What Is A Keystone Habit? — Don’t Have A Clue

In my personal development writing and speaking, I mention habits quite a bit in relation to making constructive changes in our lives. When I heard about keystone habits, I had to ask myself what is a keystone habit? What Is A Keystone Habit -- The brain & neuroscience

In fact, in his book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”, Charles Duhigg defines a Keystone habit as “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carries over into other aspects of their lives.” Let’s explore this a bit and then expand upon it.

Keystone Habits, an Interesting Concept

Now I have not read Duhigg’s entire book but just ran into his work while investigating some stuff in neuroscience. It is quite fascinating.

So basically the core concept here is by developing good habits in one area of our lives they can carry over into other areas. This makes sense to me for a number of reasons.

First, when we are improving in one area through constructive change, we actually create a whole new brain structure based on those new habits. It is only natural that we would make more productive choices in other areas of our lives as well. For instance, when I developed a consistent workout routine, I also noticed that my attention to detail had increased in my business strategies and tasks. I am more aware and alert now in general.

We’ll save an in-depth discussion of how neuroscience plays into this for another time, but just the practical aspects that show up are quite evident. My whole attitude toward life has improved as a result of disciplining myself in the physical fitness area of my life.

Also, this new routine or habit has carried over into my food choices and the amounts of food I eat. Over time, I have developed a healthier lifestyle overall.

Finally, I also have noticed that my commitments are stronger than ever. Although it was always a core value of mine to keep my commitments to myself and others, I now feel an overall drive to do things as efficiently and effectively as possible even with small tasks or chores around the house. Small constructive choices made over time make a positive difference. On the surface these changes may appear to be infinitesimal, and even quite invisible, but when performed daily strengthen our willpower to such an extent that our new routines become automatic.



The Habit of World Class Performance

It is so easy to put high-performance people in a category so remote from ourselves that we feel what they do is unreachable for us. A little research into the lives of high-performance folks such as a Leonardo da Vinci, Roger Bannister, Copernicus, Chopin, Michelangelo, Pele, Michael Jordan, Beethoven, or Coco Chanel would reveal that they were all ordinary people with a big dream and commitment. What Is A Keystone Habit -- World Class Performance

These folks practiced daily building up their strengths and forming good habits that they got to a point of forgetting how to behave any other way. High performance and work class had become their new norm.

“I thrive with high-performance challenges in front of me.”

— John M. Grunsfeld —

This is something to remember when we ever doubt our own strengths and abilities in any way. Being aware that we are capable of achieving anything that is part of our heartfelt desire is the first step in bringing that desire into reality for ourselves.



Creating a New Blueprint

In order to transform from the old to the new, we first have to realize that we have a current blueprint or paradigm of conditioning that is keeping us stuck. It is like we have a straitjacket on, or we are immersed in quicksand or cement. All our current thoughts and beliefs have made this seem so real that alternatives do not seem to exist at all.

In a recent article I wrote called, “How To Energize Your Life — Generating Emotional Fuel”, I discussed a few ways to address the issue of being stuck and how to break free.

The thing is that our current circumstances are so real to us that it is hard to envision another way of being. But this is exactly what we MUST do. “Envision” it first. This positions us to make constructive changes.

This is an inside game; not an outside struggle. Once we get the type of clarity we need within, the stuff we need to do to make it happen is a no-brainer because we will generate the necessary emotional fuel to transport ourselves to our goals easily and naturally.

What now fills our minds and emotions with thoughts and feelings of resistance of one type or another will turn into thoughts and feelings of how to get things done to get us to our objective in the most effective and efficient way possible. Our thoughts and feelings create our beliefs that turn into habits that are responsible for all of our actions and results.

When we create new habits, we have created a new blueprint or paradigm that has conditioned us to succeed and “see” things quite differently. Once that occurs our lives will never be the same.

Lifetime Habits of Success

While I like Charles Duhigg’s concept of keystone habits, I prefer to look at things from a lifetime perspective. Doing what is necessary to change our set up within results in constructive change without on a permanent basis.

For those interested in neuroscience it is a fun rabbit hole to go down. There is so much that has been discovered over the past few decades that is of immense value to our personal growth, self discovery, and overall success.

But to make constructive changes in our lives, it is not necessary to understand all this new brain research even though it is quite fascinating. All that is necessary is to make a decision to change. Once that commitment is made, it is just a matter of setting up a daily routine filled with processes that will take us where we want to go.

