Creating Habits that Stick - Part 2

Creating Habits that Stick - Part 2

Hi again, this is another weekly blog from DULO! If you’ve read the last one, you probably know what this week’s topic is and if you haven’t, last week we spoke about Habit Stacking, but we only looked at how to use this approach with one habit at a time. You can read it here to get some background information! This week, however, we are focusing on how to achieve this with multiple habits at once and change old behaviours.

Once again, the concept of Habit Stacking means taking already established habits to build new ones. Using the patterns and behaviours that are previously formed in your brain, makes it more likely to adhere to the new practices. This approach can be taken to connect multiple habits together, each being the Cue for the next one. Let’s visualize that and we will continue with the clarification. Here is how this process would look like on paper, what is also called The Habit Loop:

In short, the Cue is the signal to act, that triggers a Craving, which provokes your brain to initiate a behaviour – the Response, that grants a Reward, which satisfies the Craving and is now associated with the Cue.

Let’s look at some examples to explain the four stages of the loop before stacking a few habits at once. We will take a simple habit many of us tend to do. Let’s say you stumble on a problem at work. The loop could look something like this:

The same problem could also look like this:

These two examples show us how we can use the cravings to switch the bad patterns, that our brain has memorised, into new, healthier ways of dealing with our problems. Both times the Craving is satisfied with the same reward - relief, but through different responses. Depending on which action is taken more often, the brain learns which one to remember.

Now that you know how The Habit Loop works, it is easy to stack a few habits together, as we said in the beginning, each new habit will act as the Cue for the next one, pretty simple, right? When you take the momentum of building a new habit, just link another one to it! Let’s have a look at an example straight away, as there’s not much more to explain here. For instance, your evening routine could look like this:

After I’m finished with dinner, I will put the plates into the dishwasher straight away.

After I put the dishes away, I will immediately clean the counter.

After I clean the counter, I will sit down and read 5 pages of a book.

You can plug new habits in the middle of your established practices as well, you can say, When I get to work, I will take the stairs instead of the elevator.

You could also do something like this:

After I wake up, I will immediately put on my work out clothes.

After I put on my workout clothes, I will drink my coffee for the day.

After I drink my coffee, I will meditate for one minute.

After I meditate, I will immediately leave for the gym.

And so on …

There are many ways to use this approach, but the most important thing is to be mindful and start simple. Get used to the new habit/stack of habits before moving on to the next one and make sure you enjoy the process! We can tell you, IT WORKS! (From a personal experience, of course) See you next week!

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