(IntegrityPress.org) – In 2018, James Clear released the first edition of “Atomic Habits,” a groundbreaking, bestselling self-help book instructing readers on how to make the most of their daily practices rather than allowing them to affect their lives negatively. One of the book’s achievements was the popularization of the term “habit stacking,” a tool Clear recommends for improving your relationship with a daily routine.
So, what is habit stacking?
Use Habit Stacking To Change Your Life for the Better
As its name suggests, habit stacking is the practice of grouping daily tasks together. This strategy allows for the easier adoption of new positive practices with greater ease. You might, for example, choose to do a new job just after or before you start an activity you’re used to doing at the same time every day.
Say, for example, you want to start practicing mindfulness meditation but keep forgetting or putting it off. Instead of deciding simply to meditate at some point throughout the day, you could create a habit stack by doing it directly after you brush your teeth in the morning. This series of events will anchor the new task to another job you already do every day without fail, making it more difficult to overlook. It will also reduce the uncertainty around when and where you will meditate, making you less likely to forget about or skip it.
How Habit Stacking Can Help You Manage Your Finances
If you’re struggling to stay on top of your financial life, habit stacking might make a difference. Tracking your inflows and outflows is a chore for some, but you need to do it if you really want to stay on top of monetary matters. The practice might help take the pain out of it.
Set a monthly date when you’re going to update your spreadsheets. Then, promise yourself you’ll listen to a great album or podcast and have a glass or two of wine while doing it. You can also motivate yourself by saying you’ll do a fun activity afterward, such as a meal with your partner or a movie.
Negative Habit Stacks
Just as you can consciously improve your life by stacking good habits, you can quickly go off track by accidentally stacking negative ones. Say, for example, you regularly go to bed too late, resulting in getting out of bed late the following morning. Because you’re tired and in a rush, you skip breakfast and stop off for takeaway coffee and pastries on the way to work. Just by going to bed later than you should, you’re setting a series of practices in motion that negatively affect your health and finances.
So, focus on building positive habit stacks and picking apart negative ones. You’ll see positive changes in your life in no time!
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