Charles Duhigg writes in his book ‘The Power of Habits’ – habits, as much as memory and reason, are at the root of how we behave. We might not remember the experiences that create our habits, but once they are lodged within our brains they influence how we act – often without our realization. Habits are the brain’s way to automate many actions or routines to avoid being overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life. Habits can be good or bad.
Studies have documented that families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better home work skills, higher grades, greater emotional control and more confidence. Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well being, and stronger skills at sticking within a budget. It is not that these initial shifts cause the better effects, it is only that they help other good habits to take hold.
Such habits, that trigger other habit changes, are recognized as keystone habits. By cultivating the right keystone habits you can cause wide spread shifts. Keystone habits offer what are known as “small wins” that lead to such wide spread changes elsewhere.