In his book “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg introduces the concept of Keystone Habits. Habits that can lead to a multiplying positive impact by becoming the trigger of other positive behaviours.
In working with a client of mine (who has a family plumbing business), we tasked ourselves with finding the pivotal habit that could break non-productive even negative behavioural patterns that left my client feeling sluggish and inadequate.
In one meeting my client described how he was feeling:
Overweight, disconnected from his team, tired and irritable.
He then shared with me his behaviour during a typical work day and it didn’t take long for a behavioural pattern to form that was rich for the pickings.
On his way to meet his team in the morning, to set them up for the day, he regularly stopped at a servo and picked up a bottle of coke and a pie and/or sausage roll for breakfast. Later in the day around 2pm, the hunger pangs would get him again and he would find himself doing the same perhaps treating himself with flavoured milk.
The behavioural change we discussed was hardly a brainwave and a Keystone Habit was agreed upon. Making and taking lunch to work in the morning, every morning, including a 2-litre bottle of water was the new behaviour of choice.
Over subsequent meetings, my client shared with me consequences (many unintended but good) of being disciplined in his execution and how this positive reinforcement helped him stick to his guns whenever he felt tempted by the aroma of a four’n’twenty pie. They included:
– Savings of $100 per week
– Weight loss of 1kg per month
– Better relationships with staff developed whilst eating his homemade lunch with them
– More energy for and fun times with his kids
– Generally feeling more alert and upbeat
Simply taking his own lunch to work resulted in a cascading effect of positivity; self-confidence, motivation and health
Find your Keystone Habit.
Like my client, it could be as easy as pie…