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How to Create Sticky Habits: Make it Attractive

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Once you've made the cues that kick off a habit loop as obvious as possible, the next step is to make that habit as enticing as possible. After all, even if it's obvious where a certain habit should come in to play doesn't mean we necessarily want to follow through on it. Stacking your gym clothes at the end of your bed when you wake up in the morning can only get you so far if you can't coax yourself to get into them and out of the door. One practice you can leverage for getting from "god this bed is so warm I never want to leave" to "I'm wide awake and I can't wait to get lifting" is temptation bundling.

Temptation bundling is essentially taking a good habit you're trying to start, and bundling it with habit you've already built, Or as James Clear puts it, "Doing the thing you need to do means you get to do the thing you want to do." Keeping with this same example of getting to the gym: if you want to watch a particular show, let's say Tiger King, then you need to go to the gym. The only way to find out if Carole Baskin did it or not is by lacing up and getting out of the door.

The goal with temptation bundling is to eventually associate the positive feeling (or whatever you want to call it in the case of watching Tiger King) you get from the want with the need. Over time, your anticipation for working out will be indistinguishable from your anticipation of finding out what happens in the next episode, and your habit will become more attractive as a result.

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