Keystone Habits: Change One Thing, Change Everything

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When it comes time to make a major change in your life, the very idea can seem overwhelming. All the things you need to start doing, all the things you need to stop doing. These lists leave most people paralyzed, and content with their current life.

What if there was an easier way? What if you could change one small thing and everything else would change with it?

Keystone habits allow people to make huge changes in their lives simply by instilling one foundational habit. One may assume these need to be large life changing routines, but often smaller is better. The real key is consistency. By completing this habit on a daily basis, you get a “small-win” that you can build on. These small wins snowball into bigger and bigger wins every day, eventually resulting in major change.

A great example of this is sleeping 8 hours every night. This daily discipline has a cascading effect on the rest of your day.

When you sleep more:

  1. You have more energy and are more productive at work. Your boss notices and you get a raise!
  2. You wake up refreshed and go for a run. After 3 months you are down 10lb!
  3. You are less cranky throughout the day, so you no longer argue with your spouse at night!
  4. You no longer crave snacks throughout the day and lose another 10lb!

With the simple habit of getting proper sleep, you could change your body, your marriage, and your financial situation. This is the power of keystone habits.

How do you find your keystone habit?

The first thing I would do is find one thing you know you can do – something you have complete control of. Do not pick something that relies on others and do not pick something you already do.

My original keystone habit was making my bed. Every morning, regardless of how I feel or the amount of time I have, I make my bed. This task takes all of 10 seconds to do, yet it is extremely powerful for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing that I’m up and ready for the day hours before most. Secondly, if everything else goes wrong that day, at least I completed one task. And lastly, after a 14 hour day, a made bed feels pretty good.

Find your own keystone habit and start changing your life!