How easily do you remember Scripture that you memorized last week? What about last month or last year? Memory retention is one of the hardest skills to master and if you’re like most people, you often get frustrated and discouraged when you keep forgetting what you spent so much time memorizing. Let me introduce you to a new technique known as “spaced stacking” that could change the way you review.
You already know that consistent review is critical to memorizing anything – memories naturally decay over time. And if you’ve read some of my previous writing on spaced repetition, you understand the idea that you should space out your Scripture review at strategically increasing intervals.
But today we’re going to explore a new idea that combines spaced repetition with habit stacking. And in a genius move that nobody could have seen coming, I’m calling it “spaced stacking”.
To understand how this works, let’s look at each of these separately.
The Art of Habit Stacking for Bible Memory
Habit stacking is something that I was introduced to by Pastor Scott Stonehouse who uses principles from the book Atomic Habits to memorize the Bible.
I’m a small habits guy. I need small goals, small habits that are easily achievable for me to be able to stick with it. But if they’re small enough and if I can make them pleasant enough, I’ll do them. And then as I build the habit, then I’ll slowly increase it.Scott Stonehouse
One way to achieve these small goals is to stack them on top of something you already do on a consistent basis.
I like to review Scripture passages I’ve memorized when I walk my dog every morning. It’s something I do consistently every day and I find it very enjoyable to recite verses I’ve memorized during that time.
But author Glenna Marshall challenged me a bit when she said this during our interview:
I try to work on memorization at different points during the day. And I like to sort of think of redeeming the time, so not creating new time because we all have 24 hours, but utilizing the time when your hands are busy, but your mind is not.Glenna Marshall
There are a number of different ways that you can “redeem the time” such as:
- While you’re taking a shower
- While you’re washing dishes
- While you’re driving your car
- Etc., etc.
That’s the idea behind habit stacking. But what does it mean to combine this with spaced repetition?
Spaced Repetition in Daily Life
Previously, I had been thinking of this entirely from a daily perspective. Where can I stack habits on a daily basis? But what if we found strategic, repeatable patterns in our life that we can stack on top of in the same way?
Follow my logic here:
- Daily: I walk my dog every day.
- Weekly: I take out the trash every week. I also go to pay basketball once a week on the weekends. Perhaps you mow the lawn every week?
These are all activities that I’m very consistent about doing – there are ramifications if I forget to do them that are spaced out at different intervals.
“Spaced Stacking”: Combining the Two
Spaced stacking is when you stack on top of habits that are spaced out over time.
Finding mindless task that are spread across various time intervals to help be consistent with bible memory review.
For example, every time I take out the trash I can quickly recite from Philippians where Paul says that:
Attaching the verse to that weekly task not only ensures that I’ll review it consistently, it’s also a pretty cool way to peg the meaning of the verse to something memorable – taking out the trash.
Spaced stacking could help you maintain consistent review that helps you keep the scripture you’ve memorized over the long-term.
What do you think? Is this something you can use? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Also, you can find a visual explanation of these new method called Spaced stacking on our YouTube channel here:
Or you can listen to the Memorize What Matters podcast on your favorite player:Listen to “How to NOT Forget Verses You've Memorized” on Spreaker.
More Bible Memory Resources
Are you interested to memorize more of God’s Word? Check out the various resources we have available on Bible Memory Goal: