If your previous attempts to build a new habit have failed miserably, you’re not alone. Most of us are on the wrong track trying to develop new habits. We rely so much on our will or impulse to somehow miraculously push us toward habit building. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
The good thing is that you can switch up the process of forming your new habits with a hands-on approach. Now you can build new habits with the perfect, easy and stress-free method called habit stacking. Let’s dive deeper into what habit stacking means and how you can use it to transform your life.
What is stacking habits?
The term habit-accumulating was first used by author S.J. Scott in 2014 and popularized by atomic-habit author James Clear. The habit-stacking technique means associating your new habit with something you already do regularly. It is the process of harnessing the power of small, regular habits to develop larger habits.
By creating a set of small behaviors, you can create mental shortcuts to a new set of actions that can lead to a healthier and more successful behavior pattern.
How does habit stacking work?
Habit building works simply by associating or stacking a new habit with an already existing habit.
For example, you can start the new habit of meditating daily by stacking it with the habit of making breakfast every day. Or you can start making a list of the things you’re grateful for by mentally remembering them during the time you brush your teeth.
When you associate a new habit with an existing one, you can easily incorporate it into your routine and live it out in practice. For example, if you want to run a marathon, putting your running shoes on and off can be a small habit. Now you can add two minutes of running into the routine and eventually build it up from there.
How do you start stacking habits?
The first thing you need at the beginning of the process is a clear idea of what habit you want to build and why. For example, if you want to start a daily exercise habit, you need to be clear about the reason, such as losing weight, having a healthy lifestyle, etc.
It is important to have a clear picture of the habit you want to develop and the benefits associated with it before you begin the process.
In the next step, you need to know when you want to perform the habit and group it with a habit already in place at that time. And you need to be very specific about that.
- “I’ll make my bed after I brush my teeth.”
- “On my way to the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’ll go to the gym.”
- “I will read 20 pages of a book after I finish my evening tea.”
Do you see how the process is done? You stack the process on top of an already existing habit, and you’ll know exactly what to do.
Read more: Good mental health habits
The benefits of habit stacking
Stacking habits can make your regular life more productive by making small additions and amplifying your existing routine. Instead of starting the long and tiring process of building a habit from scratch, you can make positive additions to your existing habits and bring about immediate and effective changes.
The beauty of habit-building is the fact that you can tap into habits that are already ingrained in your life, so much so that you don’t recognize them as habits now. So when you refer to these habits as newer, it’s easier for your brain to incorporate them into your life.
Habit building is a habit-forming technique that can help you build new habits by harnessing the power of existing ones. We hope that with this idea, you will be able to create a healthy and productive routine in your life.
Atomic Habits James Clear, who popularized the term “habit stacking,” is packed with more groundbreaking techniques that can change your life. to read about it, click here.
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