Home Forums Why Change? What matters most to you? Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

This topic contains 21 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of ninakk ninakk 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #160098
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Over at “Be More with Less,” blogger Courtney Carver writes about a way to build habits that sounds very appealing and doable. She calls it habit stacking… that is, building a new habit by connecting it with another habit. Here’s her post, well worth the 5 minutes it takes to read:

    http://bemorewithless.com/2012/5-minute-habit-stacking-mini-mission/

    So… I’ve been mulling this over the past few days, to figure out how to make this habit stacking method work for me. There are so many good intentions on my to-do lists and my goals lists, but they languish there because I haven’t really figured out how to build them into habits without a lot of daunting effort.

    What appeals to me about Courtney’s method is its simplicity and ease… you literally EASE into the new habit very gradually by “stacking” it with another habit you’re already doing, and therefore the two stacked habits reinforce each other. That combined strength subsequently builds a strong base for stacking more habits. Moreover, she focuses on using this method primarily to build “good” habits, healthy habits for the things she really WANTS to do, such as yoga, reading, walking…

    I seem to remember that susanintexas uses this method, of one habit triggering another. Anybody else here who does this, or who would like to try Courtney’s method with me?

  • #221855
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Well, I have a list of chores to do every morning, and one chore leads into another :)

  • #221857
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Seems to me the key would be to pick just one habit to stack on, then give it a godo while before adding a second, otherwise it wouldn’t stick… but maybe that’s just me.

  • #221860
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    luxcat: That’s pretty much how Courtney does it, first linking only one habit with another…

    “Choose two. (don’t worry, you can add more later). I used to naturally take on more than I should and almost always burned out from any new habit, exercise plan or lifestyle change. Now that I do it more slowly and intentionally, I am much more successful.”

  • #221862
    Avatar of Swaps
    Swaps
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    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Ella: Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

  • #221879
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Aha! I’ve decided on a low-effort, high-reward habit stack to try tomorrow. :)
    Ever since I started a more intensive level of Italian classes, I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with my homework. However, I always love to get gelato in North Beach right after class. So tomorrow, instead of strolling homeward with my cone, I’ll stroll over to the North Beach library several blocks away, and by then I’ll be done with my gelato and ready to study while the day’s lesson is still fresh in my mind.

  • #221893
    Avatar of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    This is a really great idea (and it seems like it will work great for you, Ella, because I see some similarities with your 15 minutes a day prowess, so I can smell success in your future!).

    I’ve heard about habit stacking before and it sounds awesome…but here’s the thing…I don’t have many habits I do daily at a consistent time each day to “stack” another habit on to. Even something as simple as brushing my teeth – sometimes I do it right after dinner so I don’t forget, sometimes before bed, and sometimes I fall asleep on the sofa without brushing at all. (Eeeek!)

    Probably the closest I get to a habit is that I usually eat dinner around the same time, give or take an hour or so.

    I think I need to start in “remedial habits 101″ or “habit summer school” – I need to come up with a single, unmovable, habit and stick with it in order to “ground” my day somewhere. All the advice I read about forming new habits starts with, “think of something you do at a consistent time each day” as the very first step – and that’s where my mind short-circuits!

  • #221900
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    I’ve been using a variation on this to increase my activity. The initial “habit” was to do five minutes of exercise (doesn’t matter what kind) right after I get home from work. Once I get started it’s easy to add on more time.

    Maybe that isn’t quite the same thing because it’s more a matter of expanding on something I’m already doing? But it seems similar to many of our clutter-busting tasks. Having the habit of doing SOMETHING creates momentum for doing more.

  • #221906
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    chacha1: Sounds like you’ve got it right… arrive home + exercise. Nice! :)

    SK: Maybe it doesn’t have to be something at a specific time of day. Maybe it could simply be something that you do at some point (existing activity), so then you could link something else (new habit) with it, regardless of when the first thing happens.

    For example, my gelato + study stack will only happen twice a week when I have class Mon & Wed. Speaking of which, I’ve got to run to class right now…!

  • #221911
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
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    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    I’ve been trying to empty the dish cupboard of the previous days’s dishes while the morning coffee is brewing. And while something is cooking on the stove, I’ve tried to wash up some dirty dishes.

    As some of you might remember, the Mountain is always close to being created around here, since She Who Should Be A Dishwasher often refuses to do her job properly. I should fire her already, she’s honestly quite useless and I’m sick of her attitude problems. Bitch! *whispers and runs to hiding place*

  • #221913
    Avatar of Jackie05
    Jackie05
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    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Great Advice. I have heard of habit stacking before but never tried it.

  • #221923
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    my sister uses the time in the shower when conditioner is on her hair to floss her teeth in the morning. I did that for quite a while too but lost the habit. Now I do it usually at night, but it was more fun in the shower for some reason. Maybe because half the time it’s the only time I can be warm inside in the winter.

  • #221937
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
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    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    ninakk– you’re too funny! I will wash some dishes this evening and think of you.

  • #221943
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Well, pin a rose on me. I got in a full hour of studying Italian at the library (post-class and post-gelato), including all my homework for next week, and I did it while those pesky verb conjugations were still fresh in my mind. I like this stacking thing. :)

    Now to figure out a stack tactic for the sleep problem…

  • #221995
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    I’m going to try another habit stack starting now, as soon as I finish this post. In addition to the daily 15 minutes I’m already doing in my Italian workbook, I’m going to add reviewing 4 pages in the text. Although somewhat different, each habit should reinforce the other, I hope.

    The thing with Italian is, initially it seems like such an easy language, so you get sucked in by all the other warm wonderfulness of Italy – the people, food, art, film, design, the cities and villages and landscape – then, when it’s too way late, you find out that the language is extremely tricky and complicated and full of innuendo landmines. I love it, though.

  • #221998
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    Ella, I just read “La Bella Lingua” and it’s *extremely* seductive!

  • #222001
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    my favourite time for flossing teeth is while watching tv.
    i can take my time. the floss lives right there.

  • #222009
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    bandicoot: That wouldn’t work for me. It would mean I’d have to get back into the habit of watching TV, which I renounced years ago.

  • #222012
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    i should clarify: i don’t watch tv either. but i do watch dvds. tv advertising drives me off my rocker.

  • #222016
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    bandicoot: Whew, that’s better!

    I have only bad habits stacked with watching DVDs, such as eating potato chips and staying up way too late watching all the special extra features on the disc and then oversleeping the next day.

  • #222023
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    o my habit is to make popcorn and eat it and THEN floss.

  • #222963
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Habits… stacking, linking, triggering…

    I mentioned making tea whilst cooking the other day; boil more water than needed for cooking purposes and brew tea in the same breath. I’ve just had a cup again.

    Since it’s laundry day today, another stack I just came to think of, is not making the bed but stripping bedlinen off of it, chucking into washing machine with some towels, making the bed with fresh sheets and after a while hanging up cleaned ones to dry. The machine is filled from the bedlinen, a facial towel and a large towel as well as the occasional white undies, so there’s no point in leaving the washing (60°C white) for later.

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