Habit Stacking: A Simple Strategy for Lasting Change
How many times have you tried to start a new wellness habit only to give up in failure? Trying to change existing habits or introducing new ones—and make them stick—is notoriously difficult. That’s why it’s so important to find an effective technique that actually works.
So if food journaling and early morning workouts seems like an endeavor that’s not even on the table right now, then consider the concept of “habit stacking.” This ingenious method involves anchoring new habits to the ones you already have.
Let’s see why this works!
As we age, our brains undergo a process known as synaptic pruning. During this process, connections between unused neurons are eliminated, while connections between active neurons are strengthened. For instance, the brain of an experienced piano player will reinforce and quicken the neurons responsible for playing music. With increased practice, the player's skill increases, and synaptic pruning enables this progression.
For those who have never played the piano, the synaptic connections remain unused and are ultimately pruned away. Instead, the brain focuses on developing other, more important skills.
Interestingly, newborns have 41 percent more neurons than the average adult. Their brains are like blank canvases with endless potential, whereas adult brains have already eliminated many unused neurons and developed strong connections that support particular skills.
In this document, we’ll explore how synaptic pruning is integral to building new habits.