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I experimented with the power of the Keystone Habits a few days ago.
A few months ago, I wanted to create something new at work—a new way to develop products using innovation and creativity.
I spent time imagining how it could look. I talked to people and got their support, as well as prospective clients who showed their interest. It was all pleasing and exciting until the first prospect declared that they wanted to become a client.
A person told me that it was my vision from the beginning. Therefore I should have been happy. I was not. I was nervous. I could see how things could go wrong, how we were not prepared, and could make a mess and embarrass ourselves. I felt negative energy raising in me.
It was so much that I could not meditate at that point. I needed something different to calm me down first.
When I am nervous, I tend to search for comfort food, but I knew it would not help. So I decided on another approach. I changed my clothes, put my trainers on, added a few warm layers to defeat the cold, and went out jogging.
After the first steps where my mind was buzzing around, I calmed down, adjusted my breath and steps, and my mind started flying freely. In the middle of the run, I could see what I needed to fix, and a few steps later, I thought of some options to make it happen.
It was like the weather could feel that I was more relaxed; a ray of lovely sunshine poured in and hit me like I was enlightened.
I enjoyed the sensation of a more few steps before starting sweating too much and feeling uncomfortable. I came back home and needed a shower, but I was able to write down the issues, options to overcome them, and the following tasks to do. At that point, I was reassured that I could make it. I had a plan to make it work.
That evening I was writing down what happened and being introspective. I realized that I used the Keystone Habits. In her article about Keystone Habits, Julie Leonard explains that there are hints that create a domino effect that positively benefits our health and happiness. Indeed a single jog was able to calm me down, make me focus, avoid junk food, plan the rest of my work and journal. Domino!
In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg structures a habit in three elements: a cue (a trigger), a routine, and a reward. These three elements combined form a habit loop. Once this loop is formed, we start to crave the reward from engaging in the routine.
Great examples of Keystone Habits are:
>> Dress better: I need that during the pandemic.
>> Make your bed: this is fast and easy.
>> Having family dinners: I enjoy sharing these moments with the people I love.
>> Exercise: it requires a bit of effort and brings so many pros.
>> Journaling: a great way to fix our thoughts.
>> Meditating: perfect at any time of the day, for calming down and creativity.
There is another special Keystone Habit that can make a huge difference in our lives. Duhigg says, “Dozens of studies show that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” Willpower is intended as self-discipline.
Do you resist that junk food, eat healthily, and feel better with yourself? Do you have enough willpower to change your habits and improve your happiness?