…An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling.” Having trouble staying with that New Year’s resolution? Give temptation bundling a try!I first heard about this method on the Freakanomics Podcast “When Willpower isn’t Enough.”
Katy Milkman, an assistant professor at the Wharton School at U.Penn struggled with going to the gym at the end of a long day. She preferred to curl up with a book, at the time it was The Hunger Games. She decided to combine her struggle with her desire by only allowing herself to read the book while she was at the gym. She calls this “temptation bundling.”
It worked. She went to the gym more often and actually looked forward to going.
She decided to design a research study to see if this would work beyond her own behavior.
You can read the study results HERE. The short answer is it did. Could this work for you?
Breaking it down:
There are SHOULD activities and there are the ways we avoid those activities. The idea is to take something you think you SHOULD be doing, like exercise, and marry it with something you LIKE doing, perhaps watching a certain TV show (which you tend to do instead of exercising),
This doesn’t have to just be about exercise. Make a list of activities you think you should be doing but procrastinate or straight up avoid doing. This could include laundry, cleaning, calling your mother, studying, etc. Then make a list of what you find yourself doing instead of those things or just things you like spending your time doing.
You can only have your favorite snack while you study.
You can only check Facebook after you clean something.
But for our purposes we will focus on exercise.
Find a TV show, movie, audiobook, podcast and set the rule that you can only watch/listen to it while you are working out. See how successful you are. You might actually find yourself looking forward to your workouts!
I really like this because the focus isn’t on punishment but on the reward.
Let me know what your temptation bundle is and if it worked for you!