Caught up in the buzz of New Year’s Eve, you find yourself resolving for better habits and routines. Yet somehow, by February those resolutions get lost. So how can we keep our resolutions?
Surprisingly, coffee can help you beyond supplying your daily dose of caffeine.
Before we get into the direct correlation between your cup of joe and hitting the gym or eating more veggies, we first need to cover the importance of turning resolutions into habits. Because let’s face it, you aren’t going to wake yourself up an hour earlier for the treadmill unless it’s a habit.
So how do we build new habits beyond sheer will and determination you ask? James Clear, author of multiple pieces on behavioral psychology and habit formation has a few ideas. To sum up his and others’ work, the fastest way to build new habits is to stack them on top of pre existing habits.
It’s called “Habit Stacking”.
Your brain has already built networks of neurons to support your current habits. The more you do these simple routines like brushing your teeth or combing your hair, the stronger these networks become. So instead of plowing the way for a new network (a new habit), why not build on top of one of those old morning habits?
Enter, the morning routine. Do a quick google search and you’ll find there are quite a few benefits to the morning routine. It sets the tone for the whole day, increases productivity, boosts mindfulness, and sets you up for a healthier lifestyle..yada yada yada. There’s so many benefits to maintaining a 30-60 min morning routine we’re willing to bet it has a pretty big impact on your future New Year’s resolution.
For those wondering, coffee is still part of the discussion – bear with me!
Ok, taking the principle of habit stacking and the morning routine, let’s tackle your resolution. The plan is to create a doable morning routine that fulfills said resolution via habit stacking. One of the most popular morning habits is reaching for a cup of coffee.
So why not put that habit to work?
This is when we throw extreme convenience out the window. Although we understand the convenience of electric brewers, building a fulfilling habit on top of your coffee routine just won’t cut it with the 30 seconds it takes to make a bad cup of coffee with Keurig.
Why not use brew time to your advantage?
If you brew with something like Duo Coffee Steeper or a French Press, you have 4 minutes of brew time. Why not use this time to:
- Increase cleanliness: make your bed or put the dishes into the dishwasher
- Gain some perspective: Some of very successful people swear by 3 minute morning meditation. Here’s your chance!
- Clear your mind: Why not read a few pages of your favorite newspaper, magazine or book?
Prefer coffee that takes a more hands on approach like espresso or pour-over? Just tack your new habit right after you make your morning brew. To stack your habit, Mr. Clear has a madlib for you:
After/Before [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
After I brew my cup of coffee, I will…do ten pushups, call my mom, make my balanced breakfast, pack my lunch…you get the idea.
Trying to tackle a larger habit that takes more than a few minutes? Try chipping away at it. After I brew my cup of coffee, I will put my sneakers on for the gym. It’s 6:00 am, we’re not trying to tackle to entire idea of heading to the gym and running, we’re just starting the initiative by stacking the first step (putting on sneakers) to our cup of coffee.
This habit stacking/morning routine mix doesn’t end with just coffee. Try making a list of habits you do in the morning (or hey, all day) to see if you can stack on your new resolution.