BY JASON GUTIERREZ JUNE 9, 2016
Life hacks are great for saving time, energy, and impressing your friends. But when it comes to making your life a truly happy and successful one, nothing beats a bulletproof set of habits.
There are actually certain habits and behaviors that make your goals easier to achieve, regardless of the obstacles you face. Most of you may already practice some of these habits without even knowing it.
Whatever the case, learning how to harness them can dramatically improve your mind, body, performance, and personal life. And by the way, becoming ridiculously awesome is a common side effect.
I’m talking about keystone habits, and yes, they’re as life-changing as I’m making them sound.
What are keystone habits?
Charles Duhigg discusses the idea of keystone habits in his book The Power of Habit. Since then, everyone from James Clear to S.J. Scott has adopted them as a cornerstone in their knowledge base.
Keystone habits are essentially routines that, when practiced regularly, enhance your performance in a vast array of other areas of your life. These habits have a tendency to start a positive chain reaction that can snowball you to success.
I don’t know about you, but on days when I hit the gym, I feel much better and am infinitely more productive. I turn into a superhuman version of myself. That’s why exercise is one of the habits I’ve listed below.
Here’s my version of the 4 keystone habits you need to start incorporating into your life today.
I already mentioned this above, so I’ll keep it rather brief here.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. Everything that you do is directly related to how well your body and mind are capable of performing. And all that starts with keeping your body in-tune.
Exercise, especially when combined with a healthy diet (#2 below) will keep you feeling young, energetic, and more confident with yourself. You’ll find your days are much more enjoyable and productive when you get a good sweat session in.
Normally, diet is the more important aspect of healthier living. It usually gives more bang for your buck if strapped for motivation and having to choose between the two.
However, recently I’ve been telling people to start with exercise. Reason being when you exercise, you want to start eating healthier. That’s like a keystone habit, that leads to another keystone habit. Mind. Blown.
When you start eating better, just like exercise, you feel better, you’re happier, you’re more productive, and you start to look better, too. If you do couple exercise and diet together, watch out – you might be shocked at how dramatically your life improves.
3. Good sleeping habits
I don’t think I can say this any better than my man Cody McClain already has. So here’s what Cody had to say…
We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so just like everything else in our unconventional lives, we’ll eventually decide to optimize it.
Too many people view drugs, whether over-the-counter or prescription, as a kind of cure-all for sleeping or being more productive; however, my findings suggested that diet, exercise, and sleep hygiene are infinitely more important than taking a pill.
By getting better quality sleep, you can avoid things like anxiety, depression, irritability, tiredness, and being a sack of misery. Do you think sacks of misery make it far in this world? I don’t either.
Last but not least, is actually the favorite of all my keystone habits. Self-love is a priority habit to me because without it, nothing else matters. If you learn to love yourself (and no, I’m not talking about that), positive energy will radiate outward into all other aspects of your life.
This habit hits home with me because it’s something I struggled with for so long. Only a few years ago, I was tirelessly beating myself up in the gym and in the mirror for not having the body of Ryan Reynolds. I’m obviously not discouraging exercise by any means, I’m only saying it’s unhealthy to hate the way you look. It’s literally a waste of time and energy.
The funny thing is, once you stop being self-conscious and embrace what you have, your confidence shines brighter than any 8-pack Ryan Reynolds has.
Wrapping things up
This is not by any means an all-inclusive list. There are plenty of other keystone habits for you to try and adopt as a part of your daily routine. Some may work for others and not for you. And vice versa. Experiment until you find the ones that click.
Of course, having this information does nothing for you unless you take massive action. If you’re looking to dramatically improve your life, I’ve given you four good places to start. Pick a habit that would be easiest for you and start practicing.
As with any new habits, take things slow, and incorporate one at a time. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get all the info you need and more to be successful in forming your new habits.
Jason Gutierrez is an engineer turned entrepreneur and notorious lover of sushi. After dealing with anxiety and chronic procrastination, he now helps young professionals and other entrepreneurs achieve their goals and ideal lifestyle through better habits. Visit the monk life to start kicking ass today.