How This One Behavior Can Rework Your Life

It’s a New 12 months’s ceremony of passage. The ball has dropped, the clock has struck midnight, and we’ve set down our closing drink till February 1. With the very best intentions, we mix our inexperienced smoothies, be a part of new gyms, and decide up our copies of James Clear’s bestseller: Atomic Habits. And whereas everybody who considers themselves “that lady” on TikTok is doing the identical, I’ve realized to not be so fast with my judgment. Upon ending the e-book, I’ve come to appreciate: it’s really definitely worth the hype. Although the e-book has introduced many behavioral psych phrases into the frequent lexicon, there’s one which stood out to me as an absolute sport changer: temptation bundling.

There’s loads of enjoyable available in life, however the less-than-exciting reality about maturity is that with it comes an entire laundry listing of yawn-inducing obligations (laundry included). Taxes, loading the dishwasher, clipping your cat’s nails—I can go on in naming the various issues I don’t need to do. And naturally, there are the duties that assist us transfer towards our objectives that may be laborious to search out the motivation to do. Figuring out, writing a marketing strategy… you understand those.

However what if I instructed you there was a method to make these monotonous, generally mundane duties somewhat (re: lots) simpler to search out the motivation to finish? That’s the place temptation bundling comes into play.

Featured picture by Michelle Nash.

Picture by Emma Bassill

Why Willpower Isn’t the Reply

First off, to grasp temptation bundling and why it’s so efficient, we have now to take a look at why lots of the myths we’ve come to consider about habits change are precisely that: myths.

Have you ever ever puzzled why it appears some persons are extra motivated than others? Or maybe somebody instructed you that with somewhat extra willpower, you may make your goals a actuality? Whereas we might imagine that motivation is an innate attribute or that willpower is one thing we will entry always, these beliefs usually maintain folks from persistently working towards wholesome habits or attaining their objectives. As a substitute, Clear suggests what he calls the 2nd Regulation of Conduct Change: make it engaging. He describes it like this:

“We have to make our habits engaging as a result of it’s the expectation of a rewarding expertise that motivates us to behave within the first place.”

And that, he continues, “is the place a technique referred to as temptation bundling comes into play.”

Picture by Riley Reed

What is temptation bundling?

To illustrate the concept, Clear introduces us to Ronan Byrne, {an electrical} engineering scholar in Dublin. Like many people, Byrne loved a very good Netflix binge—however he additionally wished to work out extra. So, he linked his train bike to his pc and TV, making it in order that he might solely watch Netflix when he was pedaling at a sure pace. Clear concludes: “He was […] using temptation bundling to make his train behavior extra engaging.”

Put merely, temptation bundling is permitting ourselves to do one thing we like to do solely when doing one thing we don’t like to do. The result’s that by pairing these behaviors collectively, we could start to sit up for doing the much less fascinating behavior or process. By rewarding ourselves with that “engaging” behavior, we really feel extra motivated to do what must be performed whereas, prior to now, that motivation didn’t exist.

(Observe: Whereas many people who learn about temptation bundling could have initially come to the time period by means of Atomic Habits, the time period was launched in 2014 by Katherine Milkman, the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton Faculty of the College of Pennsylvania.)

Picture by Michelle Nash

The way to Use Temptation Bundling to Attain Your Targets

Clearly, temptation bundling could be an efficient technique to make use of when it’s worthwhile to create motivation to finish a sure process or chore. Personally, I apply temptation bundling by listening to podcasts solely once I go for walks. I even have an audiobook that I’ve been dying to take heed to (this one—obtain it instantly!). To implement temptation bundling, I can solely take heed to it when doing family chores or watching my favourite TV reveals.

The excellent news is that we will implement this idea and habit-forming technique for absolutely anything. The impact of temptation bundling, after all, can include vital short-term and long-term advantages. However in essence, we’re educating ourselves to construct a stable behavior formation for this stuff which will have as soon as been tough.

Some examples embody:

  • Solely getting a pedicure whereas studying the novel it’s worthwhile to end for e-book membership.
  • Solely watching an episode of your favourite present when understanding on the treadmill.
  • Solely scrolling by means of Fb while you’re on the health club.
  • Solely enjoying video video games after you’ve written your each day gratitude listing.

With this method, merely swap within the behaviors you need to flip into habits. Replicate in your objectives and the behaviors which will already really feel like rewards.

picture by Belathée Pictures

Bonus: The way to Mix Temptation Bundling and Behavior Stacking

Have you ever heard of behavior stacking? It’s a well-liked time period used to explain the method of pairing a behavior you already do with a brand new habits you need to incorporate into your life. James Clear encourages you to take your dedication to constructive habits change a step additional, by suggesting that you just mix temptation bundling with the behavior stacking technique.

He lays out the method in Atomic Habits:

1. After [CURRENT HABIT], I’ll [HABIT I NEED]. —> behavior stacking

2. After [HABIT I NEED], I’ll [HABIT I WANT]. —> temptation bundling

For extra on behavior stacking and concepts that can assist you attain your objectives in 2023, learn Camille’s submit on rethinking your New 12 months’s decision to attain success.