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Keystone Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle

As a teacher I know how hard it can be to balance life and work. I don’t actually think that the perfect balance exists. We are either pulled more into work or more into our home life depending on the season we are in. However, what if I told you that with keystone habits you can feel more in control of your life. It’s true! Let’s chat about it.

Keystone habits can lead to self care as well. I know that teaching (in a pandemic none the less) and self care seem like two things that will never go together. You are busy with various commitments online, in the classroom or both…it is so easy to let yourself fall. However, I said it once and I will say it again: you can’t pour from an empty cup!

This is where keystone habits can help you.

WHAT ARE KEYSTONE HABITS?

Keystone habits may sound fancy, but I assure you that it is not. Keystone habits are creating a series of habits that lead to another habit in a natural manner. They help you achieve a healthier self without as much effort is how I look at it. Sure, you need to put in the effort for one habit- but when you see the outcome it is worth it.

For example, the habits you do each day: you wake up, brush your teeth, wash your face, hop in the shower, blow dry your hair… you get the idea. Since you are doing these things in order every single day, you are creating keystone habits.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Starting keystone habits can be tough, but the benefits outweigh this! It has been said that keystone habits will provide you with energy for your day, boost your self confidence, help you take care of yourself and give you the boost to keep going!

Once you commit to a keystone habit and it truly becomes apart of your daily routine it will help you build momentum. It is like our students in the classroom: when they see themselves becoming successful and enjoying your class they want to keep going!

Once you commit to a keystone habit, it could feel weird at first. However with time this habit becomes more natural and before you know it you are living a healthier lifestyle.

Let’s look at one of my keystone habits for the afternoon: leaving the classroom on time. This felt SO weird at first, but once I committed to it, I became a healthier person. Why? Well, here is what I personally gained from leaving work on time:

  • More time to prep healthy dinners
  • Longer walks with the dog for exercise
  • Time to decompress and do things I enjoy doing  
  • More time with my husband and family
  • Time for me to focus on myself and my needs (exercise, water consumption

I know that it might sound crazy that all of that came from leaving work on time instead of staying later, but it did. That keystone habit has led to so much more in my life. I had no idea how much stress I was putting on myself and what I was missing out on.

How can you make your own keystone habits? It’s easy!

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR ROUTINE  

I want you to sit down and make a list of things that you do everyday. Then make a list of things you WISH you did everyday. Putting these things side by side will help you determine what you can do to take care of yourself.

PUT YOUR PLAN IN MOTION

It is always awesome to have dreams, however in order to be successful you also need a plan. You need action, so start now! Decide on a keystone habit that you are going to commit to and go for it.

You might fail. You might want to give up. DON’T. Keep going and remember your end goal and how you want to feel. They have said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I have found that for some of mine it was even longer than that. Know that you can succeed and go all in.

LOOK AT OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE

You made a change in one area and are feeling awesome about it. Once that sets in and you feel that you are ready for a new habit, add one! Perhaps you want to change your bedtime routine if you started adding habits to your morning routine, Try it and see what happens.

REMEMBER IT CAN GET TOUGH

It is so easy to sit behind a computer and type out why you need keystone habits and how they will help you. Implementing them can be so hard. Just know that in order to live a life that you want, you have to take care of you.

If there is anything that I have learned in the last 9 months it is this: you are the only one that is going to 100% take care of you. You are the one who cares most about you and what you need. PLEASE take care of yourself and fill that cup.

I hope that you are able to figure out some keystone habits that can help you be a better version of yourself. I will be sure to do a follow up post about the habits that I took on that stuck.