You can do this yourself, but it can be quite challenging. There are many good programs out there to get you going in whatever areas you want to make changes. Do a bit of research. Also creating or finding a good mastermind group will speed up your progress as well.

It is important to understand that this is a process of Self Discovery. All we need is already within ourselves. It just needs to be discovered and released.

No one can do this for us. The objective of any good coach or therapist is to put themselves out of business. It is not a matter of leaning on any guru in order to change but to empower ourselves to change by removing the cloud cover to our innate brilliance and genius.

If you are having a challenge taking that first step, check out my free videos on “Getting Stuff Done” that will provide a bit of encouragement. They may inspire you to take those first few hesitant steps. Since we are dominated by our habits anyway, we might as well be dominated by good habits.

Keystone habits carry over into other areas of our lives as we have discovered, but lifetime habits of success will carry you to any destination that your “heart” desires. The world is waiting for you to break free and contribute to what no one else on this planet can. Please do not disappoint them, and more importantly, we must not disappoint ourselves.

To awakening to your Ever-Present Potential Within,


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What Are Keystone Habits? -- Online Marketing


18 thoughts on “What Is A Keystone Habit? — Don’t Have A Clue”

  1. This is really good to have seen here and it had covered it all and I appreciate that. For what is worth, this is a great one to see here and takes a whole new level of it to be considered. I value the core of this and how you have helped on structuring it all. Thank you for the overview and all as shared here. Thumbs up to you for sharing with us

  2. I really love how you make your articles very detailed and interesting to read through, there are lots of habits that we have as humans and are yet to be explored, it makes sense that you write about keystone habit. It is very realistic and it’s something we all can incorporate to be successful.  

  3. Hi,

    From my research Keystone habits are small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives, example, studies have shown that people who regularly exercise 3 or more times a week tend to eat healthier, consume less alcohol, smoke less, be more productive at their work and sleep better than those who don’t.

    Thank you.


    • Thanks Aluko. Yes it’s that carry over effect that extends the usefulness of the habit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I read sometimes ago that whatever you practice for 29 days automatically becoming part of you and this wonderful article is confirming the old quote to me. Things we don’t are cognizant of have a way of bringing out the best in us and setting the difference. Whatever I desire in the future, I start from now.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing article

    • Thanks for your thoughts and insights on this Elizabeth. It was originally thought 21 days to solidify a habit, but recent findings from neuroscience now put it at a minimum of 66 days up to 258 dependent of the degree of the challenge. In any event, when developing any new habit we go through the struggle and resistant faze that is quite demanding, and then the implementation phase, and finally the integration phase where we do it on automatic. It does take a commitment and discipline to pull off. All the best.

  5. Hello,thank you for sharing this educative and enlightening article about keystone habit.I love how detailed ,easy to read and understand this article is. The tips you  gave are awesome and also the video you shared.If you would allow,i would love to share this post with some friends and families across different social media platform. Thank you

  6. Wow, this is wonderful. I think it is very nice to see you put this up on your website bro teach me what a keystone habit is. I feel it is an ideal lifestyle for anyone who wants to become really successful at what they do and it is a lifestyle that I would like to adopt.

    • Thanks Jackie. You will adopt it now that you are aware of it. It will manifest no matter how hard you resist. All the Best.

  7. That actually makes a lot of sense, the more I think about it. And, when you talk about your workouts that reminds me of what happens when I start working out. I then also start to think about what I should eat to recover faster and to promote muscle growth. Then, I think about the amount of sleep I should be getting because that also promotes recovery and growth. So, just by working out I am influencing more than just getting some exercise.
    And, you are right, the little changes over time become huge!

    • Thanks for your comments, Les. It is the consistency of doing what needs to be done each day that makes the difference. High-performance folks exhibit their greatness not so much in the arena as they do when practicing alone with no one there. It’s the everyday commitment that counts. All the Best.

  8. You are right with what you have said because I believe that success breaths success. When you make the right choices in one area of your life and have success it gives you the confidence that you can have the seem results in other areas of your life also. It is amazing how that little computer that is call the brains funtions. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts and insights on this Norman. Good habits in one area affect the other areas of our lives as well as they have a compounding effect on our very existence. All the Best to You.


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