What is Habit Stacking?

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Life can be difficult at times. We all get into phases where there seems there is so much to do and no time to do it. Yet it’s often the little things that need to be done that are the ones we get stressed about.

Small yet essential acts that we need to get out of the way can cause mental barriers. It’s all about our conscious mind dictating how we run our day. The simple fact is that most of us have our priorities wrong.

What if we could group together those little things, the ones that hang around and take up space on our mental to-do list? That’s what ‘Habit Stacking’ is all about. In this article, we’re going to talk about habit stacking, about what it is, and why it can change your life, and we’ll introduce you to the ‘Five Cores’ that should help you understand further.

While we have only a short article to get our point across, you should check out this website – Moore Momentum – which we believe explains the concept in far more detail. We’ll begin by explaining what habit stacking is and its origins.

Habit Stacking Explained

The term ‘habit stacking’ was coined in 2014 by author and journalist S.J Scott. He wrote a book titled ‘Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes that Take 5 Minutes or Less’, which became a best seller.

The idea behind habit stacking is to link together a series of small things that need to be done. At the center of them is one thing we already do as a habit. For example, you get up in the morning, and the first thing you do is brush your teeth.

If you then perform a series of other necessary actions having brushed your teeth, you are stacking habits together. The act of brushing your teeth reminds you to follow with the other actions.

But habit stacking goes further than that and can include any one habitual act that you use to trigger others. What’s the benefit here? Let’s look more closely at the concept and consider an example.

The Benefits of Habit Stacking

Many people become quite stressed about the small things in life, things that are, in fact, simple to carry out but weigh us down as they become a chore. If that’s you, you’re not unusual. You are simply like just about everyone else.

The idea behind habit stacking is to group all of those little problems together and get rid of them in one go. Research has shown that we can develop a habit in as little as three weeks. In other words, when you put together your habit stacking routine, it will become automatic within a month. You won’t think about doing it, you will just do it.

One benefit of this is that you rid your life of unnecessary procrastination. The thought ‘I have to do XYZ’ is no longer processed. You simply do it. Habit stacking is not just about when you arise in the morning but could be about what you do at work, routines in the home, in the car, or when out shopping. It’s about streamlining your daily routine and packaging it better.

Let’s imagine an example

Say you want to develop a wake-up habit stacking routine. Let’s talk about someone who gets up, goes to the bathroom, and brushes their teeth first thing in the morning. They could develop a habit stacking routine as follows:

  • Wake up
  • Go to the bathroom and brush your teeth
  • Get in the shower
  • Take vitamins and medication
  • Get dressed
  • Make breakfast
  • Fill and set the dishwasher
  • Put laundry in the machine
  • Go to work

In time, the little things there that could easily be forgotten – taking medication and sorting the laundry – will become part of an automatic routine. What about a habit stacking routine when you arrive at work? It could go as follows:

  • Catch up with colleagues for 5 minutes
  • Switch on the computer and log in
  • Check emails and prioritize replies
  • Delete spam
  • Check internal male
  • Plan day in diary.

Again, it’s the little things that you group together and do as a routine. You are probably already habit stacking in certain actions of your life – for example, when you get in the car, put the seatbelt on, start the engine, release the handbrake, etc. – and don’t realize it.

Next, we want to have a brief look at the ‘five cores’ that make up your life routine.

The Five Cores

Like many people, your mind has, in some ways, been programmed to work against you. This is a product of the world around us and how we perceive it. We have a negative attitude to life – although you may not realize it – and the site we mentioned, Moore Momentum, features an interesting section of the ‘five cores’ that we need to think about to change our lives for the better. You’ll find detail at the site, so we’ll summarize them here:

Mindset is the first core. We prioritize the wrong things in life naturally. Revamping your mindset to provide a positive approach is what this core is about.

Career and Finance is core 2, and we approach this wrong in general. We have a tendency to live to work, with the benefits to come when we have earned enough to afford them. We strongly advise you to read this section on the website.

Relationships naturally form a core of life but are yours healthy, and if not, why not?

The final two cores are your Physical and Emotional Health, each of which goes hand in hand with the other. By understanding how to get each core right, you will change your life.

How to Begin

We are naturally averse to change but working towards habit stacking routines is worth the added effort, and you will see and feel changes. Check out the website we mention in more detail and start learning how to improve your life in simple steps.

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