March 20, 2019- Ahhh, habits! When we think of the word habits it’s often with a negative connotation. Bad habits include not exercising, exercising too much, smoking, too much alcohol, not enough sleep, shopping, spending, and whatever you think bad habits should be defined as. We all have habits and most of the time we run on autopilot because of the habits that we’ve created. For example, when you walk into Starbucks, what do you order? Why? Because it’s a habit and it’s automatic.
However, habits are useful when we use them properly; new habits can be built into our daily routine or stacked on top of the habits that we already have (habit stacking)! Habit stacking should not be confused with multi-tasking which is completely inefficient. The new habit should include a time of five minutes or less to complete, should be simple, should improve your life, and should fit nicely into your daily routine. Let’s look at a couple of examples of how you can incorporate this simple method into your daily life (I’ll use some of the things that I do as an illustration):
- Upon waking, I brush my teeth with my opposite hand (creates new neuropathways and increases creativity) and silently repeat five positive affirmations until I’m done brushing.
- Every time I exercise, I listen to an audiobook. I’m working out for an hour, but I also am “reading” an hour in my field.
- Any time I’m driving somewhere, I listen to a Ted Talk. They’re short and packed full of information that is useful.
- Every time I sit down to write, I turn off my phone. This minimizes distraction and is a simple thing that is automatic.
- Any time I have to wait somewhere like my doctor’s office or if I arrive at an appointment early, I always bring along a notebook with paper and write down as many new ideas for books as I can before I get called in.
- After dinner, I always put on the kettle and while I wait for the water to boil I plan my tasks for the next day from the most important to the least.
All of these actions are non-invasive, they don’t take up any additional time, and you don’t have to overhaul your life to fit them in. So, make a list of the simple, good habits, that you want to create for yourself and see where you can stack them! I’d love to hear if this worked for you; send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and me about your experience. X LLB