Research shows that only 8% of people who have made a New Year’s resolution were able to meet their goal, according to a study from the University of Scranton that was compiled by Statistic Brain.
So, how do we increase our odds of setting realistic goals and sticking to them? The answer is called habit stacking, chaining, anchoring or piggybacking. If your life today is essentially the sum of your habits, then we need to take a closer look at our reoccurring patterns of behavior.
We have patterns and behaviors that have been strengthened over years. Things we don’t even think about because they have become like second nature to us. By linking the new desired habits to a cycle that is already built into the brain, we make it more likely to stick to the new behavior.
To get started, simply write out a list of the current habits that you do each day. (Don’t forget about all the boring everyday routines.) Then, write out a second list of the habits you want to start. Finally, pick one habit and look for the appropriate place to stack it.
I encourage you to pick one habit because you’re more likely to be successful. Asking your mind and body to make one change will likely yield an 80% success rate! Asking for 2 decreases to 35% and continues to drop with each new expectation. So choose one wisely and be specific.
If you are what you repeatedly do, then it should be pretty easy to identify your daily routines. Here’s an example of my personal piggy backing habit I’ve incorporated into my mornings.
My goal was to move better and be warmed up to train my 5am clients. My current habit is to roll over and check my phone. I drink some water (I keep a water bottle next to the bed at all times) before I get out of bed and do my routine. My routine consisted of personal grooming, coffee, grabbing things here and there, kissing the family and off to the gym in a whirlwind.
My new piggy back keeps a skin brush by my bedside. By putting my skin brush by the bed, I’m able to brush my skin every morning helping to improve my vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It literally added less 1-2 minutes more to my routine and I don’t forget to do it.
Some folks like the use of technology to help their progress. Here’s a few options that might be a great addition.