Justin Wright

Weekly Recap - Week of 10.18.21

published7 months ago
4 min read

Happy Monday!

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This week, we are going to discuss habit stacking and how to make new habits easier to follow through with.

As a brief disclaimer: any links for items, books, etc. that are available for purchase are done through an affiliate program. This means that I get paid a small pittance of money for everything you buy using my links. I don't recommend things I haven't read/used, so using these links helps me out and gets you great products!

Habit Stacking

Goal setting is an important skill to understand and is crucial to long-term success, but habits are the real drivers of change and progress. It's one thing to write down a goal, it's another thing entirely to perform the daily steps required to accomplish that goal. For this, and many other, reasons, I can't recommend James Clear's book Atomic Habits highly enough.

One of the big takeaways about his entire habit-forming approach is a seemingly simple concept: make good habits easier to accomplish, and bad habits harder to succumb to. The main technique for accomplishing this seemingly simple, but often difficult, task is called habit stacking.

1. If it's visible, it's easier

If there is something you are trying to do more of, or a new habit you are trying to reinforce, making it more visible is an easy way to accomplish that task. If you want to work out more, pack a bag with workout clothes and put it by the front door or in your car. Simply having easier access to these things will make you more likely to exercise. The inverse is also true: if you want to watch less TV when you get home from work, hiding the remote is a very easy way to make that bad habit harder to do.

2. Find gaps in your routine

Once you've identified the behaviors you want to emulate, the next step is to find places in your routine that you can fit these habits into. For example, if you want to read more, maybe you find a gap of time in the morning where you can sneak in 15 minutes of reading. By "stacking" the new, good habits, into an established routine, it becomes easier to do them consistently. The goal is to find time where it would make sense to do the new thing. To use the above example, it might not make sense to work out during your bedtime routine, but maybe taking a slightly different route allows you to pass by a gym on your way home from work every day.

3. Fill the void

When it comes to limiting bad habits, find ways to fill the void left by activities you are trying to stop doing. If you often snack at night while you're watching TV, maybe there is some other activity, like stretching or yoga, that you can mix into that time instead. If you simply try to eliminate the bad habit without putting something in its place, it can be difficult to maintain consistency with your new routine. Human beings are creatures of habit, and not filling the void left by eliminating old routines is a large reason that people relapse into bad behaviors.

4. Treat yo' self

The biggest way to ultimately reinforce the right behaviors is to reward yourself! When you establish a new routine or start to gain traction with good behavior, it's acceptable and ideal to reward yourself in some capacity. Make it something small, and make sure that you aren't rewarding yourself with something that will negate your progress. If your goal is to read a book a month and you start consistently reading each night, reward yourself with your favorite meal or a "want" purchase. What you don't want to do is reward yourself with dessert if you are trying to break the bad habit of snacking on sweets.

We are creatures of habit but we also respond to incentives. Creating new habits doesn't have to be hard work; you can cheat the system and make things easier for yourself by stacking new habits into current routines. Make bad habits harder to see and therefore harder to do. Lastly, reward yourself for a job well done! If you put these things into practice consistently, you will amaze yourself at how much you are able to accomplish in a short period of time.

Hit List

These are the most interesting things I've read, heard, or encountered this week.

Most gifted book: The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

I have given this book as a gift more often than any other book. It's a quick read, and I find it to be an excellent primer on mindfulness practice. Additionally, it's a great book to reinforce the concept of being present, which happens to be something I often struggle with!

A Twitter Thread I Love: What are NFT's? by Punk6529

I am absolutely obsessed with Web 3.0 and extremely bullish on the future of this technology. For anyone else who wants to geek out with me, this thread is incredible. Punk6529 (named after the Cryptopunk avatar that he owns) is a thinker in the space who goes deep under the surface.

What I'm listening to: Quentin Tarantino on the Joe Rogan Experience (podcast)

I adore film, and am currently an aspiring filmmaker. Tarantino is a master of his craft and also someone who never went to film school. Joe Rogan does a great job of bringing out some excellent creative tidbits from Quentin on his writing process and how he got started. This episode is well worth a listen, even if film isn't your thing.

What I'm watching: David Copperfield "Death Saw"

I am a magic junkie and grew up watching David Copperfield on TV with my mom. His "death saw" illusion is one of my favorites, and one I got to see performed live when I was a kid. Give it a watch, and bring yourself back to the golden age of stage magic.

Who you Should Follow: Logan Gelbrich on Instagram and His Website

I had the pleasure of meeting Logan in the fitness community; a former professional baseball player, he epitomizes the work ethic and mindset required to succeed at a high level. The most important thing about what he does now, in my opinion, is that he teaches people how to "hold the standard" and take pride in their work. His book, Going Right, discusses how to do this in depth while carving out your own path in life.

That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered more? Less? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!

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