Habit Stacking

person walking dog

Ahh! The distant memory of the New Year’s resolution you didn’t stick with, and the goal you failed to achieve. What a loser! 

My business coach at this point would say ‘don’t be a twonk!’, you are no failure!! And I am inclined to agree!

When we start something new, we often find it hard to keep up what we had every intention of sticking to, but this is often due to our lack of strategy rather than lack of motivation. 

If you want to be more successful in achieving your goals there are some good tips in my blog ‘Habit Formation and How to Sustain it’, although if I were to write it again I would probably give it a different title, something like ‘Tips of how to smash goal setting!’ As a life coach I am often looking for ways to improve the information I am sharing and making sure I am moving forward in my thinking, it would be remiss of me not to since it is what I encourage my clients to do. In that particular blog I suggest creating a habit loop will help to sustain motivation, and I still believe this to be a great tool but there is something else which will help, habit stacking.

Habit stacking is all about using established habits as a foundation for new habits. It’s like putting down foundations when you are building a new house, the original habit helps to stabilise the new habit so it becomes easier to sustain.

There are certain things you do every day, at pretty much the same time of day that you can use as your stabiliser habit, for example, cleaning your teeth, taking a shower, walking the dog, going to work, going to bed, eating dinner (lunch or breakfast), having a coffee break, get up in the morning, etc. You know your daily routine better than anyone so I am sure you can pinpoint a few things you do every day without fail; we’ll call them your daily habits. 

Now, think about the new habit you want to establish (doing a 7 minute workout, yoga, going for a run, meditation, etc.). There is obviously going to be a time element to whatever your new habit is so you will need to figure that in too. 

So let’s say the new habit you want to establish is a 7 minute workout every day, a very achievable goal! If you pair that with taking a shower, one of your well established daily habits, you are effectively stacking one habit on top of the other. For Example: “Every day I am going to do a 7 minute workout before I take a shower.” 

If you already walk your dog every day and you want to start a new habit of running you can build the running into the dog walk. 

If you want to start meditating daily you can set a timer to make the first 10 minutes of your lunch break time for meditation, or if that is not convenient take time after you have cleaned your teeth to meditate for 10 minutes in the morning, or in the evening…. Or both! Remind yourself, “everyday as my lunch break begins I am going to meditate for 10 minutes” or “everyday I am going to meditate for 10 minutes after I have brushed my teeth.” 

There are endless possibilities here depending on your daily habits. Just factor in a little extra time and a bit of effort in the beginning and you will be creating new habits before you know it!

If you feel like you might need external accountability and motivation then why not get in touch: book a FREE discovery call here 

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