Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Video: The Moral Licensing Loophole. Very Popular!

May 8th, 2015

Episode 56 of 372 episodes

In my new (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. Second of ten loopholes: the Moral Licensing Loophole. Here are some examples of how we might use this loophole: After the day I had, I’ve earned a nice glass of wine. I’ve been losing weight steadily on this diet, so it will be okay for me to cut a few corners. I’ve been ...