James Clear says “You don’t eliminate a bad habit, you replace it”.

All habits have a payoff and habits that pay, stay.

James highlights the unintended consequence of an unhealthy habit is the glue that keeps the habit alive. As an example, if you don’t exercise because you are tired, the rest you take could be so enjoyable the next time you exercise you choose to rest over exercise because you enjoyed the rest. While the choice to skip an exercise session can become chronic and therefore lead to unintended health consequences such as back or neck pain that comes from not moving your whole body.

On the flip side, if you want to replace a dead time in your calendar with some extra movement, or you are like some people I know and you feel better with achievement, you could add five push-ups before you go to sleep or after you wake up. There are times when you don’t want to eliminate a bad habit or replace it, you want to pair it!

Pick a time in your schedule when you believe you could do more for yourself physically but you have because congested or blinded because of other stressors. A friend told me they started to add stretches to their favorite tv show so they would feel less guilty about watching their program. When the commercials came on they would use them as a trigger to do a stretch on the floor so by the end of the show if they stretched during the commercials they added an extra twenty minutes of stretching along to watching their favorite hour-long tv show.

Where can you pair it? Where would it be fair to say you could share or do more exercises with dead time in your schedule? Make 2020 your year.

Tip the fight in your favor based on James Clear’s advice:
“Right now, your environment makes your bad habit easier and good habits harder. Change your environment and you can change the outcome.”


James Clear. (2018, December 10). How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One). Retrieved from https://jamesclear.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit.

James Clear. (2019, July 15). Design for Default: How to Simplify Your Decision Making Process. Retrieved from https://jamesclear.com/design-default.