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How Habit Stacking Has Helped Me Create Routines (that I Don't Hate!)

How's THAT for a title? 😂 Seriously, though - I HATE SCHEDULES. Anything that stays the same, day after day feels monotonous on, like... day 2. 😬 Which makes life pretty tricky in general, because... well, the same things need to be done every day!

I first heard about "habit stacking" a few years ago, and the idea intrigued me. So, here's what habit stacking is: 

Basically, you start with ONE small habit, and you stack other little habits after that first one, as you learn & master them. Before you know it, you've got gentle routines that feel normal and natural, since you haven't tried to do a new (complicated) schedule all at once.

Sounds great, right?

Except, I couldn't find the secret sauce that made this method word for me! Until, recently, that is... when I found a new little habit. One that I absolutely LOVE, and legit can't WAIT to do each morning. What is it? Washing my face in coconut oil (with some lavender added!). 

To give you some background... I've never been consistent with moisturizers, lotions, skin care, makeup, or anything like that. 😬 But there's something about oil washing that is WONDERFUL to me. Ohmygosh, my skin feels SO soft afterwards, and it's just... THE. BEST. So, I started doing it every morning. And since I'm already standing at the sink, I just naturally started flossing and brushing my teeth right after. And brushing/doing my hair. And putting lotion on. 

And suddenly - POOF! I had created a morning routine that I loved! I didn't even mean to. Oops. 🙊 Who even AM I anymore? 😆

How Habit Stacking Has Helped Me Create Routines (that I Don't Hate!)

 

So, I've spent some time trying to figure out what happened, and how I suddenly found myself in a routine I didn't hate. And I realized:

  • It started with something that I LOVE. It's fun, relaxing, and enjoyable to wash my face. After that, the rest of the routine just... happens. And I don't mind it, because my face feels like a baby's butt, and the smell of lavender is wafting around helping me feel relaxed. 😂 🙌🏻

  • See... I was going about it ALL wrong. I was thinking of routines/schedules  as something I "HAVE TO DO" (with the eye rolls and deep sighs included 🙄). It wasn't something that sounded remotely fun, and because of that, I kept getting discouraged because nothing I've tried has ever worked.

 

So, I'm gonna test this new theory of starting necessary habits with something fun. (And then use that fun thing to start a new stack of habits!) Because I can make ANYTHING enjoyable if I'm having fun. (Yep, even cleaning toilets!)

Side note: For those of you who love personality tests, I am an Enneagram 7, and Meyer's Briggs ENFP. Having a way to put words to my personality has helped me realize that I absolutely ADORE having fun. And put off anything that isn't fun, doesn't bring immediate joy, etc. Having a "reward" typically backfires for me, because I will still put off the things I hate, since I'm too busy dreading them to actually DO THE WORK. But when I realized that I can give myself that "reward" at the start, it makes a HUGE difference!!!

 

Upon thinking about ALL the habit-stacking things, I realized something funny: I've already done this (without realizing it!) on Saturday morning, when I meet friend(s) for coffee at Starbucks before we all go grocery shopping together. So... maybe I could even use it on those household chores that I hate so much?

 

Now I wanna know: 

What habits are super important to YOU?

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