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What is your keystone habit?

In November 2010 I had a physical, which included blood work, because I was  increasing my life insurance.

After the usual height/weight/pulse they drew my blood and we were done.

A week or so later my agent calls with "good news." I was approved...but at the "average" rate vs the "excellent" rate because some protein level was too high in my blood tests.

They said I had a "fatty liver," which was some (almost) nice way of saying I was overweight.

Now I've always been "big boned" having played football in high school and college and I still hit the gym regularly...but to be told I needed to lose 15 pounds was a slap in the face.

It was the day before Thanksgiving. 

Surely It would be understandable if I waited to go on a diet after Thanksgiving...and after the NFL playoffs...and after Christmas...and after New Years...and after the college bowl games...and after the Super Bowl...and after Valentine's Day...and after Spring Break, right?

On January 1, 2011 I had lost 16 pounds.

That week I got new blood work done, passed with flying colors, got the more affordable policy, and went about my business.

What was my secret? Two things:

  1. I tracked my calories and everything I ate.
  2. I brushed my teeth immediately after dinner.

The tracking your calories is probably understandable. I'm sure you've heard it before.

But I found that I didn't crave sweets and snacks at night if I flossed, brushed my teeth, and rinsed with mouthwash.

That became my keystone habit as described in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

In listening to the book during my drive to and from Phoenix this week I realized how important routines and habits are in our lives.

It's why LeBron James does the same routine when he's preparing to shoot a free throw.

It's why Phil Mickelson does the same routine when he putts the ball regardless of whether it's a 3 foot putt or a 33 foot putt. 

It's why Tony Robbins does the same routine of meditation in the morning and bouncing on a trampoline behind the stage and doing a little shout and spin immediately before he goes on stage.

Habits can be bad but they can also be good.

Certain events in your life trigger actions. Maybe you're a smoker and that juicy steak makes you want to go outside and smoke. Maybe social media distracts you so you need to make it a habit to not login until a certain work goal has been achieved, then reward yourself with just 10 minutes, then get back to work. Maybe you're working on a new product or book or training program and listening to a certain syle of music with a clean desk or at a noisy Starbucks puts you "in state" to do your best work.

Whatever it is, you owe it to your successful self and those who are depending on you to identify your bad keystone habits and eliminate the events that trigger them, and develop your good keystone habits, and put yourself in a position that triggers more of those to take place in your life.

One of the biggest keystone habits is who you turn to and who you surround yourself with to either get inspiration to continue onward and upward or to get support when the going gets tough.  

Wanna know where you can get mo' better triggers from mo' better entrepreneurs moving onward and upward?


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