The cornerstone of transformational change is linked to that one habit, positive or negative, that when intentionally removed or added to one’s life can set off a chain effect that produces multiple positive behaviours.
WHAT’S UP simple life readers/habit ninjas, for those of you who have been following along for this months habit themed posts! So we have written down our Superhero Habits, and been practicing the art of taking action as a Habit Ninja (if you are just tuning in, head back to those posts using the links and get involved), now let’s talk about The Keystone Habit.
I was first introduced to the keystone habit by Charles Duhigg, who wrote “The Power of Habit” (epic read for those knowledge thirsty legends). The idea is simple. There is one habit that we all know deep down in our loins will be the most powerful, assuming we are successful at introducing it into our lives. The introduction (or removal) of said habit has a cascading effect on all of the other actions we take, and consequently, the path we choose to walk in life.
That sounds really cool Reece, but give us an example!
Well since I can’t speak for anybody else, I will shed some light on my keystone habit, and how it changed my life.
Preamble: I experienced the phenomenon of the keystone habit before I had any idea of what it was. I had an interest in going to the gym and lifting weights since I was a young boy watching my Dad train on a multi-station gym machine in our study. This developed into sporadic spurts in the gym between about 16 years old and 20 years old. While this was something that I knew I wanted to really commit myself to, I found it difficult to do so in my youthful days of partying, socialising etc… It wasn’t until an overly drunk night on my 21st birthday that I decided I would totally commit to my passion, and consistently get myself into the gym, NO EXCUSES!
The last 7 years: Since that moment of total commitment and decision to take action, a myriad of other habits emerged that have set me up for a life of positive behaviour:
- I made a habit of being in shape.
- I made a habit of eating healthy and nutritious food.
- I made a habit of NOT BINGE DRINKING OR RELYING ON ALCOHOL.
- I made a habit of waking up early.
- I made a habit of educating myself.
- I made a habit of practicing discipline.
- I made a habit of DOING WHAT OTHERS DON’T.
- I made a habit of meditating.
- I made a habit of BEING MY BEST SELF.
- I made a habit of being surrounded by like-minded people.
These benefits accrued one by one, and over a long span of time. However, they all cascaded from that one habit, to “commit to my passion, and consistently get myself into the gym”. The above does not represent all the habits that I have created since the introduction of my keystone habit, but this list should give you an idea of what is possible.
So the question now falls to you, what is your keystone habit? Have you ever thought about it? My hunch is that most of you intuitively know what your keystone habit is, and if you wrote your Superhero Habit list, you have probably written it down already. Whether its giving up alcohol, quitting coke, committing to exercise, going on regular hikes, writing more, drawing more, etc.. What is that thing that you are most passionate about that you know you should bring into your life on a regular basis?
CALL TO ACTION – Get into your journal, or wherever you like to self-reflect, and write down a list of Superhero habits. Then aim to whittle this down to just one habit that is above and beyond the most important to you! Then, Habit Ninja the s*$t out of it! Your life might just change forever! I know mine did! Share your thoughts with me on The Simple Life blog Facebook page and lets help each other be our best selves 🙂