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Habit Stacking

How many times have you made a new year’s resolution, or used any other festive occasion as a launch pad to implement a new type of diet, exercise, or other healthy routine into your daily life? 


The next day you woke up excited and determined and even exceeded the goal you set out for yourself. The following day, the excitement was still there but a little less than the day before. The day after that, even less than the previous day, and within a couple of weeks the resolution that was supposed to change your life dissolved and turned into complacency. 


Sounds familiar? We’re all guilty of it!


The interesting thing is that we all know someone who made a resolution and actually stuck with it. So how did they do it? What’s their secret? 


The answer is: Habit Stacking. 


Habit stacking is based on the principals of classical conditioning. Simply put, by connecting a new behaviour or activity to an existing habit that we perform; we are much more likely to stick with it and over time form a new habit.


We can generally add up to three new behaviours in a chain to an existing habit. 


This well-known psychological practice, which is backed by research, involves planning when and where you'll perform a task.  This is fundamental to habit stacking. 


 Habit stacking can be an effective way to establish healthy habits that can improve your physical and mental health.


Here are 3 examples of habit stacking you may want to implement:

1.    After you wake up, you might stack a habit of drinking 2 cups of lemon water to cleanse your body and do 10 push ups before brushing your teeth.


2.    After you finish eating lunch or dinner you might stack a habit of going for a walk right after while listening to an educational podcast.


3.    At night after you brush your teeth, you might stack a habit of doing a deep belly breathing exercise, followed by reading a book, and then going to sleep.


This can be an effective way to implement healthy physical and mental daily routines to reduce weight, stress, and anxiety. In time, these routines will become habitual and automatic and enable you to stack even more healthy routines to those.

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