Why you need to be Habit Stacking

As mentioned in my previous blog post, habits only truly become habits when they are done subconsciously. If you have to remind yourself to wash your hands every time before you eat, then this is not a fully formed habit. There are a couple of sure-fire ways to speed up this process, but the easiest and best that I have come across is to implement Habit Stacking in your routines.

Habit stacking is simple. Effectively, you are just taking a habit that you currently have and enjoy doing, and pairing it with a habit that you wish to achieve. Rather than pairing it with a time or place.

For example, say the habit that you are trying to get to stick is to go to the gym more. Rather than pairing this with the time being each morning, or the place being the gym itself, try stacking going to the gym with an already developed habit, such as putting on your runners, or making a healthy smoothie.


Your habits will go from looking like this:

Each morning, I will go to the gym.

To this:

After I make my morning smoothie, I will drink it on the way to the gym.


After doing this for enough time, the act of making that smoothie will trigger that next habit of going to the gym to follow and soon enough, every time that you make that smoothie, you’ll be subconsciously heading off to the gym.

Many habits will take a quite a while before seeing results. It is for this reason that Habit stacking is so versatile and can be changed in many ways. Say that you are the type of person who needs to see instant results when starting a new habit, one way to use habit stacking to in your favour is to flip the your current habit with your habit that you wish to achieve.

For example. Say that you love coffee — who doesn’t? If your goal is to start reading more, you can either habit stack the two normally, being that after making a coffee, you will read your book while drinking it. Or you can flip the stack and make coffee the reward for reading. Your habit will be that after reading, you will make a coffee. But if you don’t read, you don’t get a coffee.


Your habits will go from looking like this:

Each morning, I will read my book.

To the regular habit stack of this:

After I make my morning coffee, I will read my book while drinking it.

To the flipped habit stack of this:

After I read 25 pages of my book in the morning, I can have my coffee.


For me, habit stacking is most beneficial as it visually reduces the amount of habits or goals that you are trying to achieve. It can be as simple as grouping your new habits/goals in order to achieve them faster.

Below is an example of a list of new years resolutions before and after habit stacking is applied.


After:

  • After waking up before 6am, I will read my book for 30 mins

  • I will drink a smoothie every day before I go to the gym

  • I will play my guitar for 15 minutes before I go to sleep

  • For each meal that I make myself, I will transfer $15 to my savings account

Before:

  • Read More

  • Go to the Gym

  • Drink a smoothie every day

  • Wake up early every day

  • Use technology less before bed

  • Save more money

  • Learn an instrument

  • Eat healthier


And just like that, we have turned eight small new years resolutions into four stacked habits to build, and since they are stacked, one cannot be done without the other. This is the true beauty of habit stacking. Even if it is something as simple as brushing your teeth after having a shower each day, habit stacking is something that everyone can use to simplify their life and create more meaningful and important habits to build. While keeping them easy to achieve by using current habits to get the ball rolling on learning the second.


This blog post has been based off James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about habits and how we can easily implement them into our daily lives.

Buy it here: https://australia.kinokuniya.com/bw/9781847941831

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had an amazing time with family and friends, time off work, time away or whatever else you did. Now that we are fully back into the swing of things with the new year, it’s time for a blog post about resolutions and life.

I can bet that you have already had many friends shoving their New Year’s resolutions in your face and forcing you to make similar resolutions, which we all know won’t stick. But how on earth do you make a New Year’s resolution stick?

Like most people, I have fallen into the trap of setting goals that are way too broad or way too unrealistic each year, and surprise surprise! They tend to disappear after a few weeks, waiting to resurface again a year later, like the little Grinch’s that they are.

Everything can be solved if you just slow the f*** down. Here are a few tips on how you can be sure to set goals that will stick:


  1. Take time in planning your New Year’s resolutions, think about what you truly want to achieve and be realistic when setting your goals. A little exercise that may help is to write down from start to finish, what you believe would be the perfect day. From there, you can pick out things to make your resolutions, for example: the time you wake up everyday, how often you work out, when you read each day.

  2. Be as specific as possible. Broadness will give you loop holes to not do x or not complete y. If your New Year’s resolution is to be more fit, then don’t make your resolution ‘Go to the Gym’. Instead, make it ‘Go to the Gym every two days at 5am after waking up’ or ‘Go for a 20 minute run every evening after work’. Not only are these more specific, giving times and days, but they are also linking your goal to something that you already do everyday, i.e. waking up and coming home from work. If your goals are linked to things that you already do, then you will be more likely to do them.

  3. Don’t burn yourself out. If you go in too hard and too fast, you’ll burn out and won’t be able to keep up. Tying back in with the first tip, be realistic. If you have never worked out before then setting a goal of going to the gym every morning of everyday is quite unrealistic. Try starting off with three mornings a week and go from there.


