Planning and Pairing: A Compass to Guide Healthy Behavior

Continued from last week’s blog, here are some additional antecedent strategies to help support your wellbeing:


Ever heard of the Premack principle? Even though your parents were likely not behavior analysts, think of this in terms of the all-too-familiar “first dinner, then dessert” trick. It’s a strategy behavior analysts use to influence people (and ourselves) to complete non-preferred tasks in a timely manner. With this principle in mind, start your day with your most non-preferred task then do something more interesting, engaging or fun.. This leverages your natural motivation and can continue in cycles throughout your day to achieve all tasks on the checklist. And, who knows? Maybe checking items off a list will serve as a reward in itself.


Behavior analysis uses pairing to associate two things or events. You might remember this from Psychology 101 when your professor spoke of Pavlov and dogs salivating. Ring any… bells? W3RKWELL guides clients in identifying their own values and supports pairing selected values with the specific behaviors necessary to complete your work-related tasks. For example, if a personal value is family, then acknowledge yourself for avoiding emails during scheduled family time. You can also source your family for ways to balance work and life roles. Involve them!

Gianna Biscontini