To Boost Your Self-Control, Use Convenience to Your Advantage.

2011 Happiness Challenge: For those of you following the 2011 Happiness Project Challenge, to make 2011 a happier year — and even if you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge — welcome! This month’s theme is Self-control, and last week’s resolution was to Ask yourself whether you’re an “abstainer” or a “moderator.” Did you try that resolution? Did it boost your happiness?

This week’s resolution is to Use convenience to your advantage.

Use convenience to your advantage.

If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…
Abandon your self-control.
6 tips for getting yourself to do something you don’t want to do.
9 tips to keep yourself exercising, from a former couch potato.

How about you? Have you found ways to make things more or less convenient, in order to help yourself do something, or resist it? What has worked for you? The more strategies to boost self-control, the better.

If you’re new, here’s information on the 2011 Happiness Challenge. It’s never too late to start! You’re not behind, jump in right now, sign up here. For the Challenge, each week I’ll post a video suggesting a resolution for you to consider. For more ideas for resolutions to try, check out the archives of videos here.

* I’m very excited for my friend Jonathan Fields, who has a terrific new book coming out next week: Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. You can find out more about the book (and some bonuses for pre-ordering) here.

* Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. To get the weekly video by email, right in your email in-box, you can:
— On the GretchenRubin channel page, after you subscribe, click “Edit Subscription” and check the box, “Email me for new uploads.” Or…
— Go to your main drop-down box, click “Subscriptions,” find the GretchenRubin channel, click “Edit Subscriptions,” and check “Email me for new uploads” there.

To get the audio podcast of the video:
— Log in to iTunes
— Go to “Podcasts”
— Search for “The Happiness Project.” Free, of course.

  • Megan Gordon

    I use this to keep from eating junk food. I don’t keep it in the house, which means I have to run to the store (around the corner) to get chips or cookies or chocolate. As a result, I rarely eat any of it. But if I really want it, I go for it!

  • rei

    Just last night I made a sandwich & salad for lunch. I forgot the salad in morning, and only halfway through eating it after work i realized – *I’m eating a salad after work!* That’s unheard of, I usually grab a cookie or some chocolate. It was purely because it was already chopped up and ready to go. It’s really quite interesting how small inconveniences (ex. chopping, washing vegetables) can deter us, especially when we’re tired or stressed.

  • Val

    Sooo much truth here.

    Set yourself up for success.

    love, Val

  • Hi Great tip once more. Thanks for the share Gretchen…

  • Rachel

    Gretchen, have you heard of this new book? It sounds like an interesting read on the subject of self-control/willpower.

    Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

    • gretchenrubin

      Yes, I’ve heard of it. Haven’t read it myself, but the author’s research is fascinating, so I bet it’s terrific.


  • Gretchen,

    Seems like you were on the verge of cracking up at around 2:00!  I *love* the tin you got from your grandmother!  (I have a candy tin and a small tray in black tole work that belonged to my grandmother.)

    Good work — and great quote by Addison!

  • FinninMinn

    At our house, we keep the TV unplugged. You have to get down on your hands and knees to reach the outlet in order to watch. Not really that hard, but there are only a few shows that we consider to be worth even that much effort, so less junk gets watched. (My nightly routine includes making sure it’s unplugged for the next day.)

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