Saturday, March 31, 2018

Keystone Habits

Keystone habits are building block habits. Like the name implies, it is a bedrock or foundational habit that if you adopt, will significantly increase your odds of success and provide a base for you to grow more habits.

To give an example, those who are trying to lose weight might decide to walk every day instead of trying to start out with an aerobics class every day. Just walk 20 minutes every day. I'd bet they would be more successful starting with the walking. Why? Because they haven't built up the discipline to be able to handle the aerobics class. They might do it a couple times. But sooner or later the initial enthusiasm wanes and they give up: "I'm too tired to make it to the gym today, its a tough workout, I think I'll just skip today." They don't have the discipline, the habit to keep them going when they don't feel like it. But walking 20 minutes a day is a basic building block. Its something that most people can handle from day one. Don't get me wrong, its still something that you have to take time out of the day when you don't feel like it and do. But its just enough that its not too difficult a commitment yes still enough that you get to build up discipline. Once the keystone habit of walking is built, the next, more difficult goal can be added. It wasn't the walking in itself that leads to weight loss (although it does burn calories, and has physiological benefits). The point is that it is a keystone habit. A habit to build off of.

If you can commit to walking everyday it would could help you in other areas such as building personal finance habits, however, I do notice that these different areas of life have different keystone habits. For example, I'd say for personal finance, one of the keystone habits is riding your bike. Its relatively simple, it saves a lot of money, but most importantly it builds the habit, the mindset of being resourceful and not wasting.

For entrepreneurship? I'd say it is meditation. Maybe its just the current trend or some really smooth marketing but it seems like many of the successful people I listen to attribute their success partly to meditation. It seems reasonable to me so I'm committing to doing it everyday for a month. To top it off I'm also committing to writing every day. I'll let you know how it goes

In the end there isn't a one size fits all habit. A keystone habit can work for one person but fail for another for different reasons. But I think its worth committing to identifying and building foundation habits, knowing that it is a key to more.