Keystone Habit

Quick Summary

A habit that sets off a chain reaction leading to the formation of multiple other good habits. It can be considered a foundational habit, one whose successful adoption leads to the successful adoption of many other positive habits. It is the initiator of a pattern of self-determined growth.


In Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg described Alcoa CEO Paul O’Neill’s belief about keystone Habits: “O’Neill believed that some habits have the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits as they move through an organization. Some habits, in other words, matter more than others in remaking businesses and lives. These are ‘keystone habits’ and they can influence how people work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate”

Duhigg continues:”Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything. Keystone habits say that success doesn’t depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few priorities and fashioning them through powerful levers…The habit habits that matter most are the ones, when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other patterns” (100)

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