This New Wellness Trend Helps You Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks

The secret to tackling procrastination? Give the chore an alluring spin. Here’s how.

In the age of self-care, we’ve become quite good at treating ourselves like delicate little beings. We prioritize me-time. We grant ourselves permission to back out of plans if we don’t feel like attending an event. We shell out lots of dough to layer our faces with skin-enhancing ingredients, fill our intestines with as many vitamins as possible, and clear our chakras. Hello, we’re millennials, and we pamper ourselves to make us feel better about the state of the world. And since we’re so good at being kind to ourselves, it should be no surprise that we’ve come up with an effective way to make the most unpleasant tasks on our to-do lists much more attractive.

Temptation bundling is when a dreaded task is paired with an enticing one to make it easier to complete. Need some examples? Here, three women share how they temptation bundle to tackle procrastination, achieve their goals, and live happier, healthier lives.

Pair a tough workout class with a post-sweat treat with friends

By Abbi Henderson

Make no mistake, I love working out. I love feeling physically strong, and I love the way that moving my body helps to clear some of the mental clutter that has collected over the course of the week. By the time Saturday morning rolls around, though, I can often think of many alternative activities I’d prefer to participate in; namely sleeping in. I know that training will make me feel good. I know it will boost my mood and energy levels, and will help me inch closer to my goals (pull-ups and heavy deadlifts, right now), but coaxing myself out of the comfort of my bed is rarely that easy.

So, to ensure I don’t skip my Lower Body Pump class at One Academy in Toronto, I team it with two treats. The first; a catch-up with friends, as they have committed to the class too. The second; an oat milk latte (and sometimes a scone too) from my favourite cafe, Sweet Bliss. It sounds almost too simple to be a success but, thus far, it seems to have worked. My friends hold me accountable because I look forward to laughing through endless squats with them (far better than slogging it alone), and the unusual opening hours of my fave coffee shop mean that if I don’t get my latte after a Saturday class, I won’t get one for a full week. That in itself is enough to get me out from under the covers. My findings: I’m far less likely to late cancel when there’s the lure of coffee and good chats.

Pair a long walk home with your favourite podcast

By Renée Reardin

One of the reasons I choose to live in Toronto is because I love being able to walk nearly everywhere. I love that if I’m out of food, a grocery store is just an eight minute walk away. If I have a health or beauty crisis, the local Shoppers Drug Mart is just a five-minute walk away. And if the subway fails me (all Torontonians would laugh at the word “if”), I can get home from my day job by foot in just 45 minutes. Aside from being a free mode of transportation and convenient, walking also offers many health benefits. Aside from the obvious physical ones, walking soothes my mind. It helps me process emotions, plan my day, and think more clearly. Walking, however, isn’t always so hunky dory. When the temperature drops well below zero, when it’s past 10 P.M., and when I’m super tired after working a double, a 30-minute walk home can lose its sparkle. But since I’m in money-saving mode, and I know getting home by foot will make me feel better, I add an extra perk to my late night commute for a treat.

As soon as I punch out at my second job, I slip in my AirPods Pros (late night attackers: I use the “transparency mode” so I’m still alert—don’t you go trying anything) and hit play on my favourite podcast, The High Low. It’s a weekly news and pop culture podcast hosted by British journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes who cover topics like Prince Andrew’s 2019 interview with the BBC and how Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio get together to eat sandwiches and make ceramics. The duo makes me laugh, keeps me updated on current affairs, and introduces me to new writers whose work I start to follow and fall in love with. When I get home, I’ve taken an extra 4000-ish steps, I’m in a good mood, I’ve saved $10 from not taking an Uber, and I can go to sleep with the soothing picture in my mind of Brad and Leo sculpting vases.

Pair stretching with one episode of a binge-worthy show

By Alyssa Ball

I always look forward to my weekly Pilates class at Studio Lagree and my at-home HIIT workouts—they help keep my body toned and my mind energized throughout the week. But when it comes to post-workout stretching, that’s definitely something I have trouble making a priority. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, because I do. I know that stretching after a workout not only improves flexibility but also helps prevent future muscle and tendon injuries. I just find I get bored and restless, which often results in rushing through stretches and automatically regretting it the next day when my body is as stiff as a board. Enter: Netflix.

In order to make sure that I complete my stretching after every workout, I’ve teamed it up with a 30-minute episode of a show I’m currently bingeing on Netflix. That way, I hold myself accountable to stretch for at least 20 minutes of that episode. Since my class/at-home workouts are full-body, I focus on stretches that target all of my major muscles: shoulders, back, thighs, hips, and butt. I aim to hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Having a show on while stretching not only helps pass the time, but also takes the focus away from what I’m actually doing and leaves me quite at ease. It’s been a couple of weeks so far, and I’ve yet to miss a post-workout stretch.

An added bonus: Limiting myself to only one episode while stretching has kept me from binge-watching TV all night long.

Now that you’ve learned about temptation bundling, learn a few no-fail ways to achieve your goals this year.