Momentum Podcast: 98

Keystone Habits In Action with Annie Grace

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Keystone habits are life-changing. They're the habits that mom add them to our lives, they help create momentum everywhere, and they don't cause constraint in any way. When you add one keystone habit, it can be life-changing and you will feel momentum. When you add several Keystone habits at once, everything in your life will feel like momentum.

Your business will grow faster, you will feel better, and you will create the outcomes you want to in the world. 

In this episode, I discuss with Annie Grace how her life and business had changed since she started adding keystone habits to her life.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, and rewrite them around our own will.

We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.

For most of my life, I'm obsessed with how do I get more done? How do I be more effective? More efficient? More persuasive? How can I create more and get to my outcome faster? And as a result, I'm also obsessed with the habits and the changes that you can make in your life that will create momentum everywhere. Like what are those keystone habits? I started with this hypothesis a long time ago that there had to be things that you could do that would help you everywhere. There had to be things that human beings could do that would make everything better. And so I started like hunting for those things. And they've turned me into the person I am today.

I call them keystone habits. It's the things that when you add one of them to your life, it changes everything. It makes everything better. It gives you momentum everywhere. It doesn't take anything away. Those are keystone habits. I'll give you an example, hydration. It's estimated 75 to 85% of the population is dehydrated. If you look at the list of the top 20 prescription drugs, even if we go down as far as top 50 prescription drugs in the United States, they treat the symptoms of various diseases, but they also treat the symptoms, at one point or another, of dehydration.

And so when you get hydrated, it will change your life as an entrepreneur. But here's what shocks most people like us. We don't realize how much it will change your life. One of the first things I start with when I'm coaching one of my private clients, when I have somebody in our Grow and Scale mastermind, one of the first things I start with is hydration, because I know I need them 100% present, and if they start drinking water, religiously, it will change everything in their life. So I even wrote a free program,, the ten day natural thirst challenge, where thousands of people have learned how to drink more water than they ever thought possible, but they've also realized the benefits of being fully hydrated and fully present and aware.

That is a keystone habit. And when you add that to your life, you will feel momentum everywhere. It will change everything. You go to, take the ten day natural thirst challenge, and tell me it doesn't change everything. That's what everyone who's done it ... Not everyone. But I've heard from a lot of people who've done it that it changed their lives permanently. Ray Higdon, who's an incredible speaker and just an awesome coach in the MLM industry and a friend of mine took the ten day challenge and he is high-compliance. Like if he's going to do something, he does it. The third and fourth days he felt terrible, and then he left me a message on the eighth or ninth day that literally his whole life had changed.

He was going to stop drinking energy drinks. He didn't think he would ever have coffee again. He couldn't believe how present and alert and aware he was, how many aches and pains had gone away, how much better he felt. That is a keystone habit at work. Well today, I'd like to share with you a brief interview I did with one of our clients, Annie Grace, who wrote the Naked Mind, and is an amazing author and advocate for those who want to stop drinking and don't like the alternatives that are out there in the world. I support 12 step programs for the people who've been helped by them, but they don't work for everyone, and Annie has an alternative. And if you want to examine your relationship with alcohol, you can listen to her podcast, The Naked Mind podcast, or look her up, Annie Grace, The Naked Mind, and she's amazing.

And I talked to her for a short period today. And here's why I think this is going to be valuable for you. Annie is so aware and so clear in how she communicates that she's going to share with you what she's doing, how she's changed things, and how she's more present and aware than she's been in a long time. She even said today that she's going into her annual planning meeting with her team, and for the first time, she feels like she can actually breath going into it because it's that much better for her. And I want you to listen to the tactics and the strategies she's used to get to the place where she feels more confident, where she feels more present, more aware, and like her team is going to walk out of this annual meeting more confident than they have in the last two years.

If you listen, you're going to pick up the tactics that you can put in place, and the keystone habits that may just change everything for you like they did for Annie. I look forward to hearing what you think. This is Annie Grace. So tell us a little bit ... Like, establish who you are and your backstory before you joined the program.

Annie Grace:

Okay, so my name is Annie Grace. I wrote the book, This Naked Mind. And my backstory is that I wrote this book, self-published it. It took off so much, was so intense that I was able to quit my job and start to do this more or less full time, which was amazing. But it came with every time that more people read the book, more people wanted more for me, online coaching, stuff like that, it just came with this huge level of increased responsibility, and I wasn't prepared for how fast it would grow. And so I was in a pretty bad place, I'd say, kind of emotionally, definitely with my family, and certainly with keeping with the business. It started to take over my entire life and I was suffering. So lots of anxiety, thinking about it at night. Actually had to get fitted for a mouth guard because I was clenching and grinding my teeth. And yeah, and then we met.

Alex Charfen:

And all of those things are so common, Annie. Like when we run a business, like it starts to affect us physically, mentally, health wise, everything right?

Annie Grace:

Right. For sure. And so ... There's my water bottle. [inaudible 00:07:14] reach.

Alex Charfen:


Annie Grace:

But yeah-

Alex Charfen: Go ahead, sorry. I didn't mean to cut you off.

