Tuesday, June 20, 2017

There's a word for it!

While I was studying for my Behavior Change Specialization, I learned a term for something that I’ve used for a long time.  The magic word is:  Premacking.  Psychologist David Premack coined the word (I guess he was super creative with the naming thing, eh?). 

Since the name doesn’t tell what it does, I will explain.  Premacking is the process of linking something we don’t much want to do but need to do with something we like to do or do often to get us to do more of the first thing.  So knowing that there is a new season of some compelling police procedural show available on Netflix, I might get myself to stretch more by making a rule that I only get to watch while stretching.  Or if I need a little more work on balance, I might make a habit of brushing my teeth standing on one leg, either flat or up on my toe.

Some activities pair better than others.  Meditating while driving is not encouraged.  I may joke about Workout:  The Drinking Game, but that only works if the beverage in question is water.

We can all take a look around at the things we do and figure out some creative ways to hook our existing habits to ones that will make us more awesome.

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