Let’s be real. It’s easy to come up with the goals we want to achieve to become the best version of ourselves. The hard part and I mean incredibly hard part, is mastering the habits required to attain those goals.
So, if you could learn a simple strategy that would stack the odds in your favor, wouldn’t you want to learn about it?
I got one for you! It’s called “Habit Stacking” and it’s the last installment in my series on James Clear’s must-read book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.
What is Habit Stacking?
Habit stacking is a simple strategy that packs a powerful punch. It’s a unique form of intention implementation we covered in my first post. However, instead of setting a time and place for the new habit you want to master, you pair the new habit with a well-established habit.
Here is the formula:
“After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”
Habit Stacking increases the likelihood that you will stick with a habit by combining your desired behavior with something you already repeatedly do.
Habit Stacking In Action
Here are a few examples of habit stacking that James Clear provides in the book:
- Meditation. After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.
- Exercise. After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
- Gratitude. After I sit down to dinner, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened today.
Here are a few ways I’ve been using habit stacking:
- Being Intentional: While I make my bed in the morning, I set my intention for the day.
- Self Care: When I brush my teeth at night, I take my CBD oil. (I put the bottle on top of my toothbrush, so I can’t miss it).
- Professional Development: While I put my make-up on in the morning, I listen to my business podcast playlist.
These examples are individual habits, but the same concept of habit stacking could apply to teams at work. Habit stacking can also be a useful tool to share with your kids.
For even more ways to use habit stacking, check out the WSJ Bestseller, Habit Stacking.”
Idea into Action
Think about your most important goal. Yes, that huge one!
- What is a small habit you could master that would move you closer to this goal? Is this a daily or weekly habit? Is it best performed in the morning, at lunch, or evening?
- Based upon your answers to these questions, think of a well-established habit you already have that would pair nicely with this new habit you want to create.
- Stack that new habit on top of the existing one!
We know that habits are an essential ingredient in achieving our goals. There’s no shortcut to creating a good habit. To make a habit stick, you must repeatedly do it until it becomes exactly that – a habit. Habit stacking is a powerful strategy you can add to your toolbox to help you create those habits that will help you achieve your dreams.
Please share your thoughts with me on this, and if you’ve found this information helpful, you can help me get the word out by using the links provided and sharing it with a colleague. Thanks!