What is a Master Habit?
In his brilliant book, The Power of Habits, Charles Duhigg talks about Keystone or Master Habits. As the name implies, some habits are more important than others.
The right master habit will be specific to what it is that you want to achieve. Your first step to building your master habit is choosing an area or goal to work on. Then, do a little research to find out what works. Here are eight examples to consider:
Prepare for Anything
What’s the keystone habit that helped Michael Phelps win more Olympic Gold medals than anyone else? Was it his training? His nutrition? Getting up at the same time every day? Nope, it was none of these. His master habit was visualisation. He visualised every part of his racing.
During the final of the Men’s Butterfly at the 2008 London Olympic Games Phelps’ swimming goggles filled up with water as soon he dived into the pool. What did he do? He couldn’t put his hand up, stop the race and say ‘Sorry guys, can we do that again? I got a little bit of water in my eyes’.
No, he had to keep going – they do swim in the water after all… And, keep going he did. He not only won the race and the gold medal, he also broke the world record. The secret… he had already visualised this scenario in practice and knew exactly how to handle it.
The master habit is writing down everything you eat. This forces you to confront in black and white what you actually eat and not what you think you eat.
The #masterhabit for #weightloss is to write down every thing you eat
How to get your kids to do their homework
Sit down together at dinner and eat. This provides comfort and connection for your children and makes it more likely they will do what they know they need to do.
How to be happy
One crucial thing here is gratitude – taking a moment to be grateful for what you have. For more on this, listen to episode 102 of the Ideas Architect Podcast where we talk with Georgian Benta from The Gratitude Podcast.
The Key to Motivation
According to motivation design expert Dr Jason Fox, the key to motivation is to create a feeling of progress. You need to know that what you are doing is making a difference. Find a way to measure your progress and display it visually as a chart or graph. We spoke about this in my book Done.
The #masterhabit for #motivation is to create a sense of progress via @drjasonfox
Start Your Day
Professor Fogg – yes that is his real name – is an expert in habit formation. He suggests the number one habit to build is to say: ‘this is going to be a great day’ when you wake up each morning.
Want to lighten up?
Funny man Marty Wilson suggests the habit of asking yourself: “What’s the funny thing about this situation?” whenever you feel you’re under the pump or things aren’t going to plan. We spoke to Marty Wilson about this on the Ideas Architect Podcast (episode 107)
Leadership and Decision-Making
What’s the best practice you can talk on to build your leadership skills? Leadership habits expert Taruni Falconer suggests the crucial habit is to pause to take a breath in key moments – this can overcome being reactive to situations and promote clear decision-making.
What are Your Master Habits?
Which of these master habits piques your interest? And, what would you add to this list?