Just like dominoes, making and breaking habits consists of an untold number of daily, doable steps that lead to a huge change. Pastor Craig Groeschel says it simply: “Small disciplines done consistently lead to big results over time.” In other words, small wins matter.
Habits aren’t grand destinations you arrive at one day—they’re tiny steps you take every day. Some of the most important small wins you can make are often called keystone habits. The fastest way to comprehend keystone habits is to learn what a keystone is. A keystone is an architectural term for the wedge-shaped stone that would sit at the top and center of an arch of bricks or stones. Each stone in the arch pushes its weight toward the keystone, and the triangular shape of the keystone wedge causes the entire arch to be supported.
If you remove the keystone, the entire structure falls down. In biology, a keystone species is one that an ecosystem depends on. Likewise, a keystone habit provides support and momentum for other habits in your life.
Most books about habits will tell you about keystone habits, and they should, but what they might not tell you is that there is yet another stone. Jesus called Himself the cornerstone which is a stone used to provide the same kind of support for the entire construction of a building. You can get all your keystone habits right and still come tumbling down if they’re not built on a foundation with Jesus as its cornerstone.
Here’s a short list of keystone habits to consider. Which can you add to your life? Have you made Jesus the cornerstone?
- Wake up early enough to start your day with Jesus.
- Sleep at least eight hours a night.
- Eat at least one meal together with your family or close friends each day.
- Attend a local church weekly, and participate by giving and serving there.
- Exercise at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes.
- Declare some truths about yourself every day.
Making good daily habits and breaking bad ones is a daily process for the rest of your life. Here’s a helpful tool to take with you as you make Jesus your cornerstone.
Ask for help
Be kind to yourself
Investigate and make changes
Trust the God-process