We all want to achieve small but important new habits that improve our day-to-day life. But, how to add small habits to our current lives? If you have tried to start taking multivitamins but forget after the third day, please continue reading!
Atomic Habits, by James Clear, is about habit stacking. It is a fantastic way to piggyback a new habit with another habit that you already have. Your old/established habit becomes a trigger to do the new one. So here is the trick, for example:
If you want to start a daily habit of taking multivitamins:
- After I brush my teeth before going to bed, I take multivitamins. (First the old habit, then the new one)
If you want to keep the inside of your car clean:
- After I drive myself back from work and before I get into my house, I quickly pick up the garbage around the car.
If you want to start exercising:
- After I put my son down for a nap every day, I then do 20 push-ups, 20 squats and 20 crunches.
- Once you have the new habit of doing some exercise right after you close your son’s bedroom door, this habit can be turned into a full workout.
If you want to learn a new language
- As soon as you finish dinner every evening, you automatically pick up your textbooks and start studying.
Do you get the idea? Old habits prepare us mentally for what is happening after. It alerts our body on what is coming next and we are more likely to do it because you are already on the go, accomplishing things
It is very important to keep visual aids of the new habit around the old/trigger habit. For example:
- Leave the multivitamins next to your toothbrush, not in the kitchen where it will require you to walk.
- Leave a small plastic bag for garbage tucked in somewhere in your car. A small/cordless vacuum can be kept in your car as well.
- Leave your language textbooks right next to the dining table.
If you want to learn more about habits, check out my post 3 Great Habits of Successful People or Atomic Habits.
Habits take some time to stick. Try it for at least 21 days, every day, no excuses. You can do it, I know you can!
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