Gretchen Rubin

Video: Try Pairing, One of the Easiest Ways to Strengthen Habits.

I’m doing a video series in which I discuss the various strategies that we can use for habit-formation.

Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness. If we have habits that work for us, we’re much more likely to be happy, healthy, productive, and creative.

My forthcoming book, Better Than Before, describes the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits. To pre-order, click here. (Pre-orders give a real boost to a book, so if you’re inclined to buy the book, I’d really appreciate it if you pre-order it.)

Here, I talk about the Strategy of Pairing. Now that a few people have started to read early copies of Better Than Before, I've been surprised by how many  mention this strategy as one that has been very useful to them.

 

In the video, I talk about the positive use of pairing. Note, however, that it’s all too easy to allow a negative habit to form by creating a pair. Some familiar bad-habit pairs: “I always get drunk on Saturday nights.” “I always read an email as soon as I get it.” “I always go shopping when I’m traveling.” Once the pair is formed, breaking it up feels like deprivation.

So pay attention to the Strategy of Pairing, so you can use it as a force for good.

Sidenote: I don't think I've ever received a gift, myself, that has given me as much pleasure as my gift of the treadmill desk to my sister. Writing about that episode was one of my favorite parts of writing Better Than Before.

Have you ever successfully paired a habit with another behavior?

 

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