Keystone Habits

Keystone habits are an amazing way to start to develop new and healthy habits. In his book “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg discusses the concept of keystone habits. We have habits everywhere in our lives, but certain routines — keystone habits — lead to a cascade of other actions because of them. Imagine how much easier and more fulfilling your lifestyle could be if you discovered one or two keystone habits that naturally put the rest of your life in place.


If you are able to identify your keystone habits, you can start to build a cascade of habits that will take you towards your wellness goals. When I sat down and actually wrote out my keystone habits, here is what I found about the start of my day.

  • My alarm goes off
  • I immediately check my phone
  • I brush my teeth and use the bathroom
  • I make coffee
  • Feed the dog
  • Make breakfast and lunches for the kids


By reflecting on just my morning keystone habits, I was able to see where I could connect additional habits that would have a domino effect on the entire trajectory of my day. Here’s how my mornings changed.


  • My alarm goes off
  • I immediately check my phone I put on my workout clothes that I laid out the night before (note: a keystone habit that I added to my evening routine of brushing my teeth)
  • I brush my teeth and use the bathroom
  • I make my bed
  • I make coffee
  • I get on my Peloton bike for 20 minutes
  • I feed the dog
  • I make breakfast and lunches for the kids


****I started setting my alarm for one hour earlier so that my trigger started early enough for me to realistically accomplish the new habits without feeling rushed and stressed (not the goal here, for sure!).


The cascading of healthy habit change is amazing to write out and process through. When I put on workout clothes, it triggers me to want to workout. When I make my bed, it makes me want to keep things more neat and tidy throughout the day. When I work out, I want to drink more water and make healthier food choices. The domino effect of these keystone habits can lead to tremendous change in your overall daily routines.