Keystone habits, as defined by Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit (one of my all-time favorite books) are small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.
I think keystone habits exist for every area of life, but sometimes they’re harder to root out than you’d think. Even though I love going to my Sunday morning Step class, I used to skip classes frequently if I was feeling tired or un-motivated. These days, I go every single week, but the keystone habit that gets me there isn’t even mine. It’s my husband’s habit: he takes my son food shopping every Sunday morning, allowing me to go to class. The two habits are tied together: me going to the gym, and them having their father-son time at our favorite grocery store. If they stopped doing that, I bet my attendance would fall off.
I have a keystone habit for healthy eating, too. Every Sunday I spend 20 minutes chopping and preparing fresh vegetables so that I can quickly make salads for my and my husband’s work lunches during the week. This keystone habit starts the week off healthily, and makes me want to continue in the same way. If I ever missed doing it, I’m sure I would eat fewer vegetables that week. [Read more…]