The power of Keystone Habits

Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit ," calls these "keystone habits." They are habits that automatically lead to multiple positive behaviors and positive effects in your life. For example, regular exercise often goes hand-in-hand with better eating habits.

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8 keystone habits that can transform your life

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What is a Keystone

A keystone is the wedge-shaped stone at the apex of a masonry arch. It is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch or vault to bear weight.

Similarly a Keystone Habit will help to lock the other habits in place.

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10 Simple Keystone Habits can change your life.
  1. Routines
  2. Start your day early
  3. Exersize
  4. Meditation
  5. Cleaning and Declutter
  6. Networking
  7. Planning
  8. Family meals / socialize
  9. Journaling
  10. Quality Sleep
  11. Negative Keystone habits.

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1. Routines

The power of a Morning Routine is that your day start proactively rather than reactively.

A Daytime Routine allows you to stay focused on most productive items.

An Evening Routine allows you to wind down effectively and reflect before switching off for a well deserved rest.

A routine offers a framework to attach other habits to.

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2. Start Your Day Early

The morning is the time of day that your willpower and energy is at an all day high. Starting early, reduce distractions from other people and allow you to focus on your most important task of the day. 

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3. Exersize

Improves

  • concentration
  • eating habits
  • stress
  • sleep
  • Mood

Exersize 3 times a week for 20 minutes to see this improve.

Exersize is only difficult at first, once you reach a basic level of fitness it can become addictive and self-sustaining. 

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4. Meditation

According to study by Sara Lazar from Harvard University it improve the density of gray matter in the following areas of the brain.

  • Prefrontal Cortex:  Responsible for self discipline, wilpower , judgment and focus.
  • Left hippocampus : The brain area that assist in memory , learning and the regulation of emotions.
  • Temporo-parietal junction: the area of the brain responsible for perspective taking, empathy and compassion.
  • Amigdela: the area of the brain responsible for "fight or fight". Stress

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5. Cleaning and Declutter

Improves

  • focus
  • mood
  • workflow
  • producyivity.

Identify the items you use routinely and keep those item with a hand’s reach.

Everything else should go into the trash, a drawer or some other space on your desk.

The cleaning process also prepares your mind for the next task at hand.

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6. Networking

A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority

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7. Planning

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology showed that creating an implementation intention increases the success rate of following through with an activity from 34% to 91%.

Planning helps to prioritize tasks and allocate time for thier completion.

A plan also offer a starting point to return to after a distraction.

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8. Family Meals / Socializing

As Duhigg writes, "Families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control, and more confidence."

This offer an valuable oppertunity to renew contact with family / friends and add balance to your life. 

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9. Journaling

Help to monitor and reflect in order to keep your other habits in place.

Improves

  • learning
  • focus
  • sleep
  • thinking
  • planning

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10. Quality Sleep

Research has shown that those who consistently get high-quality deep sleep tend to be more productive during the day.

Sleeping enough consistently improves:

  • concentration
  • eating habits
  • mood
  • focus
  • improved quality of life.

The Keystone habits exersize, meditation and planning (before you go to bed ) with a consistent bed time wil increase sleep quality.

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11. Negative Keystone Habits

Be warned the following are negative Keystone habits and should be avoided:

  • procrastination
  • distractions
  • snoozing your alarm
  • smoking
  • excessive drinking
  • excessive phone use
  • negative thinking

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How to Start and Improve Keystone habits.

The Loop Habit Tracker app on Android is an easy way to track, measure and follow progress on habits and routines.

To make habits stick it is important to start small and not to implement too many changes at the same time.

For help on implementing: Search for and read the Deepstash "personal habits: how to make good habits stick."

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