Connecting New Habits to Outdated Ones

Wish to construct a brand new behavior into your every day routine? Attempt “behavior stacking” your new behavior with a present one to make it simpler to recollect.

Constructing a brand new behavior into your every day routine isn’t straightforward, however the strategy of “behavior stacking” is usually a great assist.

The primary concept behind “behavior stacking” is to join your new behavior with an previous one, particularly one thing you already do on daily basis.

For instance, you already brush your tooth each morning (presumably), in order that’s an previous behavior you need to use as a place to begin to one thing new.

Maybe you need to train extra typically. One sensible purpose you’ll be able to set for your self is to do morning stretching, push-ups, or leaping jacks each time you end brushing your tooth.

Initially, it’ll take effort to remind your self to do the brand new behavior. You should use easy nudges (akin to a be aware in your rest room mirror or a textual content alert) reminding your self to train after you sweep your tooth.

Steadily, your thoughts will start to routinely affiliate the previous behavior with the brand new one.

You gained’t even want to consider it anymore, your thoughts will unconsciously say to itself, “Simply completed brushing my tooth, time to do some push-ups!”

That is how our every day routines work basically.

Every thing we do is interlinked with all the pieces else we do. We hardly ever make acutely aware selections, as a substitute we “undergo the motions” of what we’ve all the time completed and proceed the identical previous patterns.

If you make any change to your every day routine, it typically needs to be small and deliberate earlier than it turns into computerized, like all the pieces else.

Behavior Stacking: Connecting New Habits to Outdated Ones

Behavior stacking relies off of the idea of behavior loops.

Each behavior follows the identical fundamental construction of “cue → routine → reward.”

After we behavior stack a brand new behavior onto an previous one, we’re creating a brand new cue (or set off) to provoke the brand new routine or conduct.

The primary “cue” in behavior stacking is the instantly previous motion.

Behavior stacking interprets into the easy components, “After/Earlier than [CURRENT HABIT], I’ll [NEW HABIT].”

Any present behavior will be became a cue for a brand new one.

Widespread examples we are able to use embrace:

  • Waking up
  • Consuming espresso
  • Consuming breakfast
  • Brushing tooth
  • Beginning work
  • Consuming lunch
  • Ending work
  • Consuming dinner
  • Going to mattress

It is a fundamental record of actions most individuals already do every day, which makes them good choices to stack a brand new behavior onto.

Which present behavior you select to “behavior stack” will rely on what new behavior you need to construct – and what makes probably the most sense within the context of your every day routine.

I’ll create an instance for every present behavior listed above, simply to provide you an concept the way it works.

Behavior Stacking Examples

Take into account these all observe the components [CURRENT HABIT] → [NEW HABIT].

  • “After I get up, I’ll make my mattress.”
  • “After I drink my first cup of espresso, I’ll do morning stretching.”
  • “After I eat breakfast, I’ll examine my emails.”
  • “After I brush my tooth, I’ll recite optimistic affirmations.”
  • “Earlier than I begin work, I’ll hearken to motivating music.”
  • “After I eat lunch, I’ll go for a stroll outdoors.”
  • “After work ends, I’ll go to the health club for an hour.”
  • “Earlier than I eat dinner, I’ll replicate on one factor I’m grateful for.”
  • “After I eat dinner, I’ll spend time with household.”
  • “Earlier than I am going to mattress, I’ll learn a chapter in a ebook.”

Every certainly one of these is a sort of behavior stack.

At first, every new behavior will take effort earlier than you routinely join it together with your present behavior – then it’ll grow to be a pure sample you observe.

I’ve utilized behavior stacking many instances in my very own life. Earlier than my bathe each morning, I do stretching and leaping jacks. After I end my work day, I learn a chapter or two of a ebook. After I eat dinner, I wash the dishes and clear the kitchen counters.

These are fundamental habits, however they’re the “constructing blocks” to a greater every day routine.

Begin small. Do what works finest for you. The last word purpose is to make behavior change as straightforward and handy as potential.

For awhile, train had all the time been one thing I’d do in brief bursts however I may by no means keep it up for greater than 2-3 months at a time. Maybe I used to be utilizing up an excessive amount of willpower, making an attempt to vary an excessive amount of too quick, and rapidly getting drained and fatigued.

It wasn’t till I used behavior stacking that I began making long-term adjustments – even one thing “silly easy” like an “in entrance of the TV” exercise helped me make bodily exercise a extra secure a part of my life.

Now I can look again and proudly say that I’ve accomplished at the least some type of bodily train on daily basis for over 2 years now.

Ask your self:

  • What’s one space in my life I’d like to enhance?
  • What’s one small behavior change I could make in that space?
  • What’s a present behavior I can simply hyperlink with the brand new behavior?

Write down your solutions. Grasp it on the fridge. Make it a purpose this week to begin the brand new behavior.

Are you lastly able to make a change or not?

Keep up to date on new articles and sources in psychology and self enchancment from The Emotion Machine:

I am Christian Nnakuzierem Alozie (Kris Kuzie Alozie). A native of Eziama Nneato in Umunneochi LGA, Abia State, Nigeria. I am an inspirational writer and a motivational speaker. And above all, a lover of charity.

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