Habit Stacking – A Simple and Effective Way to Create New, Positive Habits in Your Life.

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.

7 Responses to Habit Stacking – A Simple and Effective Way to Create New, Positive Habits in Your Life.

  • I wake up around 6.00am . Pray for few minutes read a positive quote or advice before starting the day.
    I also look forward to have a positive and challenging day.
    always looking for opportunities to do good and help others as much as I can.

  • I wake up at 0407hrs almost every morning, prepare a cup of herbal tea, do some 10mins meditation, 30mins reading!, then i feel good to go for the day, having added more value to me

  • I usually wake up around 3:00 am and have about 5-7 minutes of morning devotion. Straight after that, I get to surf the social media till breakfast time.
    But now that I’ve gone through this habit stacking stuff, I have come up with something new.
    Now I’m going to try to meditate for at least another 10 minutes after my daily morning devotions. I guess I should also limit the time taken up to surf the social media as well.

    • That idea is on point and is directly in line with how habit stacking works! Love it. Let me know how it goes for you after a week or two!!

  • Xcellent,I love the way you express your thoughts & we learn thru it,keep writing so I can get some help from your daily activities,Thx

  • Hi,
    I usually have this habit of getting up and washing other people’s dishes and moving their clutter out of my way. (Hence, I cannot function with clutter…drives me straight up a wall and the other side).

    I share a place with two other people, so because I go to bed before them (the place is clean) I don’t realize the mess they leave in their quake.

    So, last night I wrote out my plans for the following day, did some deep breathing before retiring to bed. This morning I got up immediately, didn’t lay in bed long…said my good morning and thanks for a peaceful nights’ rest during the night to the Universe.

    I did something I had been meaning to do for a while I got dressed and went outside early and took a brisk long walk. Taking in some fresh air and enjoying the quietude and solitude before the day got started. I cleared my head and listened to the sound of birds, not a lot of cars on the road but just to take my mind off all that seemed to consume me.

    Then after all of that stopped off at a convenience store to get a morning cup of Joe and met up with people that were excited about getting up and going to work. How cool was that? There is life after household chores go figure!

    Cynthia

    • There is life with each wholesome breath you take – and how you choose to spend your breaths is entirely up to you.

      Sounds to me like you really enjoyed the way you spent that morning and I would encourage you to create the right habits so that you may continue to experience wonderful mornings like that in the future.

      It also sounds to me like having a conversation with your roommates about chores might be a conversation worth having as well – so that everything is divvied up in a fair way and you aren’t so distracted from your priorities.

      Thank you for your comment, Cynthia, and I hope you continue to experience life (after household chores) and build up your habits in a way that’s empowering for you in the future!

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