Charge your productivity and create and sustain healthy routines with Habit Stacking.
Something I have touched on before but I reiterate as it really is a game changer in achieving your health, fitness and any other goals.
Creating habits is an important part of any lifestyle change. They are an energy saving mechanism in which a cue triggers a routine, which is then rewarded by a feedback system - thus reinforcing the process. For example, the cue to brush your teeth is waking up, you clean your teeth and the reward is the fresh feeling you get from the toothpaste (Toothpaste does not actually need to foam or be 'minty' to work. These are added features by the manufacturer to produce a reward and reinforce the habit of buying their product).
Habits rely on a loop of powerful cues reinforced by rewards and are extremely hard to create the older we get (most of our habits are created when we are children). So if we want to create habits which will promote a healthy lifestyle, such as taking a multi vitamin, it makes sense to hijack a loop which is already established.
We have all tried (and failed) in the past to create habits by noting to ourselves when we are going to go to the gym, when we are going to make the next days healthy lunch and what time we shall go to bed to ensure those 8-hours. However we fail to sustain the habit because there is no significant cue / reward loop.
Instead next time you want to creat a habit, such as taking that multi vitamin, bolt it on to an existing habit. Keep your vitamin bottle next to your toothbrush and take it before brushing your teeth. Taking the multi vitamin will become reinforced by the cue and reward loop established with brushing your teeth.
If you want to start working out, attach it to your drive home from work. The cue is clocking off at 5pm, the routine, which would usually be driving home, is now going to the gym (do not go home first!). Your reward is the relaxing feeling of going home and putting your feet up, high on endorphins, after a productive journey home, reinforcing the habit of going to the gym.
Have a go yourself - try and create one healthy routine today by stacking it with an already engrained habit.