In the book “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg talks about the importance of developing keystone habits into your life. Duhigg defines keystone habits as “small changes or habits people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
Running is a perfect example of a keystone habit because if you started running every day, not only would you become healthier, but you would also start eating better. Because running releases endorphins, you would also start feeling more satisfied with life. Your love life with your partner would improve. You would feel less stressed. And the ability you would develop to push through adversity while running would naturally carry over into all aspects of your life.
This is what keystone habits do. When you develop a keystone habit, you’ll start to see improvements in other areas of your life.
The question then is, what’s the best keystone habit? Without a doubt, starting a blog is one of the most powerful habits you can develop. Here are 3 reasons why:
1) Blogging helps you learn
Imagine you had a bucket, and every time you attempted to fill that bucket with water, 90% of it would leak out. If this was happening to you, would you keep on filling the bucket, or would you fix the leaks? You’d most likely fix the leaks. Unfortunately, when it comes to learning, people just keep on filling their bucket and never think about the leaks.
Because of this, almost everybody wastes 90% of their learning simply because they don’t understand the concept of the Learning Pyramid. What the Learning Pyramid says is that we retain 90% of what we learn if we teach it to someone else or we use it immediately.
The reason for this is because when you implement something or teach something, you’ll instantly make mistakes. And as soon as you start making mistakes, you’ll have to learn how to correct those mistake. This forces your brain to learn the information better.
This is why when I learn something important, I write it down, I talk to my girlfriend or family about it, or I write a blog post or an article about it. A concept is never just learned. It needs to be discussed, talked, written, and implemented.
For example, I wrote this article immediately after I heard about the idea of keystone habits. I made some mistakes writing it, so I went back and corrected them. Then I made more mistakes so I edited it again. Then I edited it again and again until I fully understood the idea.
Listening or reading something is just listening or reading. It’s not real learning. Real learning comes from making mistakes. Having a blog where you can write down the ideas you find important and discuss them with your audience will greatly intensify your learning process and will help you gain insights as you write about the things you’re learning about.
2) Blogging will help you reach your goals faster
Seth Godin once said that starting his blog was one of the top 5 best career decisions he ever made. During his interview on the Unmistakable Creative Podcast, Seth Godin says,
“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason why it’s a bad idea. If you know you have to write a blog post tomorrow, something in writing, something that will be around 6 months from now, about something in the world, you will start looking for something in the world to write about. You will seek to notice something interesting and to say something creative about it. Well, isn’t that all we’re looking for?”
I would say it is.
When I started blogging in the early months of last year, I didn’t know what I wanted to talk about. So, I started talking about the best ideas from the books I read. These are ideas that I think are worth talking about because these are ideas that have drastically improved my life.
Since I’ve started writing on my blog, I’ve made it a goal to discipline myself to try to write one new post about one of these ideas a day. By pushing myself to write a new blog post every day, this has forced me to always be seeking out new ideas, which is something I wouldn’t have otherwise done if I hadn’t made the decision to start a blog. As a result of doing this, I’ve learned about many ideas that have significantly cut my learning curve, which has helped me reach my goals faster and improve all areas of my life.
As a writer, if you’re focused on creating a thoughtful post everyday about an idea that you think can help benefit someone else’s life, then everyday, you will start noticing those new ideas everywhere. You’ll even start seeking out those new ideas. As a result, you couldn’t help but get better at whatever it is you are seeking to do. And if, as a by-product, people like what I have to say, then it’s a win-win for everyone. If, however, no one reads this post, then I would be completely okay with that.
3) Blogging will make you a better writer
Writing is a very important skill. In any field, whether it’s marketing, sales, or computer programming, writing skills will always pay off. This is because a person who understands how to write well means clear thinking. It means having the ability to communicate your ideas effectively. It means knowing how to make things easy for people to understand, and it means being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes.
A daily blog where you can commit yourself to writing something every day is the best way to develop these types of skills. This takes a little effort, but disciplining yourself to having a point of view and committing yourself to a time to say something is certainly going to improve your thinking, your logic, your attitude and your direction in life.
Don’t just spout an opinion or share a tweet on social media. Instead, outline what you believe and why you believe that through a blog post. Commit yourself to articulating your point of view on something, whether it’s a relevant issue, a news story, or an idea that has changed your life. Every day, try to communicate your ideas and your perspectives by writing about it on a blog.
Having the ability to effectively communicate through writing is extremely important, especially when we live in a world where most people and brands now communicate through texting, email, social media and blogging.
In the last 365 days, I’ve written over 200 blog posts and over 30 LinkedIn articles. As a result of writing every day, I’ve become passionate about the process of actually sitting down, crafting an idea, and sharing it with others.
Developing the habit of consistently writing on my blog has definitely been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I recommend you do the same. Even if no one reads it because if you do, you’ll be able to retain information better, learn how to communicate more effectively, and reach your goals faster.