Habits are extraordinarily powerful. They make up almost half of our daily actions. A change in your habits will have a massive impact. It can truly be life-changing. We’ve all seen or read the stories of transformation. A high school dropout that ends up at the top of the business world, or someone struggling with their weight with a seemingly overnight change into a healthy physically fit overachiever. How do they do it?
You may not believe how what seems like a drastic overnight transformation is actually just a few small changes. You’d be surprised to find out that for many it starts with just a few small shifts in habit. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg coined the term “Keystone Habits” to describe small changes that have a powerful cascading impact on our lives.
Drinking a glass of water each morning, writing down what you ate once a week or five minutes of meditation each day are examples of keystone habits. So how do these small changes have such power?
A Sense of Victory
By focusing on a small action that you perform often, you’re able to increase your moments of victory. Getting something done feels good. Winning feels good. That emotion, even a small dose, is powerful.
At times it can be a subtle boost, but that boost in motivation helps keep us on track. It increases our chances of succeeding at other tasks just enough to tip the scales in our favor more often than not. Additionally, when it comes to true behavior change, consistency is the most important part.
A Foundation for Other Habits
A keystone habit lays the foundation for other positive habits. It’s the starting point for a chain reaction. After making your bed each morning for a couple weeks, you find yourself picking up clothes on your floor as well or taking time to organize your closet. The small change of making your bed leads to other habits related to tidying up and getting organized.
Your original focus and effort was only on the first habit. Success in this habit built the foundation that lead to other actions. You unconsciously built other related habits. And here’s the best part, these new habits grew out of the foundation you built with little to no effort. It’s like magic!
Building Confidence and Momentum
Winning gives you confidence. Success builds momentum. Therefore, like a snowball rolling downhill, success with one small change leads to other successful changes. Often the biggest thing holding us back is our own belief of what’s possible.
Success with a single small habit change gives you the confidence to tackle bigger changes. Consequently, it is the spark that lights the fire. Believing and knowing you are capable is a powerful force, and it all starts with one small change.
So what are your goals? What are your aspirations? Take the first step. A small shift in habit can be life-changing. All you have to do is get started. Above all, the smallest new habit can be the spark that leads to transformational change. Get started today!
By Mike Lenz