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Happy Friday friends,

Today I am going to talk about habit stacking – a powerful strategy for building new habits by taking advantage of old ones.

Developing new habits can be challenging, but habit stacking makes it easier by leveraging existing habits to create a new routine. Essentially, it involves adding a new habit to your existing routine by “stacking” it on top of a habit you already do consistently.

On this Friday, I hope you to can learn a bit more as I share through the explorations of the benefits of habit stacking and provide guide for how to use it to build new habits as it has helped me on many occasions.

Why Habit Stacking is Effective

Habit stacking is an effective strategy for building new habits for several reasons:

  1. It leverages the power of existing habits

One of the biggest advantages of habit stacking is that it takes advantage of existing habits. We all have habits that we do without even thinking about them – like brushing our teeth or making our bed in the morning. By building a new habit on top of an existing habit, you’re creating a new routine that feels natural and easy to follow.

  1. It makes the new habit more automatic

When you’re trying to build a new habit, one of the biggest challenges is making it automatic. You need to do the habit consistently enough that it becomes part of your routine. By stacking the new habit on top of an existing one, you’re making it more automatic. Your brain associates the two habits together, so it becomes easier to remember to do the new habit.

  1. It reduces decision fatigue

When you’re trying to build a new habit, you have to make a conscious decision to do it every time. This can be mentally exhausting, especially if you’re trying to build multiple new habits at once. By stacking the new habit on top of an existing one, you’re reducing the number of decisions you have to make. This frees up mental energy for other tasks.

How to Use Habit Stacking to Build New Habits

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of habit stacking, let’s dive into how to use it to build new habits. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Identify an existing habit

The first step is to identify an existing habit that you do consistently. This could be anything from brushing your teeth to making your bed to drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Choose a habit that you do every day without fail.

Step 2: Choose a new habit to build

Next, choose a new habit that you want to build. This could be anything from exercising to meditating to reading for 30 minutes every day. Choose a habit that is important to you and that you want to make a part of your daily routine.

Step 3: Decide how to stack the new habit

The next step is to decide how you will stack the new habit on top of the existing habit. The key is to make the new habit easy to do and not require a lot of extra effort. For example, if you want to start meditating every day, you could stack it onto your existing habit of drinking coffee in the morning. After you finish your coffee, you could take five minutes to meditate.

Step 4: Start small

When you’re first starting out with habit stacking, it’s important to start small. Don’t try to stack too many habits at once, or you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Choose one or two habits to focus on and make them a part of your routine for at least a few weeks before adding more.

Step 5: Track your progress

Tracking your progress is an important part of building new habits. It helps you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come. You can use a habit tracker app or simply write down your progress in a journal. Celebrate your wins and use setbacks as learning experiences to improve your approach moving forward.

Step 6: Make adjustments as needed

As you begin to stack new habits on top of existing ones, you may find that some habits are more difficult to stick to than others. That’s okay! The key is to be flexible and make adjustments as needed. Maybe you need to adjust the timing of your new habit or find a different way to stack it onto an existing one. Don’t give up on the habit altogether, just make some changes and keep going.

Step 7: Keep building on your habit stack

Once you’ve successfully stacked one or two habits onto an existing one, it’s time to start building on your habit stack. Look for other existing habits that you can stack new habits onto, and keep adding to your routine over time. The more habits you stack, the easier it becomes to build new ones.

Examples of Habit Stacking

To give you a better idea of how habit stacking works in practice, here are a few examples:

Example 1: Exercising

Let’s say you want to start exercising every day. You could stack this new habit onto an existing habit, like brushing your teeth in the morning. After you brush your teeth, do five minutes of stretching or jumping jacks. Over time, you can increase the amount of exercise you do until it becomes a regular part of your routine.

Example 2: Reading

If you want to read more but struggle to find the time, try stacking this habit onto an existing one. For example, if you drink coffee every morning, commit to reading for 10 minutes after you finish your coffee. As you get into the habit of reading, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend reading each day.

Example 3: Meditating

If you want to start meditating but struggle to make it a consistent habit, try stacking it onto an existing habit like taking a shower. After you finish your shower, spend five minutes meditating. As with the other examples, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating over time.

So I hope that helped you understand as Habit stacking is a simple but powerful strategy for building new habits. By leveraging existing habits and creating a new routine, you can make it easier to stick to your goals and make meaningful changes in your life.

We are always learning and with that we need to make sure to remember to start small, track your progress, and be flexible as you make adjustments to your habit stack over time.

Wishing you a great weekend!
Shane Wenzel

Shane Wenzel

Shane is the President & CEO of the Shane Homes Group of Companies and the namesake. Shane's responsibilities include strategic direction for the companies, policy advice for the building industry through BILD Calgary, and political involvement through the Alberta Enterprise Group on the economy, making him an industry leader in his field. Shane's sales and marketing background comes from growing up with two entrepreneurial parents, Cal and Edith, and participating in a business advisory group. On the personal side, Shane considers himself a bit of a "tech junky" and social media influencer on various platforms. He's also proudly apart of the LGBTQ community.