how to develop better habits this year (2/6)

Stack New Habits Over Old Ones 

Many times we try again and again to form a new habit that we know when integrated in our daily routine will help us become better versions of ourselves. But in spite of our good intentions, we fail. A great and effective way to build a new habit is to couple it with an old habit that is well established and has deep neural grooves in your brain. This way of building a new habit by identifying an ongoing habit that is well-integrated in our daily routine, and stacking our new behavior on top of it, is called habit stacking. This method was created by BJ Fogg as part of his Tiny Habits program and is explored further in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. The reason habit stacking works so brilliantly is because our current habits are already well established in our brain. We simply can’t not do them. When we couple a new habit to an old one, we integrate it into the habit loop as well, making it next to impossible not to do it over time. As we get a better grasp over habit stacking, with time we are able to link multiple small habits together. We are able to use the momentum that we gather from one habit or behavior to propel the following habit, ensuring we are able to fulfill the daily commitments that we set out for. Here are a few examples of habit stacking: (1) After pouring your morning coffee, starting with your writing session. (2) After finishing your dinner, putting your plates in the dishwasher. (3) After getting into your car for your daily commute, playing a self-development audiobook or podcast. We all want to build better habits, but without a foolproof strategy, we all get subdued by the daily rhythms of life. With habit stacking, you’ll be able to use those same rhythms for your personal and professional success. 

Surround Yourself with Better People

We all know the famous success adage introduced by Jim Rohn that we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. Goethe said something similar along the lines, “Tell me with whom you consort with and I will tell you who you are.” If we want to cultivate better habits in our life, we need to surround ourselves with better people, it’s as simple as that. Surround yourself with people who are in good shape, who are enthusiastic about personal development, and who have good relationships. Engage with people who have the same core values as you, and who are working towards creating an extraordinary life for themselves as well. You’ll be inspired to become better naturally because you’ll be always around them, and be able to receive life-changing ideas, insights and habits. And the good thing is that if you start falling behind or slipping, you’ll stand out and this will propel you to get back on track in record time.