Keystone habits are the things you do that by so doing automatically affect all other areas in either a positive or negative way. Keystone habits say that success does not depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers. The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other patterns. This was a huge Ah-ha moment for me in my life and the small changes I made years back that automatically dislodged other negative habits. It is not until now, years later that I realize by changing just a couple things it automatically changed the trajectory of my life. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces set in motion that favor another small win. Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patters that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.”
It all starts with a decision to change not by taking a big giant leap but by taking the small step that leads to the small victories which over time leads to a massive transformation. When you begin to succeed you start to believe in your innate potential and that big achievements are within reach and when your belief is increased you take more action which leads to more results and BOOM you start walking around with a strut willing to take anything on because you know you can do it.
When your belief is HIGH you can do absolutely anything! why is it that pre-October of 2011 I was in terrible shape yet had all the time in the world to work on my health and fitness vs. now when I am busier than ever but am in the best shape of my life? My belief in what I could accomplish was so low that no matter how many times I said I was going to do P90X it never clicked because I failed before I even started. My Keystone Habits were not serving me well! I was starting the day late, with little or no breakfast, talk trash radio, and no workout. What did I really expect that my day would be superb when I was doing everything possible to make it hard. Here is what I now understand you have to control those habits by changing and simplifying the system behind it. Keystone habits are the glue to the system and here are my keystone habits that have served me well for the past couple years.
- Prayer/Scripture Study – I start my day with prayer and scripture study!…pretty simple huh?
- Personal Development – I read or listen to 30 minutes of personal development and take notes or make a video about what I learned.
- Daily Workout – I do my freaking workout without fail every single day that it is scheduled. You could count on one hand the # of times I have missed a scheduled workout in the past four years.
- Balanced Breakfast – Which consists of Shakeology + eggs/egg whites + complex carbs.
- Family Time – I workout from home so I get some time with my kids and wife before the hectic day starts. My family is the reason why I do what I do and my motivation for everything so spending time with them fuels my fire.
By focusing on these keystone habits I completely changed the direction of my life and all other aspects starting receiving the benefits. I was more positive at home and at work, more productive overall, bouncing off the wall energy, better connection with my family, more spiritual, more adept at handling the haters, focused, passionate, qualified for top of the line life insurance, no longer fear failure to name just a few of the positive benefits.
How Do You Change Bad Habits?
You need to change the ROUTINE portion of the equation as shown in the above image. Each of us has certain cues that spark a routine seeking a reward. For example if you struggle with eating healthy you need to find a routine such as a cheat meal you have planned for the end of the week if you are able to stick to your plan. Find creative ways to change your routine and by so doing you change the outcome of those habits. For me when I was stressed I would eat sugar and a lot of ice cream because I was seeking the reward of the ice cream. Now when I am stressed I workout, listen to motivational music/video, or read personal development. I changed the routine portion of my habits and my reward is still the same outcome but in a much more positive manner.