Last summer, I had a plethora of important goals to achieve. I had to quickly recruit some germane arsenals to boost my focus – the subject, which has unarguably become a rare commodity in our world today (You probably don’t have to own an iPhone to understand this).
I did a will-power experiment, scored myself holistically on a weekly basis – as bona fide as I could – just for a sole reason, motivation.
Few months after, I was listening to an audiobook, The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. In the book, she pointed out to some research that showed how physical exercise birthed several positive habits like eating healthy, increased productivity, smoking less, amongst others.
Hurriedly, I stretched for my last summer will power experimental data, and to my astonishment a trend emerged. Oblivious to me, I had killed 3 birds with one stone.
In the mornings that I stuck to my (very) intense running regimen, 1) I was more likely to stick to my almost-tasteless oats meal versus a carbohydrate-laden food; 2), I read my book for the day for an extra 30 minutes; and 3), I spent less time wasting away on the internet (If you are wondering how I did this, I kept track of literally everything!).
In short, the positive correlation between my exercise regimen and my will power index was almost absolute.
Charles Duhigg in his best seller book – The Power of Habit – calls activities like my last-summer-exercise “Keystone habits”.
Here is the book:
“Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything […] Keystone habits say that success doesn’t depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers […] The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they start to shift, [they] dislodge and remake other patterns”
Apart from physical exercise, here is another example: Food journaling. Studies has shown that people who kept a daily log of food consumed, has a much higher chance of eating healthy, and consequently lose more weight; only with the use of food journals.
In fact, Duhigg in his book stated that some studies has shown a positive correlation between making your bed every morning and developing apt budgeting skills, a sense of well-being, and increased productivity.
Lastly – and more important – is the habit of positive thinking. This will probably have one of the greatest positive ripple effect I can imagine.
The gist is, look for a habit that will give you the ripple effect that you desire: I had guess if you had the opportunity to kill 3 birds with one stone, you’ll grab it.