How One Habit Can Totally Change Your Workflow

As I became self-employed, I found it was much more difficult to create a routine and get into a rhythm. Can I get an AMEN?! 

Rhythm is hard – whether you're working for someone or for yourself. It takes discipline and determination, and it's honestly easier sometimes to just go moment to moment instead of creating a routine.

BUT.

I genuinely believe that we, as humans, require some amount of rhythm and routine. Honestly, as much as I love the flexibility of my job, it drives me crazy sometimes. Many days, I wish I had someone telling me when I needed to be at work, holding me accountable to get my tasks done, measuring my performance.

It was, in a weird way, easier to establish balance in my life when I was working for someone else. Now, I can work at any time of the day, which unfortunately means that work never has to stop. There is always something to be done, and that can cause a pretty haphazard and gnarly workflow.

And it's not just work! It's eating habits, taking care of myself, investing into my marriage. There is so much more to balance in life than just your work and personal time. There are relationships, health, and so many other details to be taken into consideration.

So here's where everything changed for me:

Andy Stanley talks about something called "keystone habits." 

Basically, this is a habit that you get into every day and it helps set the rest of your day up for success.

For Andy, it's flossing his teeth. When he flosses his teeth first thing in the morning, it makes him feel like he's taking care of himself. So he goes and works out. After working out, he eats healthy through the day because he's in the rhythm of taking care of himself. He also makes sure he doesn't work too late and gets quality time with his family because his focus for the day is on maintaining health in every area of his life. Do you see where this is going??

Our habits form the foundation of our daily lives – no matter how small. Even Warren Buffett says, "Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."

Habits will impact every facet of your life, for better or for worse, so they are definitely worth paying attention to.

To dramatically change your day, rhythm, habits, etc., find your "keystone habit" and DO IT!

Aaron and I just discovered that our keystone habit is working out in the morning. When we work out first thing, we always make better food choices through the day. We also end up getting a jump on the day and, because we get to cross working out off of our list, we already feel productive. Feeling productive early on encourages me to create to-do lists and actually adhere to them through the day. Then, once I finally arrive at the end of the day, I have a whole list of measurable things I accomplished.

To be fair, it can take some digging and some time to figure out what your keystone habit it. For example, we didn't even realize working out was our keystone habit until it was gone! When we stopped working out every morning, our diet went wild, our work schedule kind of flew out the window, and we were eating out way more (which is expensive, ya'll).

After taking some time to think about it, we realized whether or not we worked out in the morning would make or break our whole day – this was our keystone habit. And it makes all the difference.

So take some time to figure out – what is it that you can do every morning to set your day up for success? Is it a cold shower, a healthy breakfast, or morning meditation? Maybe it's working out or even simply flossing your teeth!

No matter what it is, your keystone habit, once implemented, can be a true difference-maker in your day-to-day. 

Now find your habit, stick to it, and take control of the rest of your week!

Also, I'd love to hear from you guys –– what are your keystone habits?!?! Comment below!!

Much love,
Jen Wagner