The short answer is: ‘YES! You better believe it!’
I recently watched an ‘Improvement Pill’ video on YouTube (3 Habits That Will Change Your Life – 8:46) in which they talked about three keystone habits.
What’s a keystone habit? It’s a single habit change that triggers multiple habit changes as a flow-on effect. So, these keystone habits can magnify and/or speed up the results you get from committing to changing even just one aspect of your life.
Three important keystone habits
The three keystone habits that have the highest chance of drastically changing your life are:
– To help educate you on the practical things we need in life, like
- social skills,
- emotional wisdom,
- personal leadership,
- healthy diet,
- effective fitness, and
- money management.
When you apply the knowledge you’ve read, you’ll become more aware and conscious of your thoughts, choices and behaviours and start to change them in positive ways.
– In addition to the physical benefits (like lower blood pressure, immune boost, better sleep) and a general sense of wellbeing, meditation helps us in two main ways. One, to stay focused throughout the day, and two, to manage our mood states.
This is particularly important if you’re prone to anxiety and stress. And as you may have experienced, anxious and stressed mood states tend to make us revert to old habits – often the ones you’re trying to change. Things like comfort eating, binge TV watching, gaming, procrastination, etc.
Meditation is like your motivator and cheerleader supporting you to change!
Give us an ‘R E S’ – ‘R E S’
Give us an ‘U L T’ – ‘U L T’
Give us an ‘S’ – ‘S’
What have you got? – ‘RESULTS!’
– Interestingly, researchers have discovered that if you can stick to a new fitness habit, you are also likely to change your diet and make healthier choices.
You may already know or have observed it in yourself that when you eat certain foods, it can trigger anxiety and other moods. I know that gluten tends to make me more anxious and I look for sweet things when I am anxious.
There is a direct link between your gut flora and the emotional part of your brain called the limbic system. Your gut is now commonly referred to as your second brain. It even has neural pathways and can communicate to the brain, not just receive messages from your brain.
Diet choices are important for your gut health and also your emotional wellbeing and ability to manage your mood state.
A quick tip for changing keystone habits
Your willpower is like any other muscle. The more you test it, the stronger it gets. And like every result you are trying to achieve in life, if you ever get stuck or notice procrastination sets in, there is only one thing to do – only one. You simply need to break it down into smaller and smaller steps until you feel you can take a step.
I like the concept of setting yourself goals that are so small that you simply can’t say ‘no’ to them. For example:
- Walk on the spot for two minutes each morning.
- Drink an extra 100ml of water each day for a week.
- Read a book for ten minutes each day on the train or before you go to bed.
- Reduce your social media time by ten minutes each day.
- Practise focused breathing for five minutes each morning by breathing in for four counts through your nose and out for six counts through your mouth.
You get the idea.
So this year, I invite you to make the decision to commit to one of these keystone habits and start with such a small goal that you simply can’t say ‘no.’
Make this year gold!
And if you’ve already developed good habits with respect to reading, meditation and fitness, why not up the ante.
- Take a speed reading course and set yourself some new goals if you already read regularly.
- Meditate at night or for a longer period if you already meditate in the morning.
- If you’re doing well with fitness, look into some of Ben Greenfield’s body hacks (bengreenfieldfitness.com) and take it up a notch.
- Try introducing fasting into your new healthy diet choices if you haven’t tried that before or maybe introducing more fermented foods.
And one last tip
For an excellent new resource on developing great habits, check out James Clear’s book – Atomic Habits. James has a passion for helping people find the most effective way to develop positive new habits.
Here’s to you deciding to develop wonderful new keystone habits and taking action this coming year to help you get the results you want and to feel excited about your new life direction.