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How To Stack Your Habits and Make Creativity a Part of Your Everyday

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A post shared by Lisa Con­g­don (@lisacongdon)

Form­ing habits can feel elu­sive. Train­ing your­self to do some­thing, con­sis­tent­ly, is a challenge—especially when it comes to cre­ativ­i­ty. Allow­ing your­self half an hour to draw, paint, embroi­der (what­ev­er you want to do) can seem total­ly indul­gent. But it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that being creative—taking time out for yourself—is not indul­gent. It’s a valu­able way to recharge and recon­nect. I’ve also found if you make some­thing a habit, it becomes a pur­pose­ful part of your day that you’ll be hap­py that made the time for.

So, how do you make a cre­ative exer­cise a habit? One way is by habit stack­ing. This tech­nique has you tie the new habit into an already exist­ing rou­tine By doing this, you’re not dis­rupt­ing your day. Rather, you’re bak­ing the new habit into some­thing you’re already doing.

How do you habit stack?

Start by assessing your day.

Once you have some­thing you’d want to make into a habit, take a look at your day—particularly the rou­tines that you have set up. Do you always get up and make a morn­ing cof­fee? Have a wind-down rou­tine before bed?

Then, consider where you can add creativity.

What­ev­er you already do, con­sid­er how you could add a cre­ative activ­i­ty dur­ing those times.

Here’s how I habit stack to ensure that I com­plete my 1 Year of Stitch­es each day. Pri­or to Jan­u­ary 1, 2021, I would have unstruc­tured “free time” after din­ner and before bed. So, that seemed like an easy way to work on this dai­ly project. After I fin­ish eat­ing din­ner each night, I grab my embroi­dery and do a lit­tle stitch­ing. Some­times I can get half an hour of work on it; oth­er nights I only have time for 15 min­utes. That’s just how it goes!

Start small and don’t make it too complicated.

Remem­ber, you want it to fit in with some­thing you’re already doing. I’m already sit­ting on my couch at night, so it makes embroi­dery a no-brain­er. Do you have moments like this in your day? Maybe you can fit in 30 min­utes to draw or knit a few rows on your sweater. You’d be sur­prised how much you can do with some ded­i­cat­ed time. I’m root­ing for you!

Illustration by Lisa Congdon
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