Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Trying to Keep a Resolution? Don’t Fall into This Common Trap.

January 2nd, 2015

Episode 13 of 540 episodes

Many of us make resolutions — at the New Year, and throughout the year. For the most part, these resolutions involve habits; we want to make or break some important habit (read the Essential Seven here). To my surprise, as I was writing Better Than Before, I learned that while it’s hard to change habits, it’s also surprisingly easy to change habits. The secret is to know how to set yourself up for success. For instance, one important way to set yourself up for success is to imagine how you might fail. What are the temptations, the stumbling blocks? When have you struggled in the past? Also, it’s important to be very wary of loopholes. When we try to form and keep habits, we often search for loopholes, for justifications that will excuse us from keeping this particular habit in this particular situation. However, if we catch ourselves in the act of loophole-seeking, we can perhaps reject them. Now, we’re all adults, and we can always mindfully decide to make an exception to our good habits. (Read here about my friend’s hilarious pie policy.) But that’s not what a loophole is. A loophole is a way to ...

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