LSG Episode 3 - Habits - What are Keystone Habits and How Do They Affect Us?

This is an awesome episode for those who would like to learn the hacks and tricks on creating phenoninal results in all area's of their lives simply by changing a couple of smaller ones.  This is what a keystone habit can do for you... Watch along and find out more.


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Live, Ladies and Gentlemen, for Episode 3 of Learn Share Grow with Hayden Wilson.

If you want to get all the show notes from yesterday, head over to

Today we are talking about something that I was inadvertently doing and didn’t know that I was doing it. I’m sure there are things in your life that you’re doing as well that you don’t know why you’re doing them but are producing amazing results simply by doing them.

Today I want to explain a little bit about the psychology about why they actually work. This is all about what is called Keystone Habits and if I switch it around to my trusty whiteboard, you’ll find that a keystone habit is pretty much like the head domino.

So once we can work out what the keystone habit is, it knocks over pretty much, a bunch of other dominos and ultimately leads to your success.

Now let’s just give a little example here. As you can see with my amazing graphics, you’ve got the keystone habit of running and I’ve got the Adidas shoe, no copyright intended, and if you have the keystone habit of getting up every morning and exercising, what the studies have shown is an increase in work productivity and promotions, you see people that smoke less, you’ve got a much higher rate of cooperativeness in the workplace, and that’s going to lead to spending less (that’s a little credit card there) which in turn leads to less stress and more healthy wellbeing.

And that’s just one example of exercising in the morning.

Let’s look at a couple of others.

You’ve got families eating dinner together. They always say when you’re growing up that you should eat your family dinner together and there’s no real reason why your parents give it to you, but there actually is a reason – kids are better at homework, they achieve higher grades in their schooling, they have greater emotional control and they have more confidence in social situations or life situations.

The next one I want to explain to you, and I’ve been doing this more recently in the last 12 months and I can tell you now it does actually help. And that is, making your bed first thing in the morning. I’m going to explain why these work in a minute but if you start making your bed in the morning you can increase your work productivity, increase your sense of wellbeing, and also increase your chances of sticking to a budget.

I know that this sounds crazy but this is just how it works.

This is what they’ve found from the studies and the psychology behind the decisions and the habits that we create. But why exactly does this work? Well you can explain it through the concept of what’s called “small wins”.

Small wins are by making the bed in the morning and stringing that together with something else, like you might go for a run, and have this sense of victory throughout the day where you’re adding small win 1 plus small win 2 plus small win 3, and you can start becoming proud of what you’re doing, and you’re going to see changes throughout a bunch of different stuff and other habits in your life. Remember those dominos at the start? Once you get the first one right, the rest just seem to fall over, everything starts to get easier.

So I want to leave you with keystone habits that you can start implementing in your life. I’m sure some of you are already making some of these, or doing some of these habits but I just want to explain a few that might help you.

Something that I’ve been doing is, instead of taking the escalator if I’m at an airport or you know, just at the train station or whatever, or somewhere in public, I will always take the stairs instead of the escalator, no matter what.

And you will find that I have “no matter what” after all these because this is how a good habit is formed.

The other things you might want to start doing is don’t press the snooze button. By pressing the snooze button - I don’t know how many times you might do it. I used to be a chronic snoozer, I’d press it 3, 4 or 5 times, instead of actually, maybe if I needed that extra sleep, just stopping it, giving myself that extra hour.

By pressing the snooze button you’ve got to look at the deeper rooted problem of why you’re actually pressing snooze, did you not get to bed on time, which is our final point. But stop pressing snooze, just get up. Get up first thing, have a shower, have a glass of water, whatever you need to do, and create that small win because other people press snooze, you’re a winner, winners don’t press snooze.

Keep a food journal, no matter what. They’ve found with studies that in the 1960’s they were trying to get these people to lose weight and they couldn’t work out why they couldn’t, and they were trying to change, you know, give them this fancy exercise program and this crazy diet, and trying to change everything within their lives, and they wondered why they just couldn’t lose weight.

But what the research has shown now since 2009 is when they keep a food journal they’re a lot more likely, these participants, there were 1,600 obese people within the study, and what they found is when they started keeping a food journal, not only were they more adherent to eating healthy food, the people would start predicting what they were going to have for dinner and stick to their calories that they’re allowed to eat.

They started making the right decisions before it even happened and that’s why they found these amazing results. Simply by keeping this food journal, the people were a lot more aware of what they were putting into their body.

So that’s a small win you can start implementing if you’re trying to lose weight.

Another one that I’ve got here is walk every single morning. So if you do want to get out, maybe you’re not walking your dog enough, maybe you just need to get that exercise, that morning fresh air, I’m a huge advocate of that, but you need to just, every single day, walk in the morning, the first thing that you do when you get up, if that’s the only thing you have to do for the entire day, then set that as your goal. You must just relentlessly get up, every single day, no matter what, and walk for 20 to 30 minutes.

The last thing that you need to do, one of the last things, and these are just examples, there’s a ton more that you can work out within your life, but another thing that you might like to try is setting a bedtime and sticking to it.

And I was really bad at this for years. I would you know, work til 10, 11 or 12 o’clock at night and then try and get up at 5 in the morning and I was wondering why I was tired and I wasn’t having the productivity that I desired, and I felt weak whenever I stopped, you know, whenever I continued working after a certain amount of time, I’d screw around on Facebook, or Instagram, or whatever, and then once I decided to set myself a bedtime and relentlessly following it again, no matter what, you must stick to it, until it forms itself into the proper habit.

What this does, by going to sleep every day at 9pm which is roughly my bedtime, anytime between 9 and 9.15, yes Grandpa, I know, but what this does is set me up for the next day properly. I get my proper sleep. I’m able to get up early. I’m able to do the work that I want to do on myself early the next day before anything else has even happened. So the domino is by going to bed at night-time, I’ve almost started the next day already because I can get up early, I can do my work, and just continue on from that.

So that’s a small insight into what keystone habits are and small wins, so I hope you can implement some of that stuff into your life. If you need any help, definitely jump over to and shoot me an email. If you want previous Episodes,

I’ll catch you all next time.