'Fur Therapy' and Other Treats That Can Help You Change a Bad Habit
There are 21 strategies for changing habits, says author Gretchen Rubin. The most fun is one that incorporates the usage of treats.
Gretchen Craft Rubin is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Her latest book is titled Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.
She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Gretchen Rubin: There’s 21 strategies in habit change and they’re all very useful, but there’s one that is the most fun strategy and that is the strategy of treats. Now it’s very important to know what a treat is. A treat is not a reward. It’s not something that you get because you earned it. You don’t have to justify it. A treat is something that you get because you want it. And treats may sound like kind of a selfish, self-indulgent strategy to use, but treats are very important because the fact is treats help us get self-command. They energize us. They make us feel comforted and cared for. And when we are like that, then we can ask more of ourselves in other ways. So when we give more to ourselves we can ask more from ourselves. And you often hear people when justifying a bad habit with like I need it; I’ve earned it; I deserve it. So and a lot of times people go for unhealthy treats because they feel like they need to recharge their battery and so they use an unhealthy treat. But if you load yourself with healthy treats — if you have a large, a lot of items to choose from — and it’s not as easy to come up with a long list of healthy treats as you think. Then you’re going to be able to recharge your battery. And there’s some treats that are often unhealthy. Food treats, technology treats, and shopping treats. A lot of times these can become unhealthy treats very quickly, so if you use them, you have to be very mindful and use them judiciously and know that they’re not going to spiral out of control for you. You know, giving yourself a brownie is probably not the best treat, but things like wearing perfume or buying new music or, you know, fur therapy. A friend of mine has fur therapy, which is when she just spends a half an hour like playing with her dog. If you have a long list of these healthy treats then when you have that feeling like I need it; I deserve it; I earned it, then you can give yourself a healthy treat and that way you keep your self-command high.
There are 21 strategies for changing habits, says author Gretchen Rubin. The most fun is one that incorporates the usage of treats. But "treats" isn't synonymous with small rewards. In this interview, Rubin explains strategies from her new book Better Than Before.
The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.
- The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
- He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
- Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
A little goes a long way.
- A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
- Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
- Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.