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Mental Strength

Master Habit Stacking With 5 Simple Steps

Master Habit Stacking With 5 Simple Steps
Erin McElvogue
Writer and expert5 months ago
View Erin McElvogue's profile

When it comes to implementing better habits into your routine, action often fails to match intention. You start out well enough — staying off your phone before bed, doing daily exercise — but before long, you’ve been busy, had other plans, forgotten for a few days, and you’re back to your old ways. So, if you want to make it stick, you should try habit stacking.

What is Habit Stacking?

Rooted in behavioural psychology, habit stacking is a simple, easy way to integrate a new habit into your existing routine by “stacking” it onto a pre-existing habit, giving you the best chance making sure the habit sticks for good.

Imagine this scenario… you want to drink more water but you don’t feel thirsty so keep forgetting throughout the day.

To help make it stick, build it into your routine by doing it alongside something you already do. So, while you’re waiting for your morning coffee to brew, drink a glass of water. You may have to consciously remind yourself the first few times, but soon enough it’ll become second nature.

How Useful is Habit Stacking?

Habit stacking is a really useful technique because instead of creating a new routine from scratch, you add to already established behaviours, making it easier to integrate positive changes into your daily life. It’s very much the case of working smarter, not harder.

How to Master Habit Stacking

Start small

Begin your habit stacking journey with small steps rather than a huge leap, gradually introducing new behaviours rather than many at once.

Identify easy prompts

Look at your existing routine and determine which habits are best suited to serve as cues for new habits. The more similar the two habits are, the better suited they are for each other.

Find some habits inspo here:

Be specific

Precise goals are better than vague intentions. So, instead of generally aiming to exercise more, go for a 20-minute walk after lunch.

Track your habits

Keep a record of all the habits you integrate into your routine to monitor your progress and help keep you accountable.

Stay consistent

To make the habit stick, you must follow the same routine. Day in, day out, keep up the habit, and that should mean it lasts.

Take home message

Habit stacking is a proven method for improving your daily routine. By linking new habits to things you already do, you simplify the process and give yourself the best chance of lasting success.

Remember, developing new habits can take time. So be consistent, stay committed, and you’ll get there eventually.



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Erin McElvogue
Writer and expert
View Erin McElvogue's profile
Erin is a Mindset & Wellness Consultant & Functional Fitness Coach born & based in Northern Ireland. She works within the corporate, education & fitness sectors delivering 1-1 coaching & group wellbeing sessions. Her passion lies in making wellbeing more accessible & understood by everyone. Highlighting the connection between mental health & physical wellbeing is at the core of her work, allowing people to find, feel & fuel their best selves. Erin can be found spending most of her free time doing some sort of high intensity training - A British indoor mixed relay gold medalist & record holder for 100k Tandem indoor row - She likes to push herself. Educating others through her writing has been at the centre of her business for many years & her love for this just continues to grow.