Today’s activity is to get chained up, and do things that are both naughty and nice. Now, before you get the wrong idea – I totally want you to get the wrong idea – this is all about habits. You just thought about nuns, didn’t you? Not that kind of habit…
The basic idea, which has been around for a while, is that you probably already have loads of habits that you do every day, for example, cleaning your teeth. You could ‘chain’ a new habit to the existing habit of cleaning your teeth. A very easy one to chain would be using floss, or mouthwash every single morning. You’re in the same place, doing something related, which makes it easier.
But it doesn’t stop there. You could also chain a bunch of different/unrelated helpful new habits together. There’s even a book about doing this for up to 30 minutes per day called Habit Stacking, by S.J. Scott. You make a list of the things you want to turn into good habits, then run through it in order each day.
I confess I haven’t tried Scott’s method properly but it certainly seems to work for many people who’ve tried it. There’s also a new book out in March about habit-creation by Gretchen Rubin, the blogger and author behind The Happiness Project. Will probably be reviewing that on here at some point, because it looks interesting.
Anyway, I thought you might like to try my homemade slacker version, which I just had to call naughty-and-nice-chaining. Of course I did.
Here’s how to do it. Take something that you do regularly that you really like (that’s the nice bit), and chain a new habit to it that’s something you always put off or drag your feet on (the naughty bit).
For example, I loathe doing the ironing. Meanwhile, on a certain night of the week, at a set time, I watch a TV show that I love. I’ve decided to start doing the ironing while I’m watching that show.
Or, I hate cleaning the cooker top after we cook on a Sunday, but I love having a hot shower in the morning. I wipe down the cooker on a Monday morning just before I jump in the shower and use my nicest shower gel.
Or, I don’t like drinking water all that much even though it’s good for me and makes me feel healthy, and I LOVE drinking tea and coffee, so I pour a glass of water and drink it while the kettle’s boiling for a hot drink.
Do you have any habits that work together like this already? Can you think about new ones you could chain together? Minus five points to anyone who mentions Fifty Shades. Or nuns.