4 Questions about Habit Stacking
As you can see from the previous example, it’s not hard to squeeze almost a dozen habits into a thirty-minute block of time. In fact, you can use this routine to benefit many areas of your life: health, finances, career, and spirituality, just to name a few. I truly feel if you’re looking for a simple way to add small actions into your day, then habit stacking can help you do it.
That said, I’ve received a few questions about this process over the past few years, so I want to briefly answer them before diving into the specific habits you can build.
Question #1: “Do you always do every item on this list?”
Sometimes, if I feel a specific habit isn’t important for that day (like managing a book marketing campaign), then I’ll skip it. Really, that’s the beauty of habit stacking. You can pick and choose the actions based on your current goals and schedule. The only important thing is to be consistent.
Question #2: “Aren’t some of these habits common sense?”
I’m probably not the first person who has told you to drink more water, so I won’t pretend it’s a revolutionary piece of advice. That said, while everyone knows drinking water is important, they’ll often fail to create a system in their lives to help them follow through on these important actions.
With habit stacking, you no longer wonder when (or how) you’ll drink more water, because it will become a scheduled action that doesn’t require a lot of effort or brainpower. You simply make it part of a routine (with other “common sense habits”) and schedule time when you can get them done!
Question #3: “Do you also complete important habits recommended by others, like reading, meditating, and exercising?”
Again, there are common sense habits that everyone knows are important, like reading, meditating, and exercising. However, there are two reasons why they are not included in my morning stack:
1. Each takes longer to complete than five minutes, so I like to schedule them for later in my day.
2. Each of those habit helps me relax, so I like to do them after completing hard tasks.
Remember: habit stacking is about making decisions that are right for your situation. You’re the ultimate decision maker of what goes into a routine and what doesn’t make the cut.
Question #4: “Isn’t this a robotic way to live your life?”
Well, actually, it might feel that way at first.
When you begin a new stack, you must rely on a checklist to remember each action because there is a finite amount of information that can be stored in your short-term memory. While you might feel silly moving from habit to habit using a checklist, you’ll eventually reach the point where each action becomes second nature. They will transition from “habit stacking routine” into a series of positive actions you complete each day, like flossing your teeth and eating healthy foods.