Episode

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits

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Video: “I Travel All the Time,” and the Lack-of-Control Loophole for Habits.

September 17th, 2015

Episode 125 of 397 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. 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. Seventh of ten loopholes: Lack of Control loophole. This is a very popular loophole. We argue that we don’t have control over the situation, and circumstances have forced us to break a habit. However, usually we have more control than we admit. Lack of Control Loophole Examples The dog ate my homework. Alcoholics can quit drinking, and smokers can ...

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