Ben Azzai in Perkei Avot tells us that doing one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah.

Behavior and habits are contagious and can unintentionally but favorably effect other areas of our lives.

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about the phenomenon of keystone habits, which are habits that can have an impact on other habits in your life. Duhigg defines them as ‘small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives’.

For example, one keystone habit Duhigg writes about is exercise, and how it has the power to change other areas of someone’s life like their diet or how they manage their time.

Another example – dressing better. A snazzy new wardrobe promotes more confidence, self-assurance and a desire for better health, fitness and living.

Now you get the picture.

Keystone habits don’t have a cause-and-effect relationship but rather spark a chain reaction of good habits. 

Here is a list of keystone habits that can transform your life:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Dressing better
  • Make your bed in the morning
  • Track what you eat
  • Practice gratitude
  • Develop a daily routine
  • Meditation
  • Eat family dinners together
  • Phone off family time (video)
  • Learning Torah

Changes and new habits have to be desired for maximum impact. Dreading a new behavior is counterproductive.

Going Forward

The last two years have severely disrupted normal life, habits and routines. As we move past the restrictions and chaos of Corona it’s a great time to grab a hold of a keystone habit and feel the domino effect of positive benefits in other areas of your life.