People like to throw around an amount of time that is needed before a habit sticks, three weeks, 30 days. I’ve seen them all. I truly believe that it takes a lot longer than 30 days. A habit has only stuck when you do it without thinking, the way you start biting your nails when you’re nervous, or the way that you pat your pockets to make sure that your phone, keys and wallet are there every time you go out. You don’t need to force yourself to start biting your nails, you don’t need to think about it. This is when your habit has truly stuck. However, on the other hand, I believe that it only takes two days in a row to break a habit that hasn’t fully stuck yet. Say you’re trying to read every day, missing one day is acceptable because of whatever reason, but missing two days in a row isn’t an accident. You knew that you missed the day before, so you should have put more effort into making sure that you read the next day.

Now I could sit here and talk about habits forever, but I need to save that for future blog posts. So that’ll be it for now.

Just remember when setting goals: Slow down, be realistic, be specific, don’t burn yourself out.

What is success?

To many, success is paying off a mortgage, buying that new car, being able to go on holidays all around the world. Material possessions are often associated with success. The expensive watches, the handbags, the suits.

Everyone needs to redefine their own meaning of success, as this materialistic and monetary view does not align with everyone — including myself.

Success comes from happiness. If you are not happy, then you are not successful in life. Sure, if paying off your mortgage and owning an expensive car brings you happiness, then you are — in your own eyes — successful. But if you are working day in, day out. In a boring job that you hate, just to get that car, that ‘success’ that you feel will come from purchasing expensive items, then are you really happy?

For me, as a creative. True happiness would come from being able to make a living off my blog writing and photography. Sure, I might not be the richest man in the world. Sure, I might not have the fanciest of clothes, but I’m happy. Therefore, successful in my own eyes.

It all boils down to happiness. We are only on this earth for a short time, so do what makes you happy now, and not regret wasting your life chasing a dream that wasn’t yours to begin with.

 
 

Architectural Inspiration - 02

Yet another lurk through @Architecture_Hunter's Instagram page has brought me yet another top Architectural Inspiration blog post.

Be sure to check out both Architecture Hunter (linked above) and each Architect or Photographer of each shot and building! (linked before each shot).


1. Frameless House | By Mario Stoica Design Studio

 
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2. Awen Office | By Zrobym Architects

 
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3. Mone House | By Quadro Room

 
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4. Loft | By sooii GmbH & Bernd Opitz

 
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5. Concept of a Hotel | By Саша Неровня

 
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Life, explained in one minute

 "Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" - Through the Looking-Glass

As Casey Neistat puts it, Life is like moving the wrong way on an escalator. You must continue to move in order to keep up. If you stand still, you will fall behind. Whether it be in education, business or anything else in life. To continue to move, is to continue to learn and improve. To stand still, is to give up or even to be content with where you are in life, giving others the chance to catch up to you and even overtake you.

To get anywhere in this life, you need to hustle. Believe that you can achieve, and you will achieve. All it takes is dedication and persistence.

 
 

My Daily Routine

A two-minute read.


9-10pm

My morning routine really starts the night before. I use the app MinimaList to write down my tasks, jobs and work that I need to get done. These are sorted by importance.

I take a look at this list every night before bed and see which tasks need to be completed the following morning, and I set my alarm according to how much time I need to complete the tasks — if any.


5-6am

I get up between 5-6am every morning, no exceptions. I wrote a blog explaining why I get up this early, and you can read that here. Not only by getting up early do I have the time to finish all my tasks before going to work, no one else is awake, so this limits all distractions from the task at hand. I won’t be wasting time messaging people on Facebook. But the main reason why I love getting up early is the feeling it gives you. If you have the discipline to get yourself up out of bed early every day, then from the second you wake up, you’ve already accomplished a goal and had a victory that most others have not. Once you have one victory, this will push you throughout the day to make more little victories for yourself, be it working out, eating healthy or just being happier.


6:30-7:30am

In this hour, I have my shower, eat breakfast and get ready for work. Occasionally there are leftovers to take in for lunch, other times I make lunch to take in. Nothing exciting really ever happens here.


7:30-8:30am

Commuting to work. Possibly the most boring part of my day. Crowded trains, loud cars. If I could change anything in life, it would be how close I live to work.

I leave for work and 7:30 which gives be around 15 minutes to walk to the train station and get a coffee at Kylon Eatery on the way. Once on the train — if I’m not feeling like I’m in the middle of a scrum with fifty other people — I read one of my books. Currently, I’m reading Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life and Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*.


8:30am-5pm

Work, work and more work.


5-6pm

Commuting home from work. I will either get the bus or the train home from work, depending on how fast they are on the day. Busses are always 15-20 minutes late so trying to plan my trip home based on the timetable is impossible.


6-7pm

I usually spend this time either chatting to friends, watching TV, or playing games.


7-8pm

Dinner.


8-9pm

More games. I like to get all of my work done in the morning so that I have this time in the evening to play games. Most recently I’ve been playing Black Ops 4’s BR mode Blackout almost every day, but the new Super Smash Bros game came out last week, so that has consumed most of my evenings now.


