If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a big list of new years’ goals, start here.
If you struggle to create new habits in your life, and the new year feels crazy overwhelming, try this! All you have to do is change one thing – seriously it’s that simple.
Starting new habits is hard cause we’re creatures of habit
I think all of us struggle with creating new habits. Human brains are totally creatures of habit, and if we’re in a rhythm, it’s really hard to re-wire your brain and create better habits.
My biggest new habits shift happened in a random August. Here’s why.
Every new year I set big goals for my health, well being, relationships, spending, etc. But actually my biggest habit shift happened in a random August in 2017. My life honestly did almost a 180 degree turn, and I went from never being able to exercise consistently, not eating very well consistently, getting very little sleep consistently, to suddenly doing all those things pretty dang consistently!!
It worked for my husband too!
About a year later, my husband jumped on board randomly in the middle of the year, lost 30 pounds, started running, and started sleeping better than he had in years.
This is how we created new habits with just one small change
It wasn’t until I read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg last year that I finally put a name with the concept that both my husband and I experienced.
It’s called The Keystone Habit.
A keystone habit is “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.” – Charles Duhigg
The term is based off of the keystone in an arch — the most important stone that holds all the other stones in place.
Charles Duhigg explains that a “keystone habit” is the habit that creates a domino effect. The idea is that you only have to change one thing for a lot of other good habits to fall into place.
Seems kind of too good to be true, right?
Actually it’s not!
As I read this book, and learned about the Keystone Habit, I started pondering about my life shift back in August 2017 and discovered that I had experienced this very thing.
This was my Keystone Habit back in August 2017
My keystone habit was to work out for 30 minutes everyday. I remember so specifically deciding that I was going to commit to doing all 12 weeks of the BBG exercise program. It was 28 minutes, three days per week, and that was doable for me!
As soon as I made the commitment, I had to go through my daily schedule and decide where to fit those 28 minutes into my day. I decided the best time for me was early in the morning before the kids woke up. During the day didn’t work for me because then I’d have to shower mid day and it wouldn’t be til the afternoon that I got ready for the day, and I hate that. At night was even worse because I’m just too tired and lazy at the end of the day.
How all the other new habits fell into place
So because I decided to do it early, that meant I had to go to bed at a reasonable time. No more staying up til 2am getting my work done.
And because I couldn’t stay up late finishing projects, I had to be more focused during my dedicated work hours so I could complete everything.
If I wanted to be focused during work hours, I had to eat better lunches so I wasn’t having a sugar crash or not getting the nutrients I needed for full brain focus.
See where I’m going with this?
Because I was motivated to eat better, I started drinking more water.
I was working out more, so I was listening to more inspirational podcasts (some of my favorites RIGHT HERE) and feeling motivated to be a better business person, mom, and wife.
And now that I was doing strength training three days a week, why not try running on the off days?
On and on the dominoes go…
This was my husband’s experience
My husband’s experience was similar, and as we talked through this concept, he told me what changed it all for him. His Keystone Habit was quitting drinking soda. He loves soda, and would drink it every single day during his business lunches. Sometimes more often.
He quit cold turkey, and felt like the way he could lose a few pounds was to take up running. Forty pounds later, he had picked up a few other great habits along the way. He listens to business podcasts, religious talks, and scriptures while he runs. He has tons more energy, and sleeps so much better at night.
He still drinks soda occasionally, but it’s not a bad habit anymore. Just a treat or indulgence once in a while.
All it takes is one change to create some momentum
It’s incredible how one little shift can somehow create the momentum to change so many parts of your life.
“We create the life we want, so decide what you want and start.”
Here’s my challenge to you!
I challenge you to take a few minutes this week and figure out what your Keystone Habit is — either something you already did and has created so much great momentum in your life, or something you could change that can start your domino effect.
Go leave a comment on my Instagram post this morning and share it!
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