The Power of Habit Stacking

By Kristin Kullberg posted June 16, 2017

Imagine how much happier you would be if you never had to “diet” again. If you never had to count calories, feel guilty, workout to “work off that brownie you just ate”, or restrict yourself because you’re going to the beach in a week, what would that feel like?
You know when you’re going on vacation in a week, but you procrastinated on your diet, so now you’re feeling self-conscious about how you’ll look in a bikini? What if you never had to feel that way again?  What if you never had to stress about going out to eat?

All of this is possible, and it's actually quite simple.

Achieve your goals, improve your life, and overcome the diet battle, one small step at a time, with a method called habit stacking.

It’s as simple as 1-2-3.     

1. Set a small, attainable goal, that you are 90% confident you can do every day. For example, swap out one soda for a glass of water or do 5 minutes of stretching after a workout.    

2. Do this every day

3. Once you have mastered that goal for at least 2 weeks, continue that habit, and add another small goal. 

Over time, these small daily actions become habits that create a chain reaction of positive benefits. Many people, when they decide to go on a diet, go all-in and try to make several changes all at once. Suddenly their diet does a 180, they start to count calories, they wake up early to go to the gym, etc. and it becomes too much. As humans, we simply cannot master several tasks at once which is why 95% of diets fail. 

Habit stacking works because it eliminates the stress of trying to change everything at once.

Is this method going to get you results as quickly as that “30 Day Shred” program you saw on the internet that has you eating 1200 calories and working out twice per day? Absolutely not. But will this method be easy and be a seamless adjustment into your current lifestyle? It absolutely will. That 30-Day Shred might get you results in 30 days, but it will likely be followed by a 30-day binge because you’re so worn out and hungry from depriving yourself.

The habit stacking method is guarenteed to get you results that are attainable for life, but do you know why? Because it teaches you how to get the results you want, it doesn’t just tell you. Think about the old adage “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a week. If you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for life”

This method makes it so easy to get yourself back on track at any point in your life. There will be no more “falling off the wagon”; with habit stacking you cannot fall off the wagon, firstly because you’re not on the wagon, you’re walking. You're taking steps next to the wagon at your own pace. Secondly, because this isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. There are never only two options, “on” or “off”, because you always have the tools and the skills necessary to pick up where you left off. 

This post was inspired by the book “Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness” by S.J. Scott. No, this post is not an endorsement, I truly just love the principle and I highly recommend this book to anyone feeling overwhelmed with their diet or even just with life.