & pieces EVERY day.

@claud1019 @gretchenrubin Keep learning. Not gen'l life stuff, but new instruments, languages, sports... A little bit a day enriches the soul.

@MobiLeBows @gretchenrubin Secrets of Adulthood: 1. No one's looking at you. 2. Don't try to make a happy baby happier.

On 'Happier at Home,' Rubin's next book:

@gretchenrubin "Happier at Home" is about being happier at home(!).We expect so much from "home"; how can we make sure home is a happy place?

@gretchenrubin I look at aspects of home like possessions, time, neighborhood, parenthood and marriage (of course), body…

@gretchenrubin I'm always surprised by how much clutter affects happiness. It's REALLY not that important, yet it weighs us down, drains us.

@gretchenrubin For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More than it should.

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