We were talking about the power of habits and how they really impact our happiness. If we could harness our habits, we could figure out how to form better or good habits. These behaviors that we want. If we knew how to hack our habits, we could thwart the old bad habits and get rid of them. But how can we figure out how to do this? Well, we can through our psychprotips. Psychprotip number one is that if you want to do a behavior, and especially if it's rewarding, just find a very consistent cue. Cues are best when they're consistent over time. When there's something easy for you to see, this can be a person, this can be doing an activity that you really want to do at a particular time of day in a particular place, you could even come up with a ritual. You see your particular like, I don't know, a bracelet or some little statuette or something that you have in your room that you make and you put there and you're like, "Oh, I see that and then I do the thing." Our brain is really stupid at picking up on cues. It really wants them. If you give it any kind of cue information, it's going to latch onto it. That's the power of the habit loop. Anytime you get a cue and you have the reward at the end, you're going to make the routine a little bit more automatic. But a second psychprotip is that you can use the habit routines that already exist and fit in other things. There are habits that you already have, think brushing your teeth, or if you wanted to do something good, you could just tick it at the end and add one more step to the routine and it becomes even easier. You can use the habits you already have to do better stuff. Researchers have found that this is really powerful. Judah, et al, was really interested in having people form the healthy habit of flossing, which not a lot of us do. They tested, well, maybe people would floss more if they tried to do it at the end of brushing their teeth. The routine would be like brush your teeth and then you just stick in the flossing. They tested this out in two different conditions. First, they had some people floss before brushing, which meant there is no cue. You just have to remember to floss or you floss after brushing where it's like you have some cue, it's morning, you brush and then you just add the flossing to the end. Eight months later the question is which worked better? This is a really long-term study. Here's what they find. All these people learned about the power of flossing and how important it was but when you stick the flossing at the end when you have this consistent cue nearly twice to three times the number of people are doing this better. Pick a habit you already have and stick to good thing at the end. Every time you watch, you get in your TikTok video-watching mode, at the end be like, "Now is when I do my three-minute meditation," or "Now is when I text a friend to be social." Hack it at the end. But even better is if it's a particularly bad habit you want to get rid of, you can keep the cue and the reward. There's a reward there, but you switch off the routine. What does this look like in the context of the habit loop? Well, let's say you have your cue, your phone dings, your routine is you look at it and you get the reward of you've satisfied your curiosity. What if you stuck in a new routine? Now you're going around, your phone dings, you'd normally look at it and you say, "Ah, when my phone dings, this is when I think of some random act of kindness to do," or "This is when I do a two-minute meditation," or "This is when I just take a couple deep breaths." You're hacking this existing habit loop and just sticking it in a different routine and you benefit from the fact that the cue and this ending result already existed. Finally, you can use the rewards that you're a little bit too tempted by. Maybe rewards that don't normally help out your happiness, but are very cravy and tempty. You can stick them in as additional reward for something that you want to do. This is something that's referred to as temptation bundling. It's the work of the Wharton Psychologist Katy Milkman who studied this directly. Here is the insight she had about temptation bundling and how she figured it out. She notes, "At the end of a long day, I really want to go to the gym and I really struggle to get there even though I know I should go, it's going affect my happiness. I would get the after-workout glow. It's just really hard to do." She also has a different struggle at the end of the day. At the end of the day, she wants to goof off and watch her TV shows, her favorite shows, but she knows that might not make her very happy, she's supposed to get work done. The insight was like, "Wait a minute. If I put these two together, if I added the reward of the TV to the workout, I could combine this to solve both problems." This is temptation bundling. You bundle a temptation like something you find tempting. That's like the juicy extra to the thing that you're supposed to be doing. How we define it is this strategy where you restrict your access to certain rewards and you let yourself do them only when you're doing something else that's goal consistent. If you want to work out more, but you also are tempted to sit down and watch Netflix, you agree that you're only ever going to watch Netflix while you're at the gym. Katy did a lovely study on this that she calls The Hunger Games study where she gave people, this was the height of Hunger Games. She gave people an audiobook of the Hunger Games, but they had to leave it at the gym, so they could only listen to it when they went to the gym. She found these huge extra rates of people going to the gym because they really want to see what's going to happen next on Hunger Games. I use this strategy myself. I have elliptical and I have this really old computer where I have DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Best sitcom ever. I know it's from the '90s, but you should all watch it. I only let myself watch Buffy when I'm on the elliptical. You'd be surprised how much more I hit the elliptical because of that. This is a way that we can hack our habits. If we understand the habit loop, we can use them for good to promote our happiness.