9-10pm

Get ready for bed. Check my tasks for the next morning. Rinse. Repeat.

Top 5 ways to improve your life. Today.


1.  Stop caring so much about what others think

The first step — in my opinion, to improve your life initially is to stop caring so much about what other people think. What they think of you, your appearance, your actions or anything else that you do. You can do whatever you want, don’t let anyone stop you or let you feel judged or embarrassed for your choices.

People spend way too much time worrying about what others will think of them. The truth is that people don’t have time to worry about that they think of you, because they are too busy worrying about what other people think of them.


2.  Start doing what you truly want to do with your life

You will always see people who hate their jobs, people who continuously post about wishing they were somewhere else, doing something else.

According to Lifeline Australia, the 2015 ABS stated that there were over 3000 deaths due to suicide in 2015 in Australia alone. That’s eight a day. One (of many) factors that contribute to this high number of suicides is stress. Stress that may be caused by working in an environment unsuited to that person.

So do what you want to do. Write that book that you have been putting off for months. Get out there and start taking photos with the camera that you got all those years ago. Even if you have to work a job that you don’t like. Find hobbies that make you happy. Put yourself first. 

A quote that I truly believe we all must live by is a little cliched, but necessary.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


3.  Appear more confident, and you will be more confident

Confidence mainly stems from appearance and posture. If you appear to others as if you are more confident, naturally, you will begin to become more confident.

Everyone unknowingly compares themselves to others on an imaginary hierarchical ladder. If someone meets you, and you are struggling to maintain eye contact, you’re hunched over and your head is facing downwards to the ground, people you meet will begin to place themselves above you on this figurative ladder. You look defeated and unconfident, so to others, you appear as such. You aren’t respected.

Be confident with your words, stand up straight and maintain eye contact. Watch, as others start to see this confidence and begin to respect you.


4.  Stop comparing yourself to others

Their life and current situation is far different to yours, whether it be physical strength, intellect, or appearance.

To quote Jordan B. Peterson: “No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent. You’re a decent guitar player, but you’re  not Jimmy Page or Jack White.”

Others have not lived the same life that you have, experienced the same things or even lived in the same country for that matter. Stop comparing yourself to them. Compare yourself, to who you were yesterday.


5.  Smile

It is proven that just by smiling, your happiness will be increased. So smile. Be happy with the life that you have, not longing for something that is not. Be grateful, confident and happy. Nothing can stop you.

The Art of Letting Go

Learn to let go of control, before you lose it.

If you don’t, the consequences and long lasting damage to those around you will be far greater.

Everyone must learn to accept and come to terms with the fact that some things in life are out of their control and aren’t worth worrying about. Be it as close as five minutes away, worrying whether the train will be on time today, or be it 50 years down the road and worrying about whether you will have a stable job and a family or even to a much larger extent, your own physical health and even life itself. If you try and control every aspect of life, you will eventually lose control when you least expect it and you will be far worse off than if you had learnt to let go of trying to control the things that are very much outside of your control.

This brings me to my first and most vital point, you must realise that conflict and complications are inevitably always going to arise, whether you like it or not. Relationships, partnerships, job interviews, meetings and whatever else it may be will unavoidably bring with it many complications and disputes. This could be due to opposing views, forgetting to complete a task by the set date or forgetting to set your alarm in the morning. Boiled down, these things are all made worse due to the lack of preparation and knowledge of how to solve the issue at hand.

I am currently reading a book every day titled ‘The Daily Stoic’ by Ryan Holiday. This book contains 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living. One for each day of the year. November 22nd’s entry is titled ‘The Glass is Already Broken’. It speaks of a Zen master who owned a beautifully prized cup, he repeated to himself, “The glass is already broken”. One day, the glass broke, and he said to himself, “Of course”. Because he had already come to terms with the glass braking, when it finally did, it had less of an impact on the mans life.

This can just as easily be transferred into our lives. If we realise that materialistic goods are finite, then we will have less of an attachment when they are lost, broken or stolen. If we realise that with every job interview or freelance gig that you take, the chances are high that something will go wrong, then we can be well prepared for that occurrence and it wont take us by surprise. We then learn how to deal with problems more systematically and not frantically, in many instances, during stressful times we cannot afford to be stressed as we will not produce or best work, in whatever field it may be. We need to keep our cool.

Trying to control everything is like trying to control the ocean. In the words of Dan Mace, it creates pandemonium. We don’t try to control it or tame the beast. But rather, flow with it. If you try to control the ocean, you’ll get nowhere, just like trying to swim against a rip. Let go of this concept of complete control and expect the unexpected.

The term control freak describes an individual who attempts to undermine other people based on how they perceive that everything should be done. Don’t be one of those people. They will inevitably lose control of everything.

Learn to let go of control, before you lose it.