Habit stacking is an approach that leverages existing habits to integrate new behaviors into one’s daily routine. By attaching a new action to an already-established habit, it becomes easier to remember and implement the new habit. This strategy minimizes friction and increases the likelihood of making the new habit stick.
- Ease of Integration: Choose new habits that naturally fit into existing routines.
- Incremental Progress: Introduce new habits one at a time to avoid overwhelming the system.
- Context-Specific: The new habit should be relevant to the existing habit to maximize its chance of becoming a permanent change.
Example Opportunities for Habit Stacking:
- Physical Exercise: Perform quick stretches or push-ups while waiting for the kettle to boil. This turns idle time into productive time.
- Mobility and Health: Opt to walk during conference calls or meetings when video presence or screensharing is not required. This adds physical activity to your day without requiring additional time.
Why Habit Stacking Works:
Habit stacking functions on the principle of associative memory; our brains are wired to create connections between related tasks. By piggybacking on an existing habit, the new behavior becomes part of a chain of activities, increasing its stickiness.
How to Implement:
- Identify an existing habit you perform consistently.
- Select a new habit you want to implement.
- Attach the new habit to the existing one with a contextual link, such as time or location.
- Experiment and adjust. If the new habit doesn’t stick, analyze why and iterate until it does.
Habit stacking is a versatile strategy that can be adapted to various domains in life, from personal development to professional growth. Keep an open mind and continuously scout for opportunities to add value to your existing routines.
- Fogg, BJ. (2012). Forget big change, start with a tiny habit: BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont Duration: 17:23
- Scott, S. J. (2014). Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less
- Clear, James. (2018). Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- Fogg, BJ. (2019). Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything