Keystone Habits: What they are and how to make the most of them

Picture of a pile of stones to represent keystone habits

Keystone habits are specific behaviours that have the power to spark a chain reaction of positive changes in various aspects of one’s life. These habits act as catalysts, influencing and transforming other behaviours, often leading to broader improvements. The term ‘keystone habits’ was popularised by Charles Duhigg in his book ‘The Power of Habit’.

Key characteristics of keystone habits include:

Influence on Other Behaviours:

Keystone habits have a ripple effect, influencing other habits and behaviours in a positive way. Changing or establishing a keystone habit can lead to a domino effect, creating a positive impact on different areas of life.

Symbolic Significance:

These habits often have symbolic or deep personal meaning. They represent more than just the specific behaviour itself; they embody a mindset or value that extends to other aspects of life.

Positive Feedback Loop:

Keystone habits create a positive feedback loop, where success in one area reinforces positive behaviours in others. This positive reinforcement contributes to the sustainability of habit change.

Examples of keystone habits include:

Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity is a classic keystone habit. It not only improves physical health but can also lead to positive changes in mental well-being, sleep, and overall energy levels.

Healthy Eating:

Adopting a habit of mindful and nutritious eating can be a keystone habit. This positive change often extends to increased energy, improved mood, and better overall health.

Daily Planning or Goal Setting:

Establishing a habit of daily planning or goal setting can influence time management, productivity, and a sense of purpose. It sets the tone for a proactive and organised approach to daily life.

Journaling or Reflection:

Keeping a journal or engaging in reflective practices can be a keystone habit. It enhances self-awareness and mindfulness, leading to improved decision-making and emotional well-being.

Quality Sleep:

Prioritising and improving sleep habits can act as a keystone habit. Better sleep often results in increased focus, mood regulation, and a positive impact on other daily routines.

Identifying and focusing on keystone habits can be a strategic approach for those looking to make positive changes in their lives. By understanding the interconnected nature of habits, individuals can leverage the power of these keystones to create a more holistic and sustainable transformation.

Hypnotherapy emerges as a powerful catalyst in reshaping your keystone habits, triggering a profound ripple effect across various facets of your life. By delving into the subconscious, hypnotherapy doesn’t just target the surface of a single habit; it addresses the interconnected web of behaviours. When focusing on a keystone habit like regular exercise, for instance, hypnotherapy influences the subconscious beliefs and mental associations surrounding physical activity.

As the keystone habit transforms, its positive influence cascades into other areas of your life. Enhanced motivation from hypnotherapy spills over into healthier eating choices, improved stress management, and a heightened sense of your overall well-being.

This interconnected approach distinguishes hypnotherapy, acting as a dynamic force for change, unlocking a cascade of positive transformations that extend far beyond the initial target habit. Through this holistic influence, individuals experience a comprehensive shift, creating a solid foundation for enduring positive change across various aspects of their lives.

Contact me if you would like to change or explore you own keystone habits





Kjetil Bjorvatn, Mathias Ekström, Armando J. Garcia Pires, (2021), Setting goals for keystone habits improves labor market prospects and life satisfaction for unemployed youth: Experimental evidence from Norway,Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 188,2021, Pages 1109-1123,

Forck, M., 2015. Making the Bed Should Be a Safety Rule What Leaders Know About Wheel Chocks & Keystone Habits. Professional Safety, 60(2), p.26.

Charles Duhigg, (2012), The Power of Habit: Why We Do what We Do and how to Change, CPI Group

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