I hate taking pills but, unfortunately, I’ve been forced to take a medication twice per day. I won’t get in the details of why, but it’s taken once in the morning and once at night. I’ll be on it for the duration of January.

To make the experience more “fun,” every time I take the medication, I do 20 pushups.

First, you may be wondering WHY? Simple–I want to “up my pushup game” and I like feeling strong.

Second, I know I’ll be successful because it leverages a powerful principle called Habit Stacking.

Habit stacking is taking an ingrained habit and adding a new habit immediately after it. 

In my case, taking medication twice per day isn’t necessarily an “ingrained” habit but it is something that I KNOW I will do. This makes doing something new immediately after it EASY. Plus, I haven’t precisely timed how long it takes me to do 20 pushups (I’m guessing it isn’t much more than 30 seconds) so doing pushups takes no more than 1-2 minutes out of my day.

20 pushups also doesn’t seem like a lot. But 20 pushups per pill equals 40 pushups per day, which equals 280 pushups per week, which equals over 1000 pushups for the month.

1000 pushups IS a lot!

Habit stacking can be used in any area of life, whether it be health, happiness or high performance.

Professionally, I will not start my day without a cup of coffee (yes, I’m addicted). When I sit down at my computer with my piping hot coffee, I will spend a few minutes planning and setting the intention for an Outperforming day. The coffee is too hot to drink, anyway.

I used to whip open my laptop and start responding to email, so I’m stacking the new habit (planning) on top of a current habit (coffee). It has helped me be much more productive and focused with my days.

I’m not going to pretend that I have perfect habits, but I am always trying to improve. I hope you are as well.

When you start to stack positive habits on top of each other, your days become a chain reaction of Outperforming.