Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Video: “I Can’t Stick to My Good Habit, Because I’ll Inconvenience Someone Else.”

August 7th, 2015

Episode 107 of 376 episodes

In my latest (bestselling) book, Better Than Before, I identify the twenty-one strategies of habit-formation, and one is the Strategy of Loophole-Spotting. I’m doing a video series in which I discuss the ten categories of loopholes. I love studying loopholes, because they’re so funny. And ingenious! We’re such great advocates for ourselves — in any situation, we can always think of some loophole to invoke. Well, what is a “loophole?” 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. In Better Than Before, I describe all ten categories of loopholes; in this video series. I’ll describe them, one by one. Sixth of ten loopholes: The Concern for Others Loophole. We tell ourselves that we need to break a good habit out of concern for someone else. Other examples? Other people’s feelings will be hurt if I don’t partake. I can’t ask my partner to stay with the kids while I go to class. At a business dinner, if everyone is drinking, ...

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