I think we’ve all had good intentions where we want to start a new habit or reach a new goal, but we struggle to follow through with it. (I’ve found in the past that sometimes I’m too vague, and that doesn’t set me up for success either.) Anyone else ever made a New Year’s resolution that didn’t last long?
Today, I want you to be practical. I want to show you how moms can create healthy habits that will allow you to take care of your family while taking care of yourself. These concepts can be used for personal development and at work, even though my focus is on health.
Please see this list as inspiration and don’t try to implement these all at once. I don’t want this to become an overwhelming goal for you. I don’t even do all of these pieces every single day, and it’s not my aim to stack all of these habits every time. Each person is wired differently, so I want to share the knowledge and tricks that have worked for me. Pick one or two habits that you find most appealing or that are most in line with your goals and adapt your daily schedule from there.
What is Habit Stacking?
Habit stacking refers to the practice of adding new habits to existing ones. Instead of creating a new habit, you can pair it with an existing habit. Take stock of the things that you do most days and see how you can add to them.
Each of the titles below is what experts call a “trigger.” These are the tasks or existing habits you’re already doing that you can stack another habit on top of. These will be your cue to begin your new habit.
The podcast interview with James taught me a lot. One of my greatest takeaways was to make sure I have all the materials I need for my new habit so that it reminds you to do it. For example, reminding myself to floss is as simple as keeping my toothbrush next to my floss. to floss immediately after I’m done brushing my teeth.
Also, you need to be specific about what your triggers are. Don’t vaguely say, “I’d like to walk during lunch break.” Instead, stack your habit as “I will go for a walk when my lunch break starts.” See the difference?
Another vague example is saying, “I want to stretch every day (or stretch more).” Instead, be sure to pair it with another activity. You could say, “I will stretch my neck while I wait for everyone to get buckled in the car.”
Here’s some inspiration to help you start habit stacking.
You should know that I don’t typically do any one habit daily, but I do some combination of these just about every morning after I wake up for my morning routine.
I’ve covered the health benefits of getting outside barefootAbsorbing the earth’s electric charges. Grounding is something I love to do in the early morning, before anyone else gets up. It’s a great way to start my day off in nature.
When it’s cold outside, I like to drink my coffee while I’m getting in my grounding time. During pregnancy, I drank this red raspberry tea recipeWhile sitting outside barefoot. It’s simple to stack a healthy drink with my grounding habit.
I love using my saunaYou can reap all the health benefits that sweating has to offer. If I’m crunched for time, I will dry brushWhen I first get in, before I get all sweaty. I dry brush my hair after getting in the sauna. Sometimes I will take the time to practice gratitude while I’m inside the sauna. That’s my trigger for me to think through all the things I am grateful for.
Castor Oil Packs
You can stack the following items during your castor oils pack habit:
If you’re really hardcore, stack any of these habits with a coffee enema instead! After filling up the tub, you will have 15-20 minutes to lie on the ground or in the tub. Keep baby wipes handy so you can wash your hands before touching anything. I’ve even had friends tell me they will do their coffee enema inside the sauna! I haven’t tried that yet since I have a barrel sauna outside.
A friend of mine told me that she has trouble remembering to. water her plantsSo, while she waits for hot water, she places an old pitcher under her tub faucet and allows it to fill up. This way, she gives her plants some love and doesn’t forget about them! The pitcher she keeps by her shower is her trigger.
After I get out the shower, I’ll be ready to go. use my wave vibrationto stimulate my lymphatic system. If I have time, I’ll stand on it while blow-drying my hair. Low-level vibrations are a great way to stimulate my lymphatic and stabilizer muscles.
Consider how you already live your life and where you can add health habits. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to add to your daily routine.
My friend’s dad boasted that he flosses his teeth while sitting in rush hour every weekday. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything unsafe like stretching while driving, though.
Instead of listening to the radio in silence, think about how you can optimize your listening habits.
- Listen to “A” devotional
- Listen to a podcastOr audiobook
- Call a friend, family member or acquaintance to catch up (one thing). the Blue ZonesGroups of people who live longer lives than the rest of the population have in common regular social connections.
We’ve all had to wait for someone or for something to start. Even though my first instinct is the bad habit of grabbing my phone, I’ve tried to let these moments be a trigger for one of these good habits:
- Take a few deep breaths
- Think of three things I’m thankful for
- While you wait, take a few steps.
- Stretch while you pump gas
- You can keep a car vacuum in your car and clean it during sports practice
- Keep a few notes and a pen in your car console. write notes to friends and family
You might be surprised at the things you have time for.
