Table of Contents
KEYSTONE HABITS TO ACHIEVE BIG RESULTS
1. Regular Exercise Habit
Exercise is an obvious keystone habit, but it’s good to know research backs this up. A landmark study has shown that exercise facilitates the desire to make a variety of other positive changes like eating better, being more productive, smoking less, spending less, and feeling less stressed.
And it doesn’t have to do much exercise. Even as little as once a week is enough to kickstart these other changes.
However, a better way to approach the exercise habit is starting with just five minutes a day, every day, until the habit is established.
2. Food Journaling
Taking just a few minutes to write down everything you’ve eaten during the day has many unexpected positive consequences.
You begin to notice patterns in your eating and see with clarity exactly how much you’re eating. In studies, those who journaled their food intake began to eat less, make healthier choices, and begin a weight loss program.
3. Eating Family Dinners
Some keystone habits have a positive effect on the habits of your family members. Eating family meals has been shown to give children a leg up with homework skills, better grades, confidence, and emotional control.
Family dinners also improve relationship communication between family members and help children build the habits of participating in family chores.
4. Making Your Bed
Do you make your bed in the morning? If not this very brief and simple habits has been correlated to more productivity, a sense of well-being, and budgeting skills.
In his book, Make Your Bed, Admiral William H. McRaven, shares life lessons he had learned during his Navy Seal training. He stresses the importance of creating routines beginning with the keystone habit of making your bed.
If you can accomplish this one habit first thing in the morning, you’ll find you’re inspired to stick to other habits throughout your day.
5. Practicing Visualization
Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer who is the most decorated Olympian in history with 19 Olympic medals, credits his focus and success on the power of visualizing a perfect swim before he jumps in the pool.
Says Phelps in a 2012 interview with The Telegragh, “Now I have gotten back into the rhythm of it, of seeing what I want to see, seeing what I don’t want to see, seeing what I possibly could see.
I’m trying to picture it all, everything I possibly can so that I’m ready for anything that happens.”
Visualization has been shown to support increased performance in all areas of your life when applied to the desired outcome. According to an article in Scientific American,
In fact, visualizing movement changes how our brain networks are organized, creating more connections among different regions. It stimulates brain regions involved in rehearsal of movement, such as the putamen located in the forebrain, priming the brain and body for action so that we move more effectively.
6. Positive Thinking
Actively changing your mindset to view your life and circumstances from a negative to a positive point of view creates an attitude of confidence and energy that promotes many other positive habits.
If you practice the habit of positive thinking, even when you don’t feel positive, you will eventually change your mood and outlook — and this impacts your desire to perform a variety of other behaviors that improve your life.
7. Planning Your Day the Night Before
When you get in the habit of planning your goals and priorities for the following day, you commit to specific actions that are productive and positive. When you write down these daily goals, you are far more likely to complete them.