Gretchen Rubin’s strategy of convenience

Gretchen Rubin talks about the strategy of convenience in her new book, Better Than Before.

I bought the Audible version and will listen to it after I finish listening to my current book.

(incidentally, interesting fact – the thing I spent the most of my discretionary income on in February is…. purchases :))

But I remember reading a post on her blog and I’ve just found it for you here.

The theory is that to create a good habit, one of the strategies that will help you is if you make things extremely convenient and in so doing, hopefully you’ll create that good habit.

When I talk about this in my workshops, I call it setting yourself up for success. But same difference.

I can think about two examples in my life: one fairly old and one exactly 21 days old today.

I’ll talk about the old one now and the new one next week.

Strategy of convenience |

We go to gym as a family every Saturday morning.

We give ourselves no excuses. Doesn’t matter if we’re late (we very often are), we’re cold, we have 50 other things on the to-do list, we just do it. I told Dion a few weeks ago that it’s such a slippery slope to fall out of the habit; I just don’t want to take a chance.

Some days we’ve only made it to exercise 40 out of the 60 minutes, but we go anyway. Say it with me – 40 minutes is better than nothing!

I need a lot to get going for exercise in the morning as I’m the furthest thing from a morning person you could find.

I set everything ready for gym – my bottle ready with water, my Weigh-Less folder (we pop in on the way), my Granny Smith apple for straight afterwards. I also put out my takkies (sports shoes) with socks, gym pants/ shorts, T-shirt and sports bra.

When I wake, I literally roll out of bed, get into my clothes and I’m ready after a few minutes in the bathroom.

Strategy of convenience |

It occurs to me that this is exactly what I do so I don’t forget anything in the morning – I also (mostly) set out clothes, but I definitely pack lunch and my bag every evening without fail. I can’t stand to forget something important just because my brain’s not sharp in the morning.

Two questions for you:

How do you use the strategy of convenience in your life?

Can you think of a habit you need to cultivate where the strategy of convenience would help you?

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  1. When I used to go to bootcamp and gyms in the mornings before work, I made sure my gym clothes s d work clothes and breakfast and lunch are all packed and ready to go. I like my sleep so would rather take a few minutes to do it in the evening than wake up early. Another reason I don’t have breakfast until I get to work.

    Whilst I don’t set out my clothes before bed I make a mental note once in up in the morning or before bed of what I want to wear to work. If I omit to do that I end up spending valuable time in the morning deciding

    I’m like you if I set my mind on exercising I do it even if I’m running late

    • Marcia Francois says

      I love how intentional you are about exercise. Also, you mentioned that you wear a lot of black to work which also makes it easier to make your exercise very convenient 🙂

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