Perhaps you are reading this and asking yourself…”What IS a cornerstone habit?” The word cornerstone refers to the stone that forms the corner of a building. It creates a stable base and the rest of the structure is built securely upon this stone. When we apply this to our habits, we are referring to the one habit that by committing to it consistently, the rest of your habits can securely be built upon it.
According to Charles Duhigg in one of my favorite habit books, “The Power of Habit”, if you focus on one cornerstone habit, other positive habits you would like to create will be easier to put into motion. Let’s say you are looking to start working out, eat healthier, drink more water, sleep eight hours a night and stop smoking. Chances are that if you try to implement these five new habits all at once, you are more likely to fail at the successful integration of them in your life. However, if you choose just one of the habits and commit to it solely, the probability of success in the other four habits is higher. If you start to just work out, most likely, you will also start to drink more water, you will feel inspired to eat healthier, get eight great hours of sleep and stop smoking. The same is true if you decided to first focus on just sleeping eight hours. Chances are that you will in turn have more energy to work out, be more alert to eat healthier, drink more water and stop smoking. By choosing and committing to one cornerstone habit, you will have the momentum and compound effect to have more natural success in additional habits.
As a coach, I love helping clients identify their one cornerstone habit. It feels like Christmas morning, “Which present do you want to open first?” :) Yes, we’ll get to all of them, but which one do you want to “no matter what” commit to mastering so that the others come into your life with ease?
Here’s a real life example:
One client wanted to improve her sales, save more money to pay off debt, reach out to referral partners more, wake up earlier, work out in the morning, have a positive morning routine and the list went on and on. “Great!” I said. “Which one do you want to focus on first?” She chose waking up earlier. She added 6:00am on to her vision board, she let her husband know, let her kids know and we created accountability around this one new habit. She read the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod which gave her even more conviction in her new commitment. She started doing visualization about her goals and morning affirmations, she started running, she started getting more calls in to referral partners every day, her sales started to improve, she had her best year ever, then she had her best year ever again, then she had her best year ever…AGAIN! She is now the number 1 in her state in her industry! Talk about a domino effect! Her income has soared, all debts have been paid off, dream family vacations are being experienced, she is in the best shape of her life and has a sense of happiness she didn’t consistently enjoy before. Watching her hit this stride of success is simply fantastic and the widest thing is that it all comes down to her one cornerstone habit: Waking up at 6:00am. We were recently reminiscing on this transformation in her life and business and she said, “You won’t believe it! I recently joined a new gym and there is a class I go to at 6:00am, so now I’m getting up at 5:30am! If you had told me this four years ago, I never would have believed you!”
Get excited that your cornerstone habit can help you succeed in all your positive habits and goals. The key is to simply start with a firm determination to be successful and consistent with that one habit! You’ve got this!