Successful people are defined by their healthy habits. Most habits are not standalone. This is where learning about habit stacking can give you the most return for your effort. As someone who likes to optimize my life, I have used habit stacking to great success. In this guide, I will lay out the step-by-step approach I learned from research and personal experience to build an effective habit stack.
12 steps of habit stacking:
- Begin each daily routine with a five-minute practice
- Prioritize on small and doable actions
- Pick an ideal location and time
- Attach your stack to a trigger
- Create a logical checklist
- Be accountable
- Create and enjoy the small rewards
- Avoid breaking the consistent pattern
- Expect challenges
- Schedule the frequency of the stack
- Focus on one routine at a time
There are many details to know about habit stacking and its importance to reach your goals. This will be discussed more about below. Also, discover how habit stacking can make you more productive.
What is habit stacking?
Habit stacking might sound like a foreign concept, but it isn’t. You’ve probably been practicing it all along subconsciously.
Habit stacking is considered to be the systematic process of pairing an existing habit with a new one. When striving to learn new habits, you might want to harness your existing behavior to your advantage. This means identifying a pre-existing habit, one that you’ve been doing daily and adding a new one on top.
Habit stacking is vast and often exhibited through various daily actions. For instance, you can develop the habit of taking a cup of coffee after your morning workout. On the other hand, you can undress and take a thorough shower after taking off your work shoes.
Habit stacking has redefined the study and adoption of successful habits. The reason for habit stacking effectiveness is because it takes advantage of preexisting behavioral network in your brain. Your preexisting behavior and patterns in your brain has been wired and strengthened over many years making them easily accessible. Through these easily accessible behavior and patterns, your new habit can be built quicker and easier.
Steps to develop a habit stacking routine
An efficient habit stacking routine doesn’t happen overnight. You need to plan, commit and persist to turn your plan into a consistent habit.
1) Begin each daily routine with a five-minute practice
Use your daily routine to start your habit stacking. Set aside a five-minute practice session to develop your habit at the start of your daily routine. During this limited duration, focus on learning one or two habits.
Adopting this strategy set your mindset to learn & engage in new habits routinely. This helps to get you into effective habit formation on a consistent basis.
2) Prioritize on small and doable actions
An ideal practice session should be stress-free and demand little from your willpower and effort. This helps you to ease into your new habit and create a momentum to continue.
With time, these small and doable actions will evolve into a habit.
3) Pick an ideal location and time
You can associate your habit stack to a trigger. An effective trigger will be using a specific time of day and location. For instance, going for a workout session after work is often triggered by a gym environment or park coupled by a favorite evening time. Both factors, the gym and time, elicit a mental trigger to spring into action and execute the stack effortlessly.
4) Attach your stack to a trigger
Triggers play an essential role in activating the habit stack. These triggers are often categorized as either external or internal depending on their nature and subsequent impact. As suggested above, the location and time are common and effective external trigger. There are also other external and internal triggers that you can use.
Commonly, many people use push notifications and cell phone alarms as external triggers.
For internal triggers, these can be an emotion, thought or feeling that motivate you to begin a specific habit stack. You have probably experienced a common internal trigger such as an itch, whereby you automatically begin to scratch and alleviate the pain.
5) Create a logical checklist
Design your checklist to contain a sequence of actions of the habits. Your checklist can be used to organize the actions in a logical manner to optimize your habit formation.
Use your checklist to aid you in completing your habit stack correctly.
6) Be accountable
Being accountable to your stack habits is important for its successful implementation.
A personal commitment is not always enough to help you follow through your habit stack. Find an accountability partner to share you challenges, aspirations, breakthroughs, and pending plans. Your accountability partner not only keep you accountable, but can provide a jolt in motivation when needed.
7) Create and enjoy the small rewards
Rewarding yourself is a great motivator to complete your daily routines. You don’t necessarily have to use big rewards to reward yourself. You can focus on simple rewards, such as eating healthy snacks, watch your favorite films or TV shows or even meditate in a spiritual environment.
Always remember to avoid any reward that might derail the progress made by your habit.
Consistent repetition is essential during the first few weeks when building an effective habit stack. Regardless of the difficulty of the learning process, it is important to repeat a specific routine consistently.
Consistency cannot be compromised when building a habit stack. This assists in the building of muscle memory. Over time, it helps to ingrain your daily habit.
Engage in your habit stacking (Getting Edugaged)
- Decide on an area you want to improve on.
- Identify the necessary habits to develop.
- Group related habits into a habit stack.
- Set aside time to engage in the habit stack. Start off with a simple challenge of doing the habit stack each week, then each day.
- Repeat and make it into a routine.
(More Details Coming Soon…)