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Tiny Leaps, Big Changes
14 min2020 JUN 26
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551 - How Habit Stacking Works


In this episode, we take a look at habit stacking and why it works.

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What is Habit Stacking?

"Also termed 'habit chaining', the process involves grouping together small activities into a routine which you link to a habit already set in your day. This makes the routine memorable and anchors your new habits to an existing trigger. Or in simpler terms: use the things you already remember to do to remind you to do something else, like reading one chapter of a book when you get into bed."

Why Does This Work?

  • Classical Conditioning

What is Classical Conditioning?

"Classical conditioning involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. In Pavlov's classic experiment with dogs, the neutral signal was the sound of a tone and the naturally occurring reflex was salivating in response to food. By associating the neutral stimulus with the environmental stimulus (food), the sound of the tone alone could produce the salivation response."

The 5 Stages:

  1. Acquisition

  2. Extinction

  3. Spontaneous Recovery

Key Takeaways:

  • Habit Stacking is the process of pairing a new habit with an existing one

  • This works because of classical conditioning which ties new behaviors to existing behaviors

  • When trying to build new habits you'll go through periods of acquisition, extinction, and spontaneous recovery





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