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.
Here, I talk about the Strategy of Treats. Of the many habit-change strategies I investigate in my book, I must say, this is the most fun strategy.
What exactly counts as a “treat?” A treat is a small pleasure or indulgence that we give to ourselves just because we want it. Remember, a treat is different from a reward, which must be justified or earned.
“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.
When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.
Studies show that people who got a little treat, in the form of receiving a surprise gift or watching a funny video, gained in self-control. It’s a Secret of Adulthood: If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.
When we don’t get any treats, we begin to feel burned-out, depleted, and resentful. And that’s a very bad state for good habits. Try never to let yourself feel deprived.
Have you found that giving yourself treats helps you maintain your good habits? Do you have any unconventional healthy treats? We should all maintain a large list.