How to change a keystone habit

Keystone habits sit under other unwanted habits. Pull them out from the bottom of the pile and the other habits tumble. Once you’ve identified your keystone, which is usually a behavior you regularly carry out in a mindless way, the next step is to change the habit and see your life improve as a result.

Swap your keystone with a new behavior
Getting rid of habits is difficult because to do so, you have to pay them attention. They are like Border Collies; run away from them and they automatically chase you. Instead of focusing on the habit you want to alter, replace it with a healthier habit. Your brain loves routines and will assist your endeavors.

What do you mean?
Well, if you want to stop reaching for an iced bun mid-morning, make sure you haven’t bought an iced bun. Put a peach, or another healthy snack where you can see it, so your mind gets used to the idea. Every time you look over at it, you’ll think, “That’s what I’m going to eat mid-morning.” Additionally use the words ‘if’ and ‘then.’

If and Then
For instance, “if it’s mid-morning, then I will eat a peach,” or, “if someone offers me candy, then I’ll eat a healthier snack.” Have a healthier snack ready, and tell the people who usually offer you sweet foods or fries that you eat healthier foods now. You won’t want to look like a turncoat, so you’ll stick to your new plan, even when you have the urge to do the opposite.

Set yourself up for success
Don’t keep the ‘thing’ you want to stop using on display. Keep sweet goodies out of sight, and cigarettes, or whatever else you usually make use of when it comes into your range of vision. Better still, leave these items in the shop instead of bringing them home. Similarly, make other behaviors you want to give up difficult to carry out. If you want to stop negative thinking, spend time with positive people, watch funny movies, read amusing books, and don’t stay with people who complain about life too long.

You might also write ‘if’ and ‘then’ statements on cards and stick them on the inside of cupboards you use regularly, or on the wall. Pictures may be a good idea too. For instance, “if it’s mid-morning, then I’ll eat a peach,” may be accompanied by a photograph of a fresh, juicy-looking peach.

See your success
Visualize your success in your mind. See yourself fit, healthy, wealthy, or whatever else you want. Picture yourself as though changes have already happened, and see yourself smiling and happy. You might also picture close friends and family being happy for you as you celebrate your success together. Be creative, add balloons, streamers, and a brass band to your vision if you want. Have people clapping and hollering out your name and congratulating you, and look as smug as you like.

At the same time, hold the imagined voice of someone, who always has your back, in your mind when you need encouragement. Have them say encouraging statements in your head, like, “you can do this!” And, “You’ve got it in you to get this right.” Let the sound of their voice play whenever you need a boost.

Once you’ve changed a keystone habit, you’ll see great results in your life quickly. Remember, you can do this! Just swap the old behavior for a better one, use ‘if’ and ‘then,’ set yourself up for success, and see your success boldly. You’ve got it in you to get this right!

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

Comments are closed.