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When I say temptation what comes up for YOU?
Is it something you have a healthy positive relationship with? A food or activity that slots happily into your daily or weekly routine
without over-indulgening and the subsequent GUILT and also without deprivation and the subsequent RESENTMENT?
Up until now my approach to manage temptation was twofold:
A) So far as food I pretty much ensure my house is a temptation free zone.
That’s best case scenario. Freezing tempting food (like bread and spelt scones for example). Buying portioned controlled (like a jar of tahini lasts 2 batches of zucchini hummus). Or even stocking only the raw/uncooked versions (I can keep raw nuts at home safely but not roasted)… all can work too.
B) With activities I set and generally adhere to self-imposed guidelines.
For example: T.V. only on weekend evenings. Social media only at meal time. No mindless web surfing in bed OR internet/email at all on Sunday.
There’s a problem to this approach to temptation management. It sort of breaks my primary rule of fat loss (Body Gain!) success and that is: FOCUS.
It puts a little to much focus on restriction. On what you can’t have or do. It’s also discipline reliant and I believe discipline is never a long term solution.
This week I heard of an awesome third approach to temptation management. First coined by Katy Milkman in todays show let’s chat: Temptation Bundling.
Now sadly Temptation Bundling isn’t quite as amazingly joyous as eating chocolate while drinking Shiraz while watching an entire season of your favourite T.V. show.
Rather than bundling multiple temptations it’s the practice of bundling a temptation with something less enticing.
The temptation becomes the incentive – that little pay-off – to get something less fun done.
To quote Katy: “Valuable healthy behaviors could be increased, while guilt and wasted time from indulgent behaviors decreased, through the use of temptation bundling.”
Perhaps you’re already doing a form of temptation bundling? Maybe your parents used it to entice you to eat your greens “No dessert until you’ve finished all your brussel sprouts!” or tidy your room?
Regardless, I’m guessing there’s a fair chance you (like me!) could use it to an even greater degree.
If so, here are 3 steps to successful Temptation Bundling:
Step one: List all your current ‘temptations’.
Ok, ALL is broad. Let’s go with all the things you’re ok with having as a part of your weekly routine and yet you acknowledge if you’re going to achieve your goal there does need to be some limit to how much of each temptation you indulge in.
Step two: List all your current ‘shoulds’.
Or to reframe that… the things you struggle to do consistently yet you know you need to do consistently to stay happy, healthy and successful.
Step three: Time to match-make.
Partner a temptation with a should. Here you’re creating new positive habits. You’re leveraging the things that you will always, easily… joyfully make time and energy for (the temptations) and pairing them off with those previously struggle-street actions.
To make temptation bundling most effective it’s important to save the temptation ONLY for the time when you’ve paired it with the activity you want it to help you commit to. So for example: If I decide I’m going to listen to my fav audiobook series while working out at the gym and yet I also listen to it in bed each night and on the weekend then it’s likely not going to work so well.
The application is limitless.
Even with the infrequent yet easy to stall on necessities like health related check ups.
=> perhaps you match-make a lovely self indulgent massage, pedicure or facial as the reward you get after you go to the dentist?
It can absolutely apply to de-cluttering your life.
=> possibly each you item of clothing you buy means you throw out something that’s worn-out or donate that outfit you’ll never wear again to charity?
To get actionable today, what is ONE way you can start to temptation bundle and create a new positive habit?
I’d love to hear your ideas. You can let me know via the show notes for today. You’ll find those at strongbodygreenplanet.com and just search 274.
The dentist is one of those necessities I tend to stall on. So, I’m going to take my own advice and bundle a dentist appointment with a lovely self indulgent… shopping session. I’m not really a massage or pedicure or facial chick… however I do love to buy new clothes. So that’s my plan.
That’s almost it for today. I do have another quote though from Deborah Brodie who sums up nicely how temptation can be used for good: “Temptation is not to be feared, but controlled.”
In the Wednesday show I’m Weigh-in on: GRIT. I hope you can join me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: How To Use Cheat Meals (thrive regardless of The Temptation Zone!).
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.