Habit Change

Let’s face it. A large part of our shopping and cooking (or not cooking) revolves around our habits.

So if we want to make changes to the type of food we cook or how often we cook ourselves something nurturing, it really helps to know how to go about changing our habits.

This short video called the ‘Habit Change Formula’ gives a short and powerful guide to successfully changing your habits… Or if you prefer to read, just click on the tabs on the left.

Why Habit Change?

1. Our habits are a massive driver for many of our behaviours including how we plan, shop, cook and eat.

2. No habits or bad habits generally lead to unhealthy eating.

3. Having healthy habits practically puts dinners on auto-pilot making healthy eating much easier and more fun.

3 Golden Rules for Changing Your Habits

I recently took a fabulous short online course learning how to develop the habit of meditation. It was run by Leo Babauta from Zen Habits – a master at the art of developing new habits. By changing his habits he has completely transformed his life. He quit smoking, lost weight, became vegetarian, started running marathons, he got out of debt, and has built an incredibly successful blog that has allowed him to quit a job that he hates. All with a wife and six kids.

He’s pretty much turned his whole life upside down. And how did he do it? One small change at a time.

As Leo says on his blog, “Small steps. That’s how you’re going to change your life. You’ll probably get impatient and want to do more, but trust me: this will work.”

Here are 3 golden rules of changing habits…

1. Write it down and make a public commitment. This is about public accountability. I don’t know about you but I break promises to myself all the time. But promises to other people – I do everything I can to keep them. So we’re aiming to use this natural human instinct to our advantage.

2. Start as small as possible. The smaller and easier the change, the more likely it is that the habit will stick. Once we’ve had one small success we can build on that to make the next tiny change. And the next.

3. Focus on one habit at a time. Basically, the secret to making changes in your life is to set small goals and take baby steps. By setting ourselves up for success, we gain the confidence and the motivation to keep making changes, one after the other. It also helps us persevere and try again when we fail.

Like to learn more?

on Zen Habits: The habit change cheat sheet: 29 ways to successfully ingrain a behavior.

4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for Success

1. Make it as easy as possible.

When I was learning to develop the habit of meditation, we were encouraged to start by doing just 5 minutes a day. And if that didn’t work, or felt too intimidating to back it down to 1 minute or even 30 seconds. The most important thing was to make it as easy as possible.

Let’s face it. Forming or changing habits is HARD WORK to begin with. So the best way to set yourself up for success is to make it as small, manageable and easy as possible. I think of it as the first major step is just forming the new habit. Focus on this first. Then once you feel confident you’ve ‘adopted’ your new habit, it’s time to start getting better at the habit. No rush though.

2. Plan some time for a pantry ‘makeover’.

We’ll cover pantry management in great detail in module 1. So no need to do anything with this yet. Just start making some ‘mental notes’ that it will be really helpful if you have a pantry makeover or spring clean some time in the not-to-distant-future.

3. Don’t expect to be perfect from the first week.

Perfection can be scary. And the thing is we don’t need to have a ‘perfect’ home made meal every night of the week. I prefer to aim for ‘mostly’ to keep it realistic AND make it much more likely that I’ll keep going, rather than giving up because it’s ‘all too hard’

4. Take the first step!

Taking action is the only way you’re are going to make a difference to your current dinner situation. And there’s no need to wait until the class starts to get going. Just follow the ‘2-step healthy dinner quick start program on the next slide.

2-Step Healthy Dinner Quick Start Program

While each of the 5 pillars that we’ll be learning in Solve Your Dinner Dilemma is super important and will really help you change your dinner habits to a more sustainable healthy way, you don’t necessarily need to implement all 5 pillars at the same time to make a difference.

So I wanted to give you an even easier process that you can implement straight away…

STEP 1. Stock up

Here’s the thing. You need actual food in the house to be able to make any sort of dinner.

Just choose 2-3 recipes from the SVCS (or elsewhere) and shop for those ingredients.

STEP 2. Make a promise with yourself and get cooking!

Make a promise to yourself (OR as we’ve discussed, make a public commitment to a friend or family member, or on facebook) that you’re going to change your habits and take action.

Next time you get home from work late and you don’t feel like cooking, turn the thought around and just cook one of your pantry recipes anyway. There’s no need to wait to get started.

That’s it!

CLICK HERE for a list of pantry recipes on the SVCS

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jules January 15, 2013

Good pickup… This was originally part of the SYDD class and I forgot to copy across the links… Will get onto it


mp January 12, 2013

I can’t see the pantry link under recipes… am I looking in the right place?


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