Feb 10, 2020

Find Your Keystone Habit and Transform Your Life

After several years of reading the work of Gretchen Rubin and James Clear, I've become convinced that the key to a healthy, happy, productive life is good habits. I brush and floss my teeth every day because it's a habit. I work because it's a habit. The more good habits I have, the better my life is.

But I'm still working on finding my keystone habit, which is one good habit or routine that leads to a series of other good habits and/or routines.

Find Your Keystone Habit & Transform Your Life

I first learned about the concept of keystone habits from James Clear, who said that working out is his keystone habit. When he works out, he eats healthier and sleeps better, which makes him more productive at work.

When I recently subscribed to Flylady's emails again, I realized that she uses a shiny sink as her keystone habit. Her message is that when your sink is shiny, you feel better about the chaos in your house, which allows you to gradually tame that chaos and keep a cleaner, neater house.

Gretchen Rubin has pointed to making your bed as a possible keystone habit, because it's easy, "[e]verything looks neater," and sticking to the resolution to make your bed creates satisfaction that can make you feel more "efficient, productive, and disciplined."

I haven't yet figured out my own keystone habit. I've discovered that I don't necessarily eat better when I work out regularly, and I don't necessarily work out more when I'm eating well. Shining my sink every night does get me keeping a cleaner kitchen, but it doesn't necessarily inspire me to clean the rest of the house. Neither does making my bed every day.

I'll keep experimenting, though. Up next on my list are a minimum of seven and a half hours of sleep every night and meditation.

Do you have a keystone habit?

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