Work-Life Balance

Habit Stacking 101: Forming a better routine

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Habit stacking is the small secret behind taking control of your daily routine. By combining established habits with new ones that you want to form, you’ll create more intentional, purposeful daily routines that work better and smarter for you and your goals. Habit stacking is what personal development mastermind James Clear describes as a way to improve your life by 1% each day, a method of taking small steps to climb mountains.

To stack your habits, all it takes is a little time investing in a plan. A map of your established habits is the perfect place to start, so list them all to pick a habit that’s a prime building block to build new ones from.

Why habit stacking?

Some mornings, it’s difficult to muster much effort beyond brushing your teeth and brewing a cup of coffee. If you find yourself struggling to build off of that, habit stacking breaks down desirable new habits into actionable steps that require minimal effort.

Say your finance goals have recently changed and you want to get into the habit of closely monitoring your budget. Each morning when you muster the energy to brew that hot cup of coffee, take out your phone and open up your bank statements. A quick morning browse will give you an idea of where you stand on your budgeting goals, and tying it to your coffee will establish a time and place for you to accomplish this habit daily. Soon, it will become second nature.

Habit stacking is a habit in itself that leads to dedicated daily routines, custom-made for you and your schedule. Each time you form a solid new habit, it becomes a building block that new habits can be formed from. These habit chains are daily routines that can grow and grow until you have the desire to change them up. Keep stacking your habits and see how high you can climb with your goals.

Graphic created by: mint.Intuit.com

About the Author:
Mike Floeck is a writer for Mint specializing in career planning, budgeting and personal development.

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