Annie Grace:

Yeah, I mean it was ... I was unprepared. I've never been an entrepreneur before. I've worked in corporate my entire career, and so the level of personal responsibility I felt for every single email that was in my inbox, I was in a corporate job where I could have somebody's ... It was financial, so somebody's credit card wouldn't be working, they'd be in Europe, and they'd be having a crisis, it would impact me on an emotional, personal level. But in this job, if somebody is struggling with something, and they email me about it, it was impacting me on a hugely emotional and personal level, and I didn't know who to deal with that and protect myself to the point where I could give more of myself to the people who needed me.

Alex Charfen:

That's huge. And it's an issue so many entrepreneurs who like create a runaway growth company face, because your company really did kind of take off. How is it now for you now that you know some of our content and are putting some of our systems in place?

Annie Grace:

I'd say pretty immediately, I'd say the first week I was like, "Oh my gosh. Like it's just another to do." And I think you talked me down from the ledge in that regard, and just like, "Okay, just start here." And so it's been really bite-sized tasks, and their kind of gaining critical mass. And every single thing, it's funny because you say, "If you do this one thing, it will change everything." And I'm like, "Okay, one thing isn't going to change everything." But it really does. Like for instance, the hydration has been unbelievable, and it's something so simple.

But then the really more complex things, like how you plan for your annual meeting and how you plan for your day, and how you actually get through kind of strategy and marketing and stuff, those things ... I have been saying for a long time, "I just want a boss." And I know don't really, because I really want to be the entrepreneur. I want to be in charge of this. I want it to be my own thing. But I do kind of want a boss. Like I want somebody to be able to tell me, "This has worked before." And I've spent two years trying to figure it out, and now to have that ... So we're just about to go into our team's annual meeting. I'm planning for it right now. And to be able to have the structure, like I've just taken and made my whole team Charfen binders, like all the material.

And like literally, this is all Charfen stuff. And so to be able to go in and say, "Okay, this is what we're going to do." And I'm so excited because it's going to be able to lower it for my team, because the one thing that I'm horrible at is I have all of these ideas in my head, and I have no good way of getting them out of my mouth into actionable things. So my team is always playing catch up, even my husband, playing catch up and trying to say ... Like put the pieces together and then talking to each other, "Did she mean this?" Like it's very confusing.

And so now I think, especially with the OTA forms that you've done, and just this idea of, "Okay, this is how to get it out of your head, into things that people can actually do." So my biggest ... It's funny because my big mantra for my annual meeting coming up is, "Slow down to speed up." And it's kind of like, "Take a breath to speed up." And I think the whole team, we've done this twice before. But I think this one is going to be really different, and I think instead of having three frantic days where people leave feeling like, "Okay, now there's so much to do," and they go home with almost a weight on their shoulders, people are going to leave with like a, "Okay, like this is clear for the first time ever." And so I'm really excited about that.

Alex Charfen:

That's awesome. When your team can feel foundationally like they get it, it changes everything. Annie, how do you feel different going into this annual planning than you did in the past?

Annie Grace:

I feel like I can breath a little more right now. There's been this whole compilation of things that is my sort of I guess, Tony Robbins uses like, "Where's your emotional home?" And my emotional home has been like head down, stressed out, just get it done, and get it done. And like create this really ball of intense energy that I thought was the reason I was successful and I thought was propelling me forward. And I think, Alex, working with you has helped to unwind that ball a bit with the different kind of bio-hacks and just the strategic ways of looking at the big picture.

And so now when I see something, instead of ... I'm almost noticing. I'm like, "Okay," something will happen, negative piece of feedback on Facebook or something. And I have this emotional reaction, I want to fix it. But then instead of just going into that mode of, "Ah, action, fix," without thought, I'm like stepping back and saying, "Okay. So is this actually a big deal?" And it turns out a lot of it is you can't run your business for the squeaky wheel, you have to run it for the mass who's following you. And the people who love you, not the people who, you know. And I think that that shift has been huge.

Just the physical shift has been huge. Something, I stopped drinking coffee, and ... Not that you have to stop drinking coffee. Alex still drinks coffee. But that for me, as somebody who suffers from anxiety, has just, I mean it's like black and white. Now I'm able to deal with that.

Alex Charfen:

I'm right there with you, Annie. I actually ... I stopped drinking coffee for most of the fourth quarter, because I feel like it's a time where the rest of the world accelerates and gets anxious, and if I stop drinking coffee, then I'll like lose the anxiety. So I'm right there with you. Just one or two more questions. Was it weird for you getting into a business growth program where all the sudden you're getting like physiology and personal planning and getting clear on who you are? Because it's not what's normal in a business program, right?

Annie Grace:

Right. So two things, number one, I'm in other business coaching masterminds. So I had that. Like I had lots of ... You join for the networking, you join for the guidance on how to grow faster. You join for what to do. Like that was covered. I felt like my business was growing faster than I could handle. What I didn't have was how to take care of myself and my family in the midst of that, how to actually have space so that instead of feeling like, "Why am I doing this anyway? This is just so overwhelming." To feel like, "Okay, I feel like I'm making a contribution and I'm not suffering because of it."

