What is it that keeps you from doing what you want to do in life? Not enough time? Stress? Fatigue or low energy? Feeling depressed? Poor health? Not feeling up to the challenge? What is it for you? What if I could show you one thing that would change all of that? Would you be interested?

Did you know that certain good habits are so powerful that they work their way through your whole life, changing everything for the better? That’s the concept of a “keystone habit,” described by New York Times investigative reporter Charles Duhigg in his fascinating book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.” When I read this book, I realized that I’ve been teaching keystone habits my whole career. In this article, I’ll share one of these powerful habits and how to use it to transform your life.

The secret to a “keystone habit” is that you commit to one thing you will do as a top priority. To truly succeed at that one thing means that other things in your life have to line up in support of it. Therefore, focusing on that top priority has a ripple effect that changes everything. Certain habits lend themselves to this keystone effect—when you do them well they start to remake other patterns in your life.

Daily exercise is one of the most powerful keystone habits, I know. Before you go “Ugh, no, not that again,” let me show you why—and that it’s really much easier than you might think.

When you commit to exercising every day, even for 15 minutes, you first have to plan when, where, and how you’re going to do it. You want it to be convenient, efficient, and easy to do. If you’re really going to do it, it takes a little planning ahead. In other words, it gets you thinking about time management. Time management is key to your success at anything. If something is truly important to you, you make time for it.

So, to make exercise a habit, you’re going to need to schedule a consistent time to do it. My advice is to get it done first thing in the morning. That way nothing other things are less likely to get in the way and you’ll take the good feeling of it into your day. Otherwise, make it a part of some routine that you already do, like stopping at a gym on your way home from work.

Your commitment to exercise may prompt you to go to bed half an hour earlier so you get enough rest and have time to exercise first thing in the morning. Having a bit more sleep gives you a bit more energy. It also makes the world a little brighter when you wake up. When you get up and exercise first thing, you’ll get a rush of endorphins (good feeling neurochemicals) that make the world look and feel a whole lot brighter. If you exercise after work, you clear out the stress of the day and have a fresh start on your evening.

You’ll also discover that no matter how you feel when you begin your exercise session, you feel a whole lot better when you’re done. Exercise releases tension, circulates your blood, oxygenates your cells, stimulates better brain function, releases those good feeling endorphins, and initiates your body’s natural relaxation response when you are done. When your body shifts into a relaxation response, this boosts your immune system in addition to washing away any feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety. After exercise, your body does this naturally, without you having to try to relax.

If you don’t feel like exercising, here’s a little secret. If you just get up and move in any way, say by taking a short walk to around the block, you’re going to start to feel better already. A little exercise naturally leads to a little more.

To really get a good feeling going, once you’re warmed up, do a few bursts of a little higher intensity. Walk so that you’re breathing more deeply and rapidly for 30-60 seconds. Then walk easier for a minute. Alternate 3-5 more intense intervals with easier intervals and you’ll initiate changes inside your body that give you a rush of good feelings and effects.

Interestingly, after this type of exercise, you’ll feel a lot more energy while also feeling calm, positive, and relaxed. The good feelings of exercise will naturally carry over into everything else you do. The habit of exercise tends to lead to healthier eating, better sleep, better prioritizing, less stress, and all sorts of other habits that make your life better.

To learn more about four types of safe, smart exercise that supercharge your life, check out the Resource Box below.

Author's Bio: 

Learn four simple secrets to increase your energy, health, and success through exercise. For the keys to holistic fitness be sure to visit us here.

Kevin Schoeninger, M.A. Philosophy, Certified Trainer, Life Coach, Qigong Meditation Instructor, and Reiki Master