How to Stack Your Habits and Live Healthier

The Strategies

Blame it on my thirst for knowledge, but I feel like I’ve come across some solid items in the last few years that are often used for business and yet parallel perfectly with your lifestyle choices!

For example, I’m sure many of you have heard of the Pareto Principle, also known as the “80/20 Rule.” If not, the rule simply states that 80 percent of your progress comes from 20 percent of your effort.

Another key construct that can apply beautifully in you daily routine is that of compounding, often heard of most in the world of finances. I have learned that when you begin taking strategic action and time investment in one area of your life, this often leads to a ripple effect that generates other significant changes.

While naturally as a Health Coach I think of this as a strong tool for positive change, if you’re not careful and allow negative behaviors to seep in then there can be a negative ripple effect that may become very difficult to overturn.

Where To Begin?

So with these in mind, I encourage to take a quick look around to see what physical changes can be made. Does your coffee table need to be cleaned off? Are there clothes in the hamper that aren’t folded? What about a pile of dishes in the sink? Start with the physical items first.

Now, what about your time commitments…your calendar? Is it cluttered with nonsense items that are hindering significant progress? Or is it actually empty, not mapped out, causing you to be reactive to what the day holds rather than designing it and setting yourself up for solid success.

While the 80/20 and Compounding Principles can be applied to pretty much any area of your life, I’ve included a few common areas below to help you simplify your approach and achieve the positive change you’ve been seeking.

  1. Clothes

    At this point, if you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, then you’re living under a rock. People joke about the people on her hit Netflix show Tidying Up, but I also here of people taking action in decluttering their life and getting through their days less stressed.

    So first things first…get your wardrobe organized and purge those things you haven’t even put on in the last 60 days! (But don’t forget to say “Thank You” to it before cramming it into a garbage bag).

    Now that you’ve got the precise items in your closet, simplify the start of your day by mapping out your attire the evening before. Seriously, make it a ritual and your mornings will go smoother. And if you’re working on adopting regular workout habits, make it a point to prepare your workout gear at the same time!

    If you’re a gym goer, just go ahead and pack your shoes, fitness apparel, water bottle, towel, etc. and either put it in the car or by the front door so you’re not tempted to leave it behind. I’ve had several friends and clients admit that this behavior led to more workouts completed for the week!

    If you’re someone who works out at home (maybe with one of our awesome trainers?!) go ahead and at least set your workout gear out for the quick grab. For morning workouts, place the clothes on the dresser. If afternoon or evening, lay them out close to your work area so you will be prompted to take the initiative. As you know, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Thus the opposite being “In sight, in mind.”

    Doing this eliminates the “decision battle” and will keep you motivated to attack the day! Seriously, try this for a couple weeks and you’ll notice easier starts to your day and you’ll be a lot less likely to skip your workouts.

  2. Meal Prepping

    We all know (because our readers are very intelligent people) that 80% of your healthy lifestyle is determined by the food you put in your mouth. If this hits home, don’t stress!

    This is why being intentional about meal prepping can be a game changer. Sure, I’ve learned over the years that the thought of meal prepping overwhelms and exhausts people, but it doesn’t have to!

    You can ease into the behavior by just preparing for Monday through Thursday. And if you’re not willing to block off a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday like every trainer says to do (I hear you…those are rest days, right?!), then simply take advantage of the weeknights you already intend to cook at home.

    For example, when cooking dinner at night, plan on that time prepping your meal for tomorrow as well. I mean you’re already in the mode to cook so why not do just a little bit extra?

    Whether it's simply leftovers from the healthy dinner you just cooked or some other simple meal, go ahead and make up the meal(s) in a to-go container, place it inside your lunch box/bag, and keep the whole thing in the fridge so you can just “grab and go” the next morning. Done and done.

    Personally, this has worked for me the best over the years, especially when I used to get up at 3:30am.

  3. Recovery

    I “preach” to my clients all the time the importance of recovery, especially foam rolling for tight/knotted muscles. But for some reason this seems to be the hardest task for most people to do! So here’s your fix.

    If you’re reading this in the evening, it’s likely that you’ve just flipped over from Instagram or Facebook, so clearly you have some time to foam roll. Honestly, nothing says you need both hands the entire time you foam roll, so plop yourself down and start attacking those glutes while thumbing through your feed!

    If you’re not exactly sure where to start, check out this VERY detailed video by HomeFit’s Trey Tate on managing low back pain which incorporates lots of wonderful stretches and foam rolling techniques.

Hopefully all this helps! And you can see that these bit by bit behavior changes do not have to be a major overhaul to your daily routines. Plus, the fact that you can often stack your efforts and “kill two birds with one stone” to consolidate your time and efforts should empower you.

Are you already a Master of your time and behavior? Let us know in the comments below some “stackable” habits that you've found to be super successful.

Or if you would like to identify some targeted approaches to behavior change specific to your schedule and lifestyle, maybe consider setting up a free consult with one of HomeFit’s Health Coaches to formulate a solid plan of action.

Now get to stackin’! :)