#Essential Living

6 Keystone Habits to Jump Start your Life

March 26, 2017

When the sun rises before you do, it's hard to think about jumping up and feeling lively.  Night owls need time to ease into the day; however, jobs require a schedule.  We know eating a good breakfast will create more energy, stamina, and better moods, but there's that ticking clock again.  Hurry, hurry, hurry to work, work, work.  "No time to say hello, goodbye . . . I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" 

What if we could start the day with something simple, less time-consuming?  Did you know there are more benefits to making your bed than just being tidy?  Your mother probably didn't know it either.  She just wanted help with chores.    

Some habits are more important than others.  In his book "The Power of Habit, " author Charles Duhigg writes that getting into the routine of making your bed doesn't cause you to get more work done, but it's a "keystone habit" that can spark "chain reactions that help other good habits take hold."

Here are other simple keystone habits:

Exercising regularly

It's natural for an exercise program to ignite the desire to eat healthy foods, right?  Exercising is a keystone habit - it leads to and strengthens another.  The benefits are less stress, more confidence, greater productivity at work and better sleep.  I don't know about the sleep, but the rest is true.

Having family dinners

A simple tradition with significant impact.  "Families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control, and more confidence."  I didn't know this was happening when we had dinner every night together.  Now with Marrieds, we gather at least once a month for a family dinner.  It truly is a building block for relationships.

Developing daily routines

Whether it's a morning or night routine, consistency is key in keeping the momentum of positive energy working in our lives.  "The way we organize our thoughts and work routines has enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness." 

Meditating and Expressing gratitude    

Stress is a real force to be reckoned with.  Morning meditation helps calm the mind chatter and clear the path for increased awareness and goal setting.  Expressing gratitude daily, or regularly, in a journal reduces stress and creates greater resilience by focusing on the simple blessings of life itself.  I've tried it.  There's a real power in gratitude.

Having strong willpower

There it is - the most important keystone habit for success and happiness.  Self discipline.  "One way to measure self-discipline is to put people in a room with cookies and radishes and assign them one of the foods.  Those who eat the other food, which will likely be the cookie, aren't using their willpower."  Am I the only one who thinks, I need to eat all this candy, dessert, chips, ice cream . . . and get it out of the house.  Then, I can start eating better.

Try the experiment and choose one of these simple, yet powerful keystone habits and see where the amazing journey takes you!

Thanks for listening!  I enjoy good company.



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