Habit Stacking – A Simple and Effective Way to Create New, Positive Habits in Your Life.
As creatures of habit, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of things that we do on a regular basis that don’t even require as much as a single thought. Things that we have done so often, and over such an extended period of time, that they literally have become a part of who we are and how we go about our day.
Some of these habits are healthy, empowering, and good, while some of these habits are unhealthy, disempowering, and not-so-good. And, once a habit is established, it’s very hard to break – a truth I’m sure you’re all too familiar with.
What’s easier than breaking an old, bad habit is creating a new, good habit. This is where habit stacking comes in to play.
The idea is simple: Take a habit that is already established and a part of your lifestyle and stack a new habit (that you want to build) on top of it. By pairing them up, you use the first – already established habit – as a trigger to remind you and drive you to do the second.
Think about it…
- What do you do every morning after you wake up? Check your phone? Brew coffee?
- What do you do after every shower? Dry off? Get dressed?
- What do you do every time you finish brushing your teeth? Floss? Mouthwash?
- What’s the first thing you do after work every day? Crash on the couch? Cook dinner?
- What’s the last thing you do at night before you go to bed?
If you’re like me, you probably noticed that you already have a ton of stacked habits in your life, and the power is already evident. This means all we need to do now is take action and pair accordingly.
How to get started with habit stacking:
Create a list of habits already established in your life – even the minuscule, boring ones. Include things like: wake up, shower, eat breakfast, drive to work, make coffee, brush teeth, check e-mail, check social media, eat dinner, watch TV, etc.
Next, create a list of habits that you want to establish as a part of your lifestyle. Things like: reading, writing, exercising, meditating, cooking, cleaning, spending time with family, etc.
Finally, pair them up in a way that would work for your lifestyle and focus on building it up until it’s a new habit! And let’s not forget about the power of focus! One pairing at a time, please.
…Stack too many habits up at once and they will all likely come toppling down!
Here are some of the ways I have utilized the power of habit stacking in my life:
- Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is make my bed.
- The first thing I do before my morning workout is foam roll for at least 10 minutes.
- The first thing I do after my morning workout is plan out the following week’s workout.
- Every afternoon, after I brew a cup of coffee, I open up a book and read.
- As soon as I get my pajamas on after my evening shower, I meditate for 10 minutes.
And the latest habit that I’m trying to stack? Washing the dishes while my afternoon cup of coffee brews.
Your turn. How are you going to stack?
Drop us a line in the comment section below and make it public! …You never know who you might influence.