Many cultures have beautiful traditions they share before they eat together. Science now shows that many of these practices help digestion by helping us to enter the parasympathetic mode. Consider adopting some of the traditions for your own family.
- After everyone is seated at the table, take some deep breaths
- Sing a prayer aloud
- Ask everyone to share their opinions what they are thankfulFor
If you’re trying to optimize your health with supplements, I find it’s easiest to remember to take them with food if I leave them out on the table or in a basket nearby. I see the supplements and know when to take them.
After dinner, I’ve been experimenting with these different habits to keep my family healthy. They’re all small wins.
Kitchen Closing Routine
Now that my children are old enough for me to help with the dishes, I also do some prep work in the kitchen. This helps us eat healthy. I’ve been able to have some great conversations with whoever is doing the dishes too.
I’ll frequently check my favorite meal planning service, Real Plans, for what’s on the menu tomorrow and see how I can get ahead. I try to:
On occasion, if I know tomorrow is a full day, I’ll even assemble a casserole and stick it in the fridge so it’s ready to go.
I don’t do it every day, but sometimes I will pull out all my dry goods for the next day and whatever tools I’ll need. For example, if I’m making my coconut flour biscuitsWhen I get home, the first thing I do is put them in the oven. I set the following items in my prep area:
- Food processor
- Mixing bowl
- Baking sheet
- Measurement cups and spoons
- Dry ingredients
This way, I don’t have to rush around when I get home. This also helps to lower my stress level!
Consider which appliances you can pull out of your kitchen and fill them with non-perishable items the night before. This will save you time and effort the next day.
- Instant Pot
- Slow cooker
- Immersion blender
- Mixer stand
- Pots and pans
After you finish dinner, pack breakfast and lunch for the next day so that you aren’t tempted to eat out the next day.
When I close the kitchen, that’s my cue to put on my blue-blocking glassesFor the night.
If one of your goals is to drink more water, you’ll want to set out a glass of water or bottles as cues to help you remember to drink it. I like to fill a water glass and put a lemon on the counter with a little cutting board and knife, so it’s easy to do the following morning.
If I’m really feeling fancy (actually I’m just trying to get my kids to drink more water), I will infuse water overnightEnjoy our top-favorite flavors
If you don’t have a whole house filter yet, check out these options for pitchers, countertop filters, and under-sink options. I was notorious for forgetting about keeping it full when I had a countertop one. If I had known about habit stacking, I might have tried something like:
- Clean up
- Instant kettle with water to make coffee in the morning
- To ensure that we have water tomorrow, top off water filters
Just like with a shower, I try to stack my habits (but not too many so it’s not stressful because that’s not worth it).
While I’m in the tub, I’ve experimented with these health habits:
I’ve set a bedtime alarm on my phone for a few years now to remind myself to get in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.
If I don’t take an Epsom salt bath, I keep magnesium oilIt is in my room so I remember to rub it.
To help children sleep better, we often do leg raises before bed with them. An easy habit to stack would be to ask them what they’re thankful for to practice gratitude. You could ask your children this question before bed if they are younger.
Not all the things you want to do for your health must be done every day. Even if you do some things only once a week, there are huge benefits. I like to rotate what I put in my workouts and morning routines.
For better habits, think about what you might add in once a week. Think about what your weekends look like or your husband’s day off and how you can let that be a trigger for what you want to add in.
For example, if you want to walk more but struggle to find the time, maybe you’ll decide that when you get to your kids’ sporting event, you’ll do one lap around the stadium or track before you go in.
Think about what you can do. build your communityInvite friends over to join you for dinner or just to hangout. I’m more and more convinced that Europeans have better health outcomesThey are more social than us because they value spending time with others.
Tips for Success
I remember that every little thing makes a big difference over the long-term. I don’t beat myself up if I miss one time. I just find a more effective cue to help me do the new behavior that I want.
As always, don’t be afraid to drop a habit if it no longer serves you. Sometimes you try something and it’s not for you, and that’s okay. For example, if you’ve been trying to lose weightIf you are a regular walker on the scale, it can be frustrating. You might be able to save time by only weighing yourself once per week. This will give you more realistic results.
Sometimes I need to be alone at night, but that’s because rest is productive. One trigger for me is that, when my husband gets home from work and unpacked, I take 10 minutes of silence (even better if it’s outside) to clear my head and decompress before dinner so I can continue to be present with my family.
Lastly, consider finding an accountability partner if you’re trying to establish a new habit. Send this article to a friend and tell her the one new habit you want to focus on and that you’re going to tell her whether or not you’ve accomplished it to motivate you to stay on track.