The (Other) Rubber Band Habit Trick
Getting into (and out of) habits is hard. People use all types of tricks to help.
The Common (old) Method
A common trick for kicking a “bad” habit is the rubber band snap method. Relying on Pavlovian associations in our brain, the idea is to wear a rubber band on your wrist, and every time you do “x” bad thing (swearing, eating junk food, talking negatively about yourself, etc…) you snap the rubber band. The pain becomes associated with the negative behavior. We don’t like pain, so we stop doing the behavior.
The New Method
An alternative use for rubber bands in positive habit creation is to simply transfer the rubber band from one wrist to the other each day once the habit has been completed.
Here’s how it works:
- Place a rubber band on one wrist in the morning
- When you complete “x” habit (brushing teeth, exercising, meditation, etc…) transfer the rubber band to the other wrist
Personally, I like having things on my left wrist (probably since I’m left-handed). I feel “off” when things aren’t over there. Moving things from my right to left provides that sense of setting things right (or left, in this case).
- Simple — Not only are rubber bands cheap, but it’s also quicker and easier to use the rubber band method than using a habit journal or app
- Visible — The wrist bands are always there, right in front of you, always serving as a reminder
- Customizable — Don’t want to use a rubber band? Switch it up with something you already wear (a ring, watch, bracelet, etc…)
- Scalable — You can use multiple (differently-colored) bands for multiple habits. Just transfer each band over when the corresponding habit has been completed.
Hope this helps!