Everybody has their one thing. Something that when you do it, it makes other good decisions happen. That’s your keystone habit and it is the secret to unlocking a healthy life.
You know those days when everything just seems to click. You are on fire! Maybe you started your day with a really healthy breakfast. Maybe you got in an amazing workout or broke away for a mid-day yoga class. Maybe you spent the first 5 minutes at your desk pinpointing your top 3 must-do priorities for your day instead of checking email. Whatever it is, there is a magic in finding your keystone habit.
In one of my favorite books, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, numerous studies are cited about willpower and discipline. Just reading those words can feel exhausting, right? One more thing to do? And this time of year, when most of us have reached the end of our willpower bucket trying to achieve often lofty resolution goals, it can feel overwhelming to think about creating another habit.
But the beautiful thing about building a habit is that it automates and makes doing a task easier. Who doesn’t want life’s daily tasks to be easier?
And a keystone habit has a unique ripple effect. The research shows that when we make one right decision – like getting in that morning workout instead of hitting snooze, we strengthen our willpower muscle, if you will. We then have the ability to resist the donuts at the office with greater confidence. We are better able to filter comments to that annoying coworker. And we have the discipline to have a glass of sparkling water when we get home rather than a glass of wine.
So what is your keystone habit? For me, it is working out in the morning…but not just any old workout. When I do an intense workout – like Insanity (my current favorite because the results are sick!), I find that I want to eat a healthy breakfast, I start drinking much more water than I normally would have and after several days I have more energy that makes me want to move throughout the day.
Of course you don’t magically become a healthy decision machine after one bowl of oatmeal. But after practicing your keystone habit for several days (see the discipline building in that?), then you have the muscle to make more right decisions.
So now I’m dying to hear from all of you. What is your keystone habit? Join the Facebook conversation about this topic. Share your best tips. You don’t want to miss the discussion.