Not all habits are created equal.
In “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg identifies Keystone Habits that have the ability to transform your entire life because they cause a sort of spillover effect. Personally, these types of habits are fascinating to me for their ability to motivate me to do MORE than what I planned to do. Please take a moment to absorb that…
You have signed up to do a task to ‘improve’ your life (like running a marathon) and all of a sudden, almost without you realizing it, the execution of this task causes you to do other things (like cutting back on drinking and eating healthier because it helps with your marathon training), that themselves improve your life. It’s like compound interest of action!
After extensive research and trial, Habitbetter has identified four Keystone Habits for building the life of your dreams.
Keystone 1 – Journaling
One of my favorite daily habits is journaling, and I’m not alone. Many famous individuals (Marcus Aurelius, Tim Ferris, Emma Watson, Ben Franklin) have attributed journaling as a major reason for their success.
We offer a Free Intro to Journaling course to help you find the best type of journaling style for your personality. During the online course, I’ll walk you through 11 styles of journaling, including techniques for addressing anxiety, self-reflection, gratitude and creativity – just to name a few.
Journaling also goes hand in hand with other keystone habits like nutrition. A study by the National Institutes of Health found participants with food journals lost twice as much weight as those without.
Keystone 2 – Movement
We’ve all heard it before… exercise and you will have more energy to get more done than if you had not exercised, even if you take into account the time exercising. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. Exercise can lower stress, increase energy, and improve brain cognition.
Yes, exercising literally makes you more intelligent. In addition, it releases what is known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor which makes your body produce more brain cells. Again, compound effects, your existing brain cells are functioning more optimally while also producing more brain cells which will in turn function at a higher level.
My personal commitment to movement is running at least a mile a day. This works for me because it’s feasible to fit into even the busiest of days and keeps me moving. But this can also look like riding your bike, taking a walk, or doing some yoga.
Keystone 3- Meditation
Meditation is not just for yogis and Buddhists anymore. The science is in and the results are irrefutable. Meditation delivers big results, including everything from enhancing focus to reducing stress, helping to fight addiction and reducing age-related memory loss.
I meditate daily and if I don’t I notice it. I describe it to my wife as being “off” or in a haze when I skip a day. Just a few minutes each day really helps to clarify things and empower me to be an empathetic, healthy and productive person. If you’re just starting out, Headspace offers a free trial to learn the basics.
Keystone 4 – Nutrition
Nutrition is key to helping your brain and your body run efficiently. At HabitBetter we believe in a balanced approach based on your individual needs and desired outcomes, as opposed to fads or restrictive diets. We are all unique, with different body types and shapes. For us, Nutrition isn’t about looking a certain way, but instead, feeling a certain way. Generally, we recommend a balance of whole fruits and veggies, carbs and protein. Basically, all the things that help your body and mind run efficiently!
For example, a Harvard study found certain foods are great for brain health. This list includes foods like leafy greens, broccoli, fatty fish like salmon, berries like blueberries and blackberries, as well as walnuts (which we find amusing, since it kind of looks like a brain!). So introducing those types of food to your meals can bring you more focus and less fogginess- great for achieving goals or working on a project!
Now having cookies, grilled cheese or cinnamon rolls is not going to automatically collapse your system. We’re all about our ice cream here at Habitbetter! And it adds it’s own joyful benefit to our lives.