If you haven’t heard of keystone habits, let me enlighten you.
A keystone habit is a habit that triggers the actions of other habits.
If you haven’t read or listened to the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg do it ASAP. He breaks down keystone habits and much much more in his book. I am on my third round of listening to it. It is absolutely life-changing.
A great example of a keystone habit is how to get healthy.
Do I focus on my diet? Exercise? Sleep? Yes. All of this!
This is why America is overweight! We get overwhelmed and frustrated because there are so many habits we need to change or create that we just give up.
Studies have proved that if you begin your healthy lifestyle change with exercise, this will trigger your dieting desires and your sleep habits. It will naturally push you toward changing those other habits instead of making you feel like it’s overwhelming and impossible.
A major struggle in marriage is that we get overwhelmed by the number of things we need to pay attention to. We need to be caring, and loving, offer undivided attention, be passionate, be spontaneous, and so much more.
This is all while we focus on work, our kids, church, serving, being a good human, eating right, taking care of our bodies, and not spending too much money. Whew. I am tired just writing this!
We get overwhelmed and frustrated with the sheer number of things we have to give attention to. Eventually, we close up and shut down. That’s when our marriages really start to feel the negative impact.
So, what can you do about it? Keystone habits.
If you can just focus primarily on ONE thing in your marriage, it will make your focus so much easier on other aspects. This will remove anxiety and overwhelm and offer you some real positive results.
Our marriages are either moving forward or away, they are never just standing still.
Here are 3 things you can do today to begin forming a keystone habit in your marriage that will offer real results:
Every marriage is different. So every keystone habit will be slightly different.
Maybe intimacy is something you are good at. But maybe communication is something you suck at. Start off by talking with your spouse and finding out what is the most important thing in your marriage TODAY! Yes, this can change over time.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that what is important today is going to be the same level of importance tomorrow. You change, and your spouse changes, which means your marriage changes.
Talk it out.
Find the ONE thing you need to focus on and put it in one of three categories:
Prayer, communication, or intimacy.
Now is the time to find out what category your focus needs to fit in.
Prayer. If you are not praying for your marriage, for your spouse, and with your spouse consistently, this is a major keystone habit in your marriage. Prayer is something that brings you both together spiritually. We offer God our marriage and are willing to admit that we don’t have all the answers. This impacts all parts of your marriage.
Communication. If you are not open and honest with your spouse about your feelings, desires, and future, you are not connecting in a way that will help your marriage flourish.
This is a major keystone habit that will allow healthy habits to form from it. This opens more levels of trust and belief in you and your spouse.
Intimacy. This doesn’t mean just sex. But it does mean sex. Let’s be honest, sex is a major part of desire for men. Women’s needs are more emotional. When we are able to be intimate with each other [emotional and sexual] we are offering a keystone habit connection that automatically leaks into other parts of our relationship.
The plan from here is to focus the majority of your attention on your category. Remember this is decided on by BOTH of you!
This is not a “get out of jail free” card for other responsibilities within your marriage. Think of this as a 70/30 split.
When you focus on your category and develop a strong habit in that area, you will see all other portions of your marriage begin to rise.
A rising tide lifts all boatsJohn F. Kennedy
This my friends are why keystone habits are crucial for marital success.
Drop the overwhelm. Begin a new keystone habit and watch your marriage transform.
Remember, we love you and God loves you.