What is metacognition?

Defined as the ability to "think about thinking" - metacognition is the first step toward any lasting self improvement. I can't imagine getting very far without it.

I use metacogntion to accelerate my learning by defining clear goals and routine habits.

I'm sure you can find lots of ways to improve your mind, body, and soul. Here's what works for me:

keystone habit image of stacking rocks

Start with your keystone habit

A keystone habit is one that functions like the keystone in the middle of an archway: it holds all your other habits together.

My keystone habit is a daily journal. Just one sentence about my goal at the start of each day and a second one toward the evening on how I did.

Don't overthink it JUST DO IT.

Your daily journal is going to be the gravity that holds all your progress together.

Whatever you do, don't go a day without doing it. As the great Tom Robbins once said:

Write every day without fail. Even if you're hungover and your grandmother just fell out a window.

daily journal

Now it's time your three POWER HABITS

Any more than three and it's probably not going to happen every day like it should.

Here they are:

  1. Daily Journal
  2. Daily Physical
  3. Daily Meditation

We have one down which is the daily journal.

The next is to do something with your body. A short morning jog is the best if you have time. Or a seven minute workout in the middle of the day. Yoga, balance, dance, burpees, shadow boxing, WHATEVER it takes to tap into that ancestral activity that used to happen on it's back when we were hunter gatherers.

keystone habit image of stacking rocks

Then comes the daily meditation. Honestly, I would take this over the journal because it requires exactly ZERO props. Just you and your brain. You can do it anywhere, airports, grocery line, bus stops, it's the most powerful thing you'll ever do if you commit to a little practice and guidance.

the brain

Follow your three power habits religiously and you'll have a foundation to stand on. No one can take it away.

If your day sucks, do them anyway. If your day is good, they will make your day that much better.

the power of three

But wait, there's more

At the end it's pretty simple. Three power habits and you now have a foundation to win yourself all your other complicated goals.

But life is full of complications so it's essential to have your own philosophy, and build flexibility into that philosophy.

You also have to understand your emotional brain because that's how our brains got the way there are. Sorry, no way around it. You're an emotanional person, so and don't let your limbic system rule you.

To want nothing is to possess all things

flow state chart

Hope that helps, just something I felt like sharing. The only rule is to do what works and track your progress. Write me and tell me what works for you!

    Further study:

  1. One study even showed that people with extreme political viewpoints tend to lack metacognition ↩ back

  2. The Power of Habit by John Durigg is essential reading for why habits are crucial and how to modify your brain so they work and last ↩ back

  3. Don't know what to write? Try a morning sentence on your goal for the day, then an evening sentence on how you did ↩ back

  4. I consider The Mind Illuminated essential reading to get full benefits of meditation. It's among the best. ↩ back


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