What is a keystone habit?
We set goals, get excited by them, keep our eyes on them, and with everything within us, we set forth to achieve them.
However, we get to the point we can’t go further because we are no longer able to keep up with the actions. Most times, this is because they are not part of us. The actions are not habits which we can keep doing for as long as we want. Hence, the excitement dies out. We just can’t move forward. The goal remains unachieved.
That is what brings us to the topic of today: Keystone habits.
Keystone habits are those habits which, when we form them, create a chain of positive ripple effects, making it easy for other positive habits to start.
Charles Duhigg first used this term in his book The Power of Habit.
According to him:
Keystone habits are “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
With a keystone habit, you don’t have to worry about forming many habits simultaneously. You just need one or two keystone habits, and they will bring about the presence of the other habits, inevitably.
A keystone habit has a first domino effect,
Ever seen an arrangement of dominoes before? You can see one here.
A touch on the first domino in the arrangement has a chain of effects on all others, causing them to fall. This is what a keystone habit does. Once you form one, every other positive habit falls in without your conscious effort.
EXAMPLES OF KEYSTONE HABITS
- Planning your day in the morning
- Having a morning routine
- Eliminating excuses
- Time management
- Saying No
Let’s Talk about three out of the list
Exercise: Studies have shown that exercise is a keystone habit that can create a chain of massive positive habits. According to research, exercise brings about a massive decrease in unhealthy habits such as; smoking, unhealthy eating, procrastination, stress, emotional distress, alcohol, and caffeine consumption. At the same time, improving healthy habits such as; healthy eating, emotional control, maintenance of household chores, attendance to commitments, monitoring of spending, and an improvement in study habits.
When you exercise every morning, you get ready for the day’s activity; you eat more healthy foods instead of junks and drink more water, get enough sleep when you do; and realize that smoking and drinking are not helping your body, and then, you work on breaking these habits. It will also make you feel motivated about your goals. All these with just one habit formed.
All much for one simple routine, right?
Meditation: This is an underrated productivity tool in our current world.