Secret to Success—Keystone Habits

Do want to change something like get into shape? If so, identify your keystone habit.

You want to get in shape; you join a gym.  Yet, this direct approach often misses the mark because the cornerstone of change begins with keystone habits.

A keystone habit is a behavior, often seemingly minor, that affects other behaviors.  Habits are frequently linked, meaning each habit leads or triggers another action. For example, what do you do after you shower (excluding dressing)? Maybe you shave, moisturize or comb your hair?  Whatever you do after you shower, that action is likely dependent upon your habit of showering.  Think about when you don’t shower, do you still do the same activity? Probably not.

In the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Michael Phelps’ keystone habit was “playing the tape” each night. He imagined the fine details of his next day—the exact time when he awakes, what he eats for breakfast, the exact stretching exercises, the number of warm up laps and culminating with swimming the perfect race. This self-hypnosis trance reinforced his beliefs about reaching his potential; which we’ll hold on to its significance till the next entry.

So, do you want to change something like getting in shape? You need to find your keystone habit for exercise.  For me, my keystone habit for exercising is putting my workout cloths out the night before.  This triggers me to review my planned workout, make my workout shake and set my alarm to wake up early.  By this these small actions, I’ve created momentum that drives me toward exercising in the morning.

To find your keystone habit, examine the linked steps when you successfully achieve a desired outcome. Like dominos, discover that initiating action and you’ve found your keystone habit. 


 As always, I wish you the best to make each day countTM!

~Tyke Crowley