The power of Keystone Habits

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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Habits and Routine


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.
5. Cleaning and Declutter


  • 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.

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. 

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.

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

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. 

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.

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
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

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."

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.

9. Journaling

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


  • learning
  • focus
  • sleep
  • thinking
  • planning

3. Exersize


  • 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. 

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.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.



Making Your Habits Stick

To make any habit stick in the long-term (keystone or not), do it regularly. 

The more often you do the habit, the more you'll get used to it, and eventually, you'll do it without thinking—the definition of a habit.

Keystone habits

These are the habits that, once implemented, have a positive impact on many other facets of your life.

Their effect is similar to a domino: all you need to do is perform this one habit and you’ll see the benefits ripple out.

  • Exercising close to bedtime: it can act as a stimulate and keep you from falling asleep;
  • Scanning your phone in bed: bright light tricks your body into thinking it's daytime;
  • Late-night eating;
  • Working right up until bedtime: you need to unwind;
  • Staying up late or sleeping in on the weekends;
  • Having a couple of drinks before bed: Alcohol is a sedative, but as it's metabolized, it can disrupt your slumber.

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