Habits can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Today, I’d like to discuss when habits are your best friend.
More specifically, I’d going to break down habit stacking!
Habits can be a powerful thing dictating the direction of your life. In fact, according to a study from Duke University found that up to 45% of all our daily behaviors are automatic. Let me say that in a different way: 1 out of every 2 minutes is spent doing something that you’re not even aware of. That’s pretty outrageous and it really makes you think. What am I doing that I’m not aware of?
When it comes to habit stacking, it can make your current habits more intentional and direct you to the results you want in your life.
Okay, but…what is habit stacking?
Here’s the definition according to Webster.
Habit Stacking: Grouping together small activities into a routine which you link to a habit already set in your day. This makes the routine memorable and anchors your new habits to an existing trigger. So, in order to make your habits more intentional, I will be covering 3 Steps to Building a Habit Stacking Routine and Kicking Butt In Life.
The breakdown of what we’ll cover:
- Step #1- Altering Your Morning Routine for Success
- Step #2- Habit Stacking Before a Current Habit
- Step #3- Habit Stacking After a Current Habit
Let’s get going, shall we?
Step #1- Altering Your Morning Routine for Success
Did you know early birds are said to be more proactive in their lives? That seems quite obvious because for one, they have more time in their day to accomplish the things that are important to them. They understand the power of a great morning routine and how a solid morning routine can change the whole trajectory of your day.
Here’s an example of my early morning routine so you can have an example.
5:00 AM– Wake Up/Coffee/Gratitude
5:15 AM– Meditation
5:30AM– Workout Routine
6:15AM– Get Ready for the day
7:00AM– Review my schedule for the day
7:30AM– Begin my Work Day
As you see with my morning routine, by the time I begin my work schedule, I’ve already completed my mind and body workout for the day and in a positive attitude and the energy needed to get things done. I know you might be wondering…. “What does my morning routine have to do with habit stacking?”
A great time to use the power of habit stacking is in the morning. That is because you most likely have some routine habits you always do in the morning.
Here’s a great read on Morning Routines and what successful people swear by: https://fairygodboss.com/articles/morning-routines-for-successful-people
Step #2- Habit Stacking Before a Current Habit
Truthfully, I have a hard time drinking enough glasses of water during the day.
I decided to do something about it. I started drinking a half of glass of water before performing a habit I already do.
This would help me remember to drink the water because it was linked to an event I already had on my schedule. Find time to perform the new habit. If the new habit is something that is quick to complete, it will be easier for you.
What if the new habit you want to develop is working out for 30 minutes a day? The idea is to make sure your schedule supports the new habit you are adding to your current habit.
Here’s an example of habit stacking before a current habit.
Before I drink my first sip of coffee in the morning, I will drink a half of a glass of water.
How about another example… Before I make my bed in the morning, I will write down 3 things I’m grateful for. To make this habit even easier for yourself, you could put a gratitude journal on your nightstand so you have easy access to perform the new habit with ease.
The goal here is to perform the new habit right before a habit you already perform. That way it is easier to remember and stick with.
Habit stacking works because you are linking a new habit to a habit you do everyday. This is an example of using habit linking before a current habit.
Next, we are going to look at habit stacking after a current habit.
Related Reads: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/habit-stacking/
Step #3- Habit Stacking After a Current Habit
This is my all time favorite way to use habit stacking.
The idea here is to habit stack after a current habit. In other terms, you will perform the “new habit” after a habit you already perform. Just like with the previous habit stacking method, it is best to choose a habit you do everyday.
An example of this would be after I drink my cup of coffee in the morning, I will turn on 15 minutes of motivation to put me in a good state for the day.
Did I mention this is my all time favorite way to perform a habit loop??
I find it very easy to add a new habit after a habit I know I perform on the daily.
What are some habits you perform daily?
- Brushing my teeth
- Taking a shower
- Having a cup of tea
- Eating breakfast
- Brushing my hair
- Doing the dishes
Then you can determine the new habit you’d like to start and add it to your schedule after one of your daily habit.
Related reads: https://eringobler.com/habit-stacking/
You can habit stack pretty much anything!
How do you think a dog learns new tricks? It is a great idea to try and decrease your own barrier to entry so that failure isn’t an option when habit stacking. That means making your habit easy and simple.
When performing a habit stack, you can also use the power of rewards. The idea is to give yourself an ounce of success with these new habits so they can grow over time.
A negative example would be don’t start off a new working regimen with an hour long high intensity workout if you haven’t developed the habit of working out yet. This makes it easier to quit and have you feeling like a failure altogether. The idea is to grasp a small habit and build after it’s been developed.
Incorporate a specific time and a specific place where your new habit will take place to give you exact direction for your new habit to develop.
What habits would you like to start in your life? Post in the comments below!
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