The Poo Walk Podcast

It's about habit stacking.

I used to read a lot. Every morning on my commute I’d block the world out and read. I enjoy learning new concepts and theories as well as immersing myself in fiction. I feel it’s an important part of my continuous learning and development to be taking on new information and learning new things. Now I don’t have a commute and I also find it difficult to concentrate to read. I don’t know why. It’s just how it is at the moment.

Several people have suggested listening to audio books or Podcasts instead. I had a go and I still struggle to concentrate to listen well enough, I potter about, get distracted and then all of a sudden it’s the end and I don’t know what’s happened for the last half hour.

So last week I decided to get more deliberate and make listening part of my daily routine. I’ve been experimenting with how to make listening to Podcasts and audio books a habit.

James Clear in his book Atomic Habits talks about habit stacking. This is attaching the new habit you wish to establish to something you already do, for example if you want to do improve your fitness by doing more steps, when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, rather than slouching over your Instagram feed, walk round the kitchen and do some steps. Repeat this every time you make a cuppa and you start to make it a habit.

Like most things we want to change, habit stacking is easy in principle, and harder in practice. However, this week I’ve started habit stacking on the morning poo walk.

If you have a dog, you most likely know what a poo walk is.  It’s taking the dog for a walk with the primary purpose that they do a poo. For me this is first thing in the morning before I start work for about half an hour.

This week I’ve implemented a new habit that I’ve called ‘the poo walk podcast’ where I habit stack by listening to a podcast on a poo walk with my dog Gary. It’s working OK so far. I’ve definitely listened to more Podcasts than the previous week (actually than any week ever). I have had moments of not listening and had to recap – and this is still progress. Small steps. Plus ‘poo walk podcast’ amuses me which helps keep my interest.

I’ve enjoyed listening to some TED Podcasts, episode 127 on the Bright Spot Podcast and some gems from Squiggly Careers. I’m going to persevere because I’m enjoying what I’m learning and it sets my mindset well for the day ahead. Some days I might choose the empty space of just walking with silence and allowing my mind to wander. If I can listen and learn something on three out of five poo walks then I have success.

What habits would you like to establish? How might you use habit stacking to help you?

And any podcast recommendations much appreciated!

14 thoughts on “The Poo Walk Podcast

  1. My top three podcast recommendations for you, Lucy:

    The Moth – people telling stories on stage, I’m sure you’ll relate 🙂
    This American Life – gives me just enough insight into some of the crazy stuff happening in the US!
    The Butterfly Effect – Jon Ronson’s seven parter on the porn industry, the changes and it’s impact on society, it’s honestly fascinating!

    Hope you enjoy!

  2. I always listen to podcasts when walking the dog or doing household chores. My favourite at the moment is Learning to Fail with Elizabeth Day.

    However (insert shameless plug), my own podcast ‘Developing Practice Podcast’ is chocked full of interesting conversations from coaching, wellbeing, teaching and learning experts.

  3. Hi Lucy,
    I’m hooked on The Rest is Politics and listen on my walk to and from the office. As well as when gardening. I sometimes listen when cooking too. I guess that’s slightly habit stacking because my habit is to walk to and from the office 🙄 I really enjoy the relationship between Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell as well as the waltz around politics across the world.
    I am listening to 2 other pods that relate to my work. Prevention is the new cure. Preventing poor health has to be way better than having to treat the effects of poor health?
    The other is the GM Moving podcast. My colleagues in Manchester generously sharing what they are learning about the changes and support needed for people to move more.
    I enjoy the oasis a podcast provides. But I can relate to occasions when I use the 15 secs rewind because I have wandered off somewhere 😊

  4. I regularly dip into these:
    ~ A bit of optimism by Simon Sinek
    ~ Eat, sleep, work, repeat by Bruce Daisley
    ~ Creator Lab by Bilal Zaidi
    ~ Marketing Meetup
    ~ The Knowledge Project by Shane Parrish

    I also love a good football/film review podcast so can recommend a few of those too if you like 😉

  5. I too have trouble concentrating if I try to listen while at my desk.

    I’ve found I can focus better on a podcast if walking (no dog) or making a meal I’ve made before. Currently, I’m listening to Good Life Project, catching up on Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us.

    For the light podcasts, cause it is ok to just need something amusing – Joanna and the Maestro and Kitchen Disco BBC are fun and fine if you lose the focus or someone comes in to talk to you.

  6. Hi Lucy
    You might enjoy my podcast – I chat to all sorts of people who are doing simple things to improve health care, often based on their own lived experience.
    Our mutual friend, Ali Waters thinks you will like it! I hope she’s right. I will be thinking of you on your poo walk!! 🐕 if so, please let me know what you think! Gill @WhoseShoes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the weekly email for tips to think differently and make more impact

Get the Lucidity weekly email