Habit Loopholes

Last Decem­ber I took the Design Your Habits: A Hands-On Intro­duc­tion to Behav­ior Design course on Skill­share. This is a great short course and I rec­om­mend you check it, although it is no longer free, at least for me.

It helped me refresh the clas­sic habits stuff like Habit Loop, tiny actions etc. But a new thing I learned in this class is the Habit Loop­holes pro­posed by Gretchen Rubin of Hap­pi­ness Project.

A loop­hole is an anoth­er term for excuse. So here are the 6 loop­holes she says pre­vents us from doing our habits.

1. Moral Licens­ing Loop­hole
I have been so good. It’s okay for me to do X.
I saved so much by not buy­ing X so I deserve to buy Y.

Dan­ger: The reward for doing your habit is you get to not do it. Mess­es up habit by train­ing brain that habit is painful.

2. Lack of Con­trol Loop­hole
My kids/spouse/dog is tak­ing up all my time.
The dog ate my home­work.
I am too stressed to deal with this right now.

3. Plan­ning to Fail Loop­hole.
Oh look, I for­got my work­out shoes/shorts today.

4. This Does­n’t Count Loop­hole
Tries to cre­ate a spe­cial excep­tion to your com­mit­ment.
Clas­sic exam­ple: I am on vaca­tion.

5. The Ques­tion­able Assump­tion Loop­hole.
Oper­ates on an assump­tion when exam­ined close­ly, is not a valid assump­tion at all.
I can’t work until my office is clean

6. Fake Self Actu­al­i­sa­tion Loop­hole
Tells you to cast off your respon­si­bil­i­ties because life is short.

7. One Coin Loop­hole
What dif­fer­ence will one day make?
One beer won’t make a dif­fer­ence.

I think being aware of these loop­holes is impor­tant because as some­one said, with bet­ter aware­ness we make bet­ter choic­es. With bet­ter choic­es come bet­ter results.

One response to “Habit Loopholes”

  1. […] chap­ter I liked the most is about Habit Loop­holes. I blogged about them ear­li­er. They help you real­ize when you are kid­ding […]

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