Last post we discussed The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Live and Business and how the cue can help you create a new habit.
If you missed it, click to read more about cues>>>
The next strategy to you keep consistent with your clean living is to develop keystone habits.
In a nutshell, keystone habits snowball into even more positive habits without a lot of effort.
According to Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit…
Keystone habits explain how Michael Phelps became an Olympic champion and why some college students outperform their peers. They describe why some people, after years of trying, suddenly lose 40 pounds while becoming more productive at work and still getting home in time for dinner with their kids.
You pick just ONE habit and repeat it each day, over and over again. Pretty soon, without you knowing, it’s trickling to other areas of your life.
Pretty interesting stuff.
For example, my keystone habits happen in the morning. Making my bed (and all the beds in the house…I really need to train my kids to make theirs!), having my workout clothes laid out the night before so I exercise on time,
and meditation set the tone of my day.
Therefore, for example, when I exercise, I feel better about myself and more energetic; I’m less likely to grab a false energy boost food or drink which will in turn help me to get through the day without mindless eating. All this allows me to get a good night’s sleep so I can get up early, exercise, and have an amazing next day.
A ripple effect!
But what happens when you let go of one or all of your keystone habits?
Well, I found out first hand. And not too proud to tell you this…but the truth always sets you free, right?
I spent the month of June glued to my laptop, watching all four seasons of Game of Thrones.
I’m not sure what got into me. It was like I was on some type of crack! I couldn’t tear myself away. I was obsessed!
I tried to tell myself that I needed to learn about the houses (because let’s face it, it can be so confusing!); that I needed to backtrack to the very first episode and start over.
But if I had to tell the absolute truth, it was my way of escaping from the cookbook manuscript I needed to write.
You see, sitting down to write a whole book, scared the hell out of me (it’s just too big of a task and it’s just too big of a deal…what if I screw up?).
So while I was procrastinating and immersing myself with Lannisters, dragons and The Wall, I wasn’t able to keep up with my morning keystone habits.
Staying up to midnight, 1, 2 am caused me to sleep in, rush out the door with messy beds, and miss my workouts. And meditations, well that totally didn’t happen.
My whole day was shot.
I found myself daydreaming about the last episode I watched and planning a time I could slip way and just vedge again. I wasn’t getting anything done!
This went on for a few weeks (I know, like, right…).
One day I sat myself down for a long talk. Even though I knew on some level what I was doing, I wasn’t going to change unless I could feel good again. My body needed to remember what good feels like.
So I did ONE thing…
I picked just one keystone habit to get me back in the groove…not all three, but one.
Laying out my exercise gear the night before.
That’s it. Just one habit. I knew that I would get overwhelmed if I went for all three at once.
Having my workout clothes ready when I get up sets me up for success.
I’m not searching for a sports bra or my cross trainers when I’m half asleep. I make it to my spin class on time. I sweat. I feel strong. I have a good day.
My body feels good!
Overtime I got back to all three of my keystone habits and I feel centered again…powerful, in charge of my life.
I do have to tell you, though, that letting go of my keystone habits happened before, and it will happen again.
It’s life. It’s inevitable.
But the key is to recognize why you are doing to avoid or procrastinate then accept it. Once you do that, take action and you’ll see things falling into line again.
No use beating yourself up about it (as I start to do but then tell my inner critic to shut the hell up, I’m human!)…just choose one keystone habit to start and go for it. It can be done!
Now I’m on to catching up with True Blood…but don’t worry, I’m in the groove again and nothing beats how good I feel when I have my keystone habits in place.
Now I want to hear from you…
What do you say?
In the comments below, tell me ONE keystone habit you will incorporate into your daily routine. Share and I will check on you to see how it’s going!
PS. Are you a GOT fan, too? Okay, can we talk about it? Ha! Alright time to move on!