Getting Real About Real Estate

How to Set Habits So You Never Lock Your Keys in Your Vehicle Again

There are lots of tips and ideas online about how to never lock your keys in your car again. One of the most popular tips is to create a consistent habit that involves taking the keys out of the car before you lock the door. What's the best way to create this habit? Let these tips help you.

1. Choose Something That You Can Do Consistently

To avoid locking your keys in your car, your habit needs to be something that you can do every time you use your car. For instance, you could put your keys into your pocket before you lock the door. This can be the start of a great habit, but if you sometimes wear skirts or trousers without pockets, you need to pick another approach.

Think through the various situations of your life, and make sure that whatever habit you choose can work in every instance. In the case of the above example, you may want to put your keys in your bag—provided that you carry a bag with you everywhere.  

2. Create a Two-Step Process

So that the pattern sticks, you should create a two-step process. That way, even if something goes amiss and you skip the first step, you will likely notice that you missed it when you do the second step.

Let's say you have decided that you are going to put your keys in your pocket before you close the car door. In this scenario, the second step may be to pat your pocket. If you do it every time, that habit will become ingrained in your muscle memory.

Imagine you drive somewhere, and as you are getting out of your car, you notice a man yelling at the other end of the car park. That distracts you and you forget to put your keys in your pocket. However, before you close the door, you pat your pocket and notice you don't have your keys. In this instance and hundreds of similar ones, the second step saved you.

3. Have a Backup Plan

Once it's well established, your habit should work, but in the meantime, you may want to have a backup plan. Some car motorists put a spare key in a magnetic box under their car so they always have a key if needed. Others wear a spare key around their necks just in case. Talk with a locksmith for other ideas.