The Power of Habit Stacking

Your Daily Habits

Every day we have certain things we always do. Whether we’re aware of it or not.

We brush our teeth.
Have coffee.
Commute to/from work (even if that’s only a walk to the next room currently)

Personally, my day starts with a big glass of water, a review of my whoop recovery score, and then my coffee.

Stacking Habits

Habit stacking is where you take something you WANT to make a habit and pair it with an existing habit. Currently, I’m working on setting a consistent morning routine. And my next step is to stack one of my non-negotiables on top of one of my existing habits. (Check out yesterday’s post to see what a non-negotiable is). A new non-negotiable for me is take a few moments to do some deep breathing and give my mind a chance to disconnect from the constant pull of my never-ending to-do list.

Instead of trying to create a whole new routine, I can simply stack this new goal onto an existing habit. So I might say, “everyone morning, after I have my coffee, I take 5 deep belly breaths to clear my mind and give myself a moment of stillness”. Now, I may end up doing more than 5 deep breaths, but for me, that was the highest number I felt comfortable committing to. What this means is if I only do 5 breaths, I have added a helpful habit and added another non-negotiable to my daily routine! If I end up doing more than 5 breaths, great! But if not, no worries.

Start Simple

It’s tempting to set lofty goals right away. When we first start something new motivation is high and we’re determined that nothing will stand in our way. However, this can lead to failure due to unrealistic goals. For instance, let’s say I started off saying I would spend 30 minutes meditating every morning. I likely wouldn’t end up doing it because that’s a big shift from not doing it at all. And soon I’d abandon that goal altogether because it seems too hard to manage.

The trick is to start with a goal so small you KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that you can do it. And because you’re stacking it on top of an existing routine, you don’t have to figure out when you’ll do it.

Make It Happen!

Your assignment today is to think of 3-5 things that you do EVERY day. Then, go back to your list of non-negotiables and see if you can stack one of them on top of your existing habits. Again, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Let’s say one of your non-negotiables is eating healthy. That can be a daunting task at first, but with habit stacking, we can start building good habits easily!

Most of us eat every day. So, your habit stack can be, “every time I eat I make sure I have a fruit or veggie”. Boom! You know you’ll be eating. You want to eat healthier. So you stack your new habit on top of an existing one!

Once you have that new habit mastered, you can stack more on top of it to work towards your bigger goal! Or, leave that one as is and stack a new habit elsewhere.

If you’d like some added accountability, send your new habit that you’ll be stacking to me! I’d love to hear what new goal you’re working towards. Seriously, email me now! brendan@bigshoulderscrossfit.com

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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