Are Behaviours/Habits Likelier To Stick In Pairs?

Are Behaviours/Habits Likelier To Stick In Pairs?

We all have bad behaviours and habits we want to change, or good behaviours we want to develop, but change is difficult. Is change harder when bad behaviours are grouped together? Let’s find out.

Photo by Caroline

We’re going to try something new today: collectively test a theory. If you have a bad habit you want to change or a good behaviour you want to develop, let’s spend the next week seeing what we can do together.

I’ve noticed that a lot of bad habits come in pairs. For example, if you eat too much (or unhealthily) and watch too much TV, chances are you also eat and watch TV together. If you have a pair of bad habits like this and want to try and break them, do it with us for the next week and report back on how it went. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Pick a pair of bad habits you have and want to break.
  • Post those bad habits in the comments and how you’re going to separate them for the next week.
  • Follow your plan.
  • Check back at the same time next week to let us know how it went.

Good luck!


  • Coincidentally, Last week I had identified these 2 habits. One bad habit, and another I used as an ‘enabler’ for the other. I never was much of a smoker, so when I started, I justified it to myself as an ‘only when I drink’ habit. This worked out fine for a few years until my girlfriend began to share the same philosophy of smoking.
    I would buy a 6 pack in order to justify smoking 12 cigarettes in an evening. The health problems associated with this kind of life style are fairly obvious in hind sight, but as it was happening I hardly paid it any attention.
    Anyway, the moral to this story, I have given up the drinking and smoking since last Monday, and despite being tempted for a drink on occasion I haven’t felt the need for a smoke.
    So this kind of habit-partnership I had seems to have made it easier to quit smoking, because I only ever found myself missing the evening drink. I will continue to keep the rest of the month dry to break the habit and report in if I slip up on either.

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