Habit Stacking: Building Routines that Stick

Habit Stacking: Building Routines that Stick
Habit Stacking: Building Routines that Stick

Let’s face it, sticking to new habits can be a total struggle. We all know the drill: you start strong, full of  #NewYearNewMe vibes, but then life throws a curveball (or ten), and your good intentions end up buried under a mountain of laundry and unanswered emails. But fear not, warriors of self-improvement! There’s a powerful technique called habit stacking that can help you build routines that actually stick. 

What is Habit Stacking? Building on the Power of Existing Habits

Think of habit stacking like LEGO® bricks for your daily routine. You take an existing habit you already do consistently (like making your morning coffee) and “stack” a new habit you want to develop on top of it (like meditating for 5 minutes). This way, the familiar cue of your existing habit triggers you to do the new one, making it easier to form a habit stack.

Here’s the science behind it: According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology [European Journal of Social Psychology, 2009], repeated behaviors create neural pathways in the brain. Habit stacking leverages these existing pathways, making it easier to integrating new behaviors and create effective routines

Habit Stacking Benefits: A Table of Time-Saving Goodness

Here’s a quick breakdown of how habit stacking can streamline your life and help you achieve your goals:

BenefitHow it Helps
Increased Success RateMakes forming new habits easier by leveraging existing routines
Reduced Decision FatigueAutopilots your routine, freeing up mental space for other things
Improved Time ManagementIntegrates new habits into existing time slots for maximum efficiency
Boosted MotivationSeeing progress with small wins keeps you motivated
Habit Stacking Examples: Putting Theory into Practice

Ready to put habit stacking to the test? Here are some inspiring examples to get you started:

Morning Stack: After making your coffee (existing habit), spend 5 minutes meditating (new habit). 

Workout Stack: Right after finishing work (existing habit), change into your gym clothes and do a quick 20-minute workout (new habit). 

Reading Stack: Before bed (existing habit), read 10 pages of a book (new habit) instead of scrolling through social media.

The Art of Stacking: Essential Tips for Habit Stacking Success

Here are some key pointers to ensure your habit-stacking journey is a smooth ride:

Start Small: Don’t try to stack too many new habits at once. Begin with one small, achievable habit stacked on an existing routine.

Choose Wisely: Pick an existing habit that happens consistently in your day and pair it with a new habit that complements it (e.g., don’t stack meditating after a three-cup coffee binge). 

Keep it Simple: Start with short, manageable new habits. You can gradually increase the duration or difficulty as you build confidence.

Reward Yourself: Positive reinforcement is key! Celebrate your progress with small rewards to keep yourself motivated.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: Find a stacking order that works best for you. Play around with different combinations until you discover what feels natural.

Habit Stacking Beyond the Basics: Unlocking Your Full Potential

Habit stacking isn’t just for building new habits; it can also be used to break bad ones. Stack a positive habit on top of a negative one to gradually replace the unwanted behavior. For example, after finishing your evening meal (existing habit), spend 10 minutes journaling (new habit) instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media.

The Takeaway: Habit Stacking – Your Key to Building Routines That Last

Habit stacking is a powerful tool that can help you transform your life, one small step at a time. By leveraging the power of your existing routines, you can build habits that actually stick and unlock your full potential. So, ditch the all-or-nothing approach and embrace the power of habit stacking. Now get out there and start stacking your way to success! 

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *