The beginning of the year is an extremely powerful time for creating lasting habits, with the majority of the western world participating on a mass “reboot”, but so often this time is squandered with brute-force style habit adoption.

Few people can change overnight. Even so-called “Cold Turkey” bad habit cessation is the result of several years of guilt, self hatred, and building up until the time is just right.

Enter Habit Stacking.

I first read about Habit Stacking in “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, and then again in this article (which coincidentally also draws its influence to “The Miracle Morning”). Both are excellent reads and include several morning routine examples. The jist is this:

Add a habit onto a habit you already have, and then slowly build from there. Take brushing your teeth for example. It’s very likely you already have a morning brushing routine (if you don’t… ew), so add a small habit just before that. Then, when that habit is cemented, add another. And another. By the time most people have stopped going to the gym, you’ll be well on your way to a lifelong exercise habit.

I’ve found that it’s more effective to have your anchor habit take place after the habit you wish to adopt, that way it’s more difficult to end early, since you know you still HAVE to brush your teeth. Soon all habits will be this way, and that’s a good thing. You’re now crafting your morning. Forging it on the anvil of your day, and you will thank yourself later.