Listen, I’m not going to say that I closed out 2022 as the human equivalent of a piece of trash… but I was close. Waking up two minutes before sign on, walking a mere 17 steps over the course of two business days, and turning to fast food delivery more days than I’d like to admit were the only type of habits I was sticking to and, to absolutely no one’s surprise, I felt downright awful.
Over the holidays, I took a hard look at my habits (shoutout to Atomic Habits and the get-your-shit-together side of TikTok for the assist) and vowed to make some changes in 2023 and beyond. I learned a little bit about a simple-yet-genius phenomenon called “habit stacking,” and it’s probably the most effective way that I’ve been able to make behavioral changes, ever.
While you could probably view habit stacking as a form of multitasking, the thought behind it is that “stacking” a new behavior onto a current behavior will help you A) remember to do it and B) help you to adopt the new habit with less effort. Think of it like this: If your goal is to introduce tongue scraping as a habit, mentally pairing it with a task you already do (like brushing your teeth), will trick your brain into associating the two tasks, making it a more automatic habit. So in the name of habit stacking, here’s how I’m starting small but making big changes this year:
1. Pairing my morning coffee with my CBD
My morning coffee is one of my non-negotiable A.M. rituals that I’ll never part ways with. An Altissio Nespresso pod and my trusty Chobani Vanilla Oat Milk have had my back for a few years now and by that principle alone, it’s one of my strongest habits. So when I decided that 2023 was going to be the year that I finally took my CBD consistently, I knew that pairing my Equilibria Daily Drops with my morning latte was the best chance I could ever have at making it happen.
I started using Equilibria’s Daily Drops a few years ago and I definitely notice a difference on the days that I use them. When it comes to feeling zen and focused, these drops are top of the line and have never let me down—even on days when my to-do list is as long as a CVS receipt. And while I’ve had a good amount of success with one-off uses, they work even better when taken consistently. For the last few weeks, I’ve found that placing them right next to my Nespresso pods cues me to actually use them which has helped to boost my productivity especially on those days when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
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2. Listening to a guided meditation while folding laundry
Folding laundry is one of life’s necessary evils. While it’s not my favorite activity in the world, I actually have this one down to a science. Between my boyfriend and I, we fill up our hamper quite quickly and if I don’t stay on top of laundry, my minimal wardrobe of activewear and office attire becomes near-nonexistent—and I simply don’t have the time for that.
Because I already do laundry almost once a day and want to start meditating more, I just started listening to 10-minute guided meditations while I fold my laundry. Since it’s a pretty mindless task for me at this point, I use this time to meditate, focus on my breathing, manifest, and more. I’m definitely an entry-level meditator so this is an approachable way for me to get into it and test out the benefits.
3. Planning out my day while I eat my breakfast
On Black Friday of last year, I pulled the trigger and finally got an iPad to be organized like all of the iPad girlies on TikTok. No, it didn’t sit in my bag unused for months because I didn’t have the energy to learn how to use it, why do you ask?
I finally dedicated a few hours last month to uploading a digital planner onto my iPad, learned how to make my Apple Pencil writing legible, and curated my lock screen to be an aesthetically pleasing home base. And now that I’ve had some practice planning out my days down to the minute, I can’t help but wonder… how in the hell did I survive the last year without any sort of planning system besides having twenty multicolored sticky notes on my desktop? I digress.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been digitally planning while I enjoy my breakfast and I have to say—it might be my favorite part of my day. Getting everything on paper (er, on an iPad screen) while nourishing my body sets me up so well for my day and I predict that pairing them together will help me ensure that I actually stick to it.
4. Calling a friend while making dinner
When I’m knocking out my to-do list, I tend to isolate a bit and get those where-the-heck-have-you-been texts from my friends and family. One of my goals this year is to stay connected to the people I love and one way that I plan to do that is to phone a friend while I’m meal prepping or making dinner.
I carry the terrible misconception that calling someone will derail me from doing the things I need to do so pairing connection with things I already have to do seemed like the most intuitive solution. It takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to prep dinner which gives me the perfect amount of time to catch up with the people I love which is crucial for my mental health.
5. Using my walking pad during scroll time
Like everyone and their brother in 2022, I saw someone on TikTok using a walking pad underneath her standing desk during meetings and I have never clicked “purchase” faster. It wasn’t the cheapest buy in the world but my embarrassingly low step count served as the perfect excuse and I have to say, it’s absolutely genius.
I find it a bit difficult to walk during the meetings where I have to present but even if I can walk on it for one hour a day or during my evening TikTok scroll, I can get thousands of steps in and it’s become my favorite hack for closing my Apple Watch rings. And with Chicago winters being so brutal, it’s absolutely necessary.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.