I fell in love!

And it was a beautiful thing. I was now partly responsible for another person. Now, I wanted to be more responsible as a person. So, I started dressing well. Started learning to talk better. I started trying to work on my carriage.  Flirt with girls? No, not me! I wanted to read more books and be smarter than her…or appear to be smarter than her. But what must have made me this way?  To be very honest, I don’t really know. It could have been the effects of finding new love.

It could have also been the effect of something Charles Duhigg calls the ‘keystone habits’. In his book The Power of Habit, Duhigg  describes keystone habits as habits that can spark a chain reaction that helps other good habits take hold.

For example, regular exercise often goes hand-in-hand with better eating habits.

I don’t know if it was because we started dating, I know though that she started working out and then soon enough she had created some meal plans, ’fitfaming’.

What must have happened to me? Was laying my bed in the morning reason enough for this new-improved version of Seye Kuyinu? Was the conscious effort to create a day-planning routine directly related to this?

Here are a few keystone habits that create new habits that create better versions of ourselves.

Reading:

Ah! That’s the first one that comes to mind. So let’s say you create a habit of reading, you start reading books on interpersonal skills, you now start learning to read body language, it improves your relationship with people, you read about finance, your finance and your approach to finance improves; there! A keystone habit(KH) of reading!

Meditation:

You create the KH of meditation. Good habit. It comes with the side effect of: more in control of emotions, you get to focus longer, your willpower increases and now you are determined to read ‘a book a day’, then your  sense of general well being improves.

Fitness:

I am sure a lot of people can relate to this. One thing that helped me with my Coca-cola addiction was working out. I started jogging after work(no, I didn’t jog on the Lekki bridge) and sometimes in the morning just after work. I joined a gym and so it was easy for me to choose water or energy-boosting drinks over soda. Ever picked up fitness and you’re now more conscious of taking in the right diet?

Image courtesy: thelmathinks.com

Making your bed:

Yes, this is an identified keystone habit. It’s proven that those who lay their beds every morning achieve increased productivity, greater sense of well being , better budgeting skills. They are more likely to like their jobs, own a home and exercise better. That’s what they said o.

Planning your day:

Actually, those who have the habit of sitting down before the day starts to plan their day easily identify the important tasks and can easily focus on those. In fact, when you are a planner-of-your-day you realize you can easily slot in other habits- eg going to the gym, visiting family etc.

Having a daily routine:

Duhigg says, “The way we organize our thoughts and work routines has enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness”. This is why I would admire those successful entrepreneurs who would wake at a certain time, take a particular drink at a particular time, maybe have a fixed breakfast, leave at the exact same time every day etc. What this does is it creates a routine that makes it easy to embrace each day with a greater sense of purpose.

 


Which of these keystone habits do you think you would build? I would suggest picking one at a time. Often times picking one of these keystone habits help to develop other key stone habits.