Imagine if we told you there was a way to hack your daily routine in order to build habits you never thought you’d be able to make stick.
Trying to practise meditation? Consider it done. Eat more vegetables? That too. As soon as you put habit stacking into play, it’s easy to build up your healthy habits without a second thought.
So, what exactly is habit stacking? Essentially, the habit-building hack takes an activity you do every day without conscious thought, such as brushing your teeth, a morning shower, making the bed, or an afternoon cup of tea, and then adding another habit to that behaviour.
“Studies show it takes around thirty days of consistency to create a habit (and up to ninety for it to become autonomous) and therefore choosing an already solidified habit to add to increases the likelihood of it sticking,” explains Tessa Hull, a success coach for high functioning procrastinators.
Here’s exactly how habit stacking can help fast track your personal and professional development, according to mindset experts and career coaches.
It helps you achieve more without extra effort
“I love habit stacking as a sneaky way to start building in new behaviours… it’s like hiding vegetables in your kids’ food so they’ll eat more greens,” explains Hull.
“Your established habit acts as a trigger or reminder for the new habit — so you’re less likely to forget to do it, and it’s not as noticeable or inconvenient for you.”
It can help build healthy routines
According to JoBeth Evans, college success coach and instructor at the University of Arkansas, the best way to start habit stacking is with a morning ritual.
“If there are things that you know you have to do to achieve certain goals, building them into your morning routine is going to ensure that they are completed before the rest of your daily responsibilities,” explains Evans.
For example, if you are wanting to lose weight and write a book, you would set aside 30 minutes in the morning to exercise followed by 30 minutes of writing.
“If you have a family, it is recommended that you do these things before everyone in the house is awake and needing your attention,” adds Evans.
It makes any new habit stick faster
“By attaching a desired habit to an existing habit, we’re essentially hacking our brain to work in our favor,” explains Mackenzie Holznecht, a health coach specialising in behaviour and consistency.
“The best part about habit stacks is up to 40 per cent of what we do daily is habits/routines, so we have many options to choose from when it comes to creating habit stacks.”
Whether it’s attempting to move your body more or learn a new language or write a book, habit stacks can be hacked into your life and you can begin practising a new habit today — without even thinking about it.
It will make you procrastinate less
When Willie Greer, founder of The Product Analyst, first began practising habit stacking, he became more disciplined and was procrastinating less than he did in the past.
“Adding daily habits into my old routine helped since it became a reward system for me to accomplish something before I can proceed with the next,” explains Greer.
“Now, accomplishing tasks became more automatic for me, and doing so is not as stressful anymore.”
This article was originally published on The Ladders.