Starting the year with positive spirits and more peace of mind often comes with the wish to build and strengthen healthy daily routines.

When introducing a new habit, it's much more likely that it "sticks" when you connect it to a habit that works well for you already. This is where the method of Habit Stacking can provide an easy and effective guideline.

This method is straight-forward: Once you have decided on the new habit that you would like to have as part of your day, you will want to identify an already existing habit on which you can "stack" the new one.


The Habit Stacking formula is: AFTER ... (existing habit), I WILL ... (new habit).

First example: Let's say, you want to start making your bed every day. What is an existing activity that would be easy for you to combine with making your bed? If you already have the habit of letting fresh air into your bedroom every morning, you could decide to always make your bed right after you have closed the window.

The "formula" for stacking your new habit would look like this: AFTER closing the windows, I WILL make my bed.

Second example: You want to drink more water. Now, think of an existing habit that makes accessing water easy for you. You could stack it with making coffee or using the bathroom and always keep a glass there as an additional visual reminder.

The "formula" would be: AFTER using the bathroom, I WILL drink a glass of water.

As you can see, the location and timing play a big role in Habit Stacking. Combining the existing habit with the new habit in this way helps you to remember having wanted to do it so you can begin actually doing it. It also helps in maintaining and developing the desire to continue this new behavior.

You will save lots of energy associating new tasks with old ones in this way. Making that decision every single day over and over again, "I want do this, when should I do this?", is exhausting. With this method you avoid such decision fatigue, and when you have stacked this habit often enough to the existing one, your muscle memory will eventually take over.

Now, what does your habit stack look like? Schedule your new habit and stack it onto one of your routine tasks. It will turn into an actual habit very soon!