How to Create Habit Stacks That Works

A Habit Sequence that worksI have not blogged in the 5AM club section for a while because one of my motivations for blogging in this section was to track my journey, my struggle to achieve the 5AM club status, the elusive 66 streak habit. Well I am happy and sad to say that I have achieved this goal. In fact I am up to 77days (according to my habit tracking application – I will see if I can keep going. BTW you can track my progress on this website which has my twitter feed.

I have been asked by some of my peers, how did I make the 5AM routine possible and “How do you make habits stick?”. I had to think about this. Look,  the 5AM routine is pretty much covered in my previous post please read – How to Wakeup Early and My 5AM Journey – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!. For the 5AM routine to be possible just rely on

  1. Habits,
  2. Consistency (20 Mile March)
  3. Accountability,
  4. Knowing What and Why

Within my 5AM routine, I have a number of habit stacks. So I want to write about “How to Create a Habit Stack that works”.

  1. Create an Anchor habit (which is a small habit which is foolproof) and attach a bigger habit to it. One of my favourite habit is drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. It does not take much effort, it is foolproof. But once I complete this habit and acknowledged that it is complete, I find it easy to commence the next habit on the list. So far my streak on this habit is 128times. By achieving a number this big, it make it possible for me to create a mindset for other habits.
  1. Create an Action habit to follow the Anchor habit. My Action habit (first thing in the morning) is emptying the dishwasher, it is easy habit, it brings an instant result and it serves the family. It wakes me up by making me stretch my body, testing my mind (where do the rectangle plates go?) and it something that can be completed with some ease.
  1. Create a Reward habit – I have a couple of reward habits as part of my 5AM wakeups.  The first habit is a cup of Nespresso coffee. I make sure I spend time inhaling the aroma, sipping the coffee and sometimes going outside to enjoy the coffee to enjoy the daybreak air. The other rewarding habit I have is read motivational quotes and watch a series of motivational YouTube videos. I make the rewards habits useful as well.

So there you have it, I created this sequence and after almost 6 months of experimentation I can verify the sequence works. It was not until I wrote this blog that I realised how powerful this sequence has been for me. I have heard of other similar sequences such as wearing workout clothes (anchor) on wakeup then going running (action) followed by a fresh smoothie on return (reward).  I would encourage you to give it a go and give me some feedback of your results.


Monthly Report - December 2014

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