Developing a new habit isn’t always the easiest. We’ve all tried it, whether it be working out, meditating, etc. You tried it for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks but it never sticks. *If you’re like me you may scroll through instagram and wonder where everyone else got this unreal self discipline that you seem to be lacking. But it’s okay. Habit building doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it seem. Recently, I’ve unintentionally incorporated a method into my routine that has changed the game, it’s called habit stacking.
What is Habit Stacking?
Habit stacking – Developing new habits by building them on top of existing ones.
This technique is made for the person who tries to pick something up but fails to be consistent. (Hi, it’s me.) We all have a handful of daily habits that are automatic. These are habits that you do each and every day that you don’t even thing about. Habit stacking is the act of “stacking” new habits to your existing ones.
How to Habit Stack
- Identify your daily habits. What are the things you do every single day? You’re looking for the tasks you perform consistently. Examples: brushing your teeth, taking a shower, make coffee.
- You add or stack a new habit on top of it. Examples: reading, working out, meditating.
You want to link your new habit to your old habit. An example would be, every day after I make my cup of coffee, I will read for 5 minutes. Making my cup of coffee is my daily/existing habit and reading is my stacked habit.
The Key to Being Successful
It’s very important that you try not to force it. The goal is to create a new habit – it doesn’t matter how long you do it just that you’re doing it consistently.
The key to habit stacking is to start off with a small manageable habit. If you’re desired habit is to start working out, your best bet is to start with a time that doesn’t feel like a chore. (Maybe 5-10 minutes or even 5 push ups a day) Your focus should be on being consistent. Developing new habits is a long game.
My Habit Stacking Routine
As I mentioned before I incorporated habit stacking into my routine and I absolutely love it. The idea of attaching something new to something I’m already doing make it so much easier.
Here’s a quick list of my current stacked habits:
- After I drink my morning protein shake, I wash the dishes
- After I get into bed, I take my vitamins.
- After I eat lunch, I read a chapter of a book.
- After I take a shower, I stretch for 5 minutes.
What are some new habits you’d like to develop?