Change Your Habits OR Get Zapped!—with Maneesh Sethi of Pavlok – EP103

 In Podcast

In the absence of accountability, it is very difficult to break bad habits or develop positive ones. You may want to stop smoking or start eating healthy, but without immediate consequences for falling short, you fall back into old patterns. What if you knew a zap was coming if you didn’t get off your seat and follow through? Would you be more inclined to get out of bed and actually DO what you said you were going to do?




Maneesh Sethi is the founder and CEO of Pavlok, a startup leveraging aversion therapy to build wearables that change habits. The company’s core value is to help people commit to tasks—and follow through. Maneesh is also the editor-in-chief of Hack the System, a blog that offers readers unconventional approaches to succeeding in the realm of fitness, travel, business and productivity. His work has been featured in Zen Habits, The Four-Hour Workweek, and NPR, among many other media outlets.

Today, Maneesh joins us to share the science behind the Pavlok, explaining how he got the idea for the product and how you can break bad OR develop good habits with the device. He offers examples of the apps within Pavlok and discusses the metrics the device can track. Maneesh also describes how the business might evolve to expand its coaching program and integrate with other wearables, eventually becoming a SaaS product for health and fitness coaches. Listen in for Maneesh’s list of the Top Six Game-Changing Habits and learn how to use habit psychology to improve your nutrition, fitness and productivity!

Topics Covered

[1:40] Maneesh’s top six game-changing habits

  1. Sleep well
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Exercise
  4. Daily conversation
  5. Meditate
  6. Drink water
[3:46] What healthy eating looks like for Maneesh

  • Keto, low carb diet (mostly meats + veggies)
  • Eat between 12pm and 8pm
[4:13] Maneesh’s exercise routine

  • Strong lifts 5X5 workout
  • One hour, 3X per week
[5:36] How Maneesh got the idea for Pavlok

  • Hiring accountability partner led to 98% productivity
  • Build business around committing to/completing tasks
[7:42] The science behind Pavlok

  • People motivated most by negative reinforcers
  • Use aversive conditioning to eliminate bad habits
[12:27] The Pavlok habit cessation/formation process

  • Press button manually when craving bad habit
  • Betting pool to earn money for positive behavior
[15:38] Examples of the apps within Pavlok

  • Gratitude journal, morning/evening routine + sleep tracking
  • Launch of coaching program (targeted to entrepreneurs)
[18:27] What Pavlok can track at present

[21:07] How Pavlok differs from the Oura Ring

  • Pavlok does not have heartrate monitor
  • Use case for waking up (alarm during light sleep)
[23:54] The next iteration of Pavlok

  • Continue to empower people to control behavior
  • Grow coaching program, Beta test as SaaS product
[26:55] Pavlok’s 180-day money-back guarantee

  • 8-10% return rate
[27:49] Maneesh’s plans to make Pavlok work with other wearables

  • Strap available to connect with Apple Watch
  • Eventually integrate with Oura Ring, Garmin
[32:33] Maneesh’s best health and fitness advice

  • Seven hours of sleep per night
  • Write down to-do list night before + follow through

Learn More About Maneesh Sethi

Pavlok [Coupon Code: aliwatts]

Shock Clock

Hack the System



Maneesh on Shark Tank

‘Why I Hired a Girl on Craigslist to Slap Me in the Face’ on Hack the System

Oura Ring


Pavlok Productive Entrepreneur Coaching

Apple Health

If This, Then That





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