And so it was one of the main reasons I think I joined. I think some of our first conversations were about the physiology, like different drinks I was drinking. You're like, "Huh, you know that's interesting. Let me tell you about what that does." And those big ah-ha moments. And so I think that was really, really important to me to have that holistic point of view. So I was prepared for it. I do think a few of the things are like, "Wow, okay. Is that really going to be as impactful as he says?" But if you just kind of trust and keep doing it ... And I would say that that's something that's really important, is just kind of trust it. Like you kind of got to go all in because they really do work, no matter how skeptical you feel like you are.

Alex Charfen:

So Annie, talk to the person who's considering like joining this program. It's radical change. It's an investment for someone. Tell them what can they expect from joining the program? What is the biggest effect that they're going to get? Besides being thirsty all the time.

Annie Grace:

I think the biggest effect that you can get from joining this program is a completely new outlook that for the first time in a long time feels hopeful and peaceful and not frantic. So in this strange paradox, it feels as if you can do more and impact more and take your vision forward without feeling like you're going to be stringing yourself out more. So you take away the, "I have to personally get into this frenetic frenzy of activity," but then you put in place systems that, I hate to say it this way, but it's almost like a hack where it makes it easier to do more with less effort, and feel really peaceful and happy about it.

Alex Charfen:

Yeah. Hacks an okay thing. I call them keystone habits. But really, it's the same thing. If you put these things in place, it doesn't just make your business easier, it makes your life easier. Annie, you've talked a lot about things getting easier, getting quieter, not being so frenetic. Does that mean your goals have gone down?

Annie Grace:

No. I think I've been pushed by you to make higher goals. Like my goal for next year was certainly, after watching everything that you did, it feels achievable because of the systems that we now are putting into place. But it's almost twice what it was before we met.

Alex Charfen:

Love it.

Annie Grace:

They've gone up.

Alex Charfen:

Awesome. That is so awesome. And your confidence level in next year, how do you feel about that double the goal that you had before?

Annie Grace:

I feel really good, because I feel like for the first time, instead of trying to ... I think one of the great things about your material is you're giving me a mirror to say, "Okay, what works for you and how can you create this movement? How can you do what works well?" Instead of, "Here's my blueprint. Adapt it to you, copy and paste," which never felt good. Every time I've tried to do something someone else's way, just like put my name in it, even though that's what they're saying to do, it leaves me feeling uncomfortable. Now I feel like I have the systems to take the essence that is my business and make it work. So your materials aren't ...They're so structured. But they're not structured in a way that is specific to you. They're structured in a way that I can make specific to me. So I feel really confident.

Alex Charfen:

That's awesome. Oh it makes sense. I mean, the structure I created, what we attempt to do is make it so that any entrepreneur can pour their contribution, their energy, their greater goal into the structure, and it'll work for them.

Annie Grace:



So, that's awesome. Annie, I can't thank you enough for this. Thank you.

Annie Grace:

Yeah, of course. No, thank you. [crosstalk 00:17:41]

Alex Charfen:

It's awesome having you and Brian in the program.

Annie Grace:

Yeah. It's so fun. All right, cool. Well have a good one.

Alex Charfen:

All right, we'll see you soon.

Annie Grace:

Okay, bye.

Alex Charfen:

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed that. I know I did. Annie is an inspiration to me and to hundreds of thousand of people out there who have decided that they are going to limit what they tolerate and stop the pressure and noise of drinking and do it in a different way. I did the same thing. I quit drinking 14 years ago. And I did what is unheard of. It's called a spontaneous recovery. It's where you wake up one morning and say, "You know what? I'm not going to drink anymore." And it's ... Like, it's not supposed to be possible, but I want you to know that if you've had a relationship with alcohol that maybe is getting a little out of hand, or is getting beyond you, that it is absolutely possible.

And not only is it not unheard of, my wife did the same thing. Neither one of us have had a drink since before we got married. And we've been married 12 years, I think. I'm just kidding. Pretty sure it's 12 years. So it could happen for you. You could just wake up one morning and the world could become important enough, and your outcomes could become important enough, and where you're going and what you want and what you're trying to create could become important enough that you decide you just don't want to drink anymore. And Annie's material is amazing. And she's helped, I believe, tens of thousands of people stop drinking, or at least have a different alternative for their relationship with alcohol than the 12 step programs that are out there.

Because like I said, I support them like crazy for those people who they worked for. I grew up in a 12 step home. Not drugs or alcohol, but food, but same 12 steps, same book. But if it didn't work for you, check out Annie's stuff, because spontaneous recovery is possible. Or spontaneous sobriety. Sorry, not spontaneous recovery. Well, similar, but spontaneous sobriety is possible. And waking up one morning and changing everything is absolutely possible, and not only did Cadey and I done it, but I can't tell you how many dozens of my clients have done the same thing, even if they were, let's just say more than just social drinkers. So check out Annie's stuff. It's absolutely amazing. She is changing the world and I am so proud to work with her and coach her. And so if you haven't yet, download a copy of our book. Sorry, get a copy of our book. Go to and check it out. And thanks for being here.

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