Creating New Habits
No bad habit is created overnight and neither is a good one!
Here we are exactly 2 weeks into the New Year, many resolutions have already fallen victim to time, snow, busyness, lack of will power, snow, poor planning, snow and attempts to create a brand new habit in a few days. Setting a date and starting a new plan, a new ritual, laying the steps to a new life trend is SO important, but too often we try to go too "all in," "whole hog," "cold turkey," set too many goals for ourselves, or put too many restraints into place at once. Yes, people do succeed at goals this way, but not as often as those who set smaller goals, and grow those goals with each step! Habits are created by small steps taken repeatedly until something we do each day is altered by our will power to change. "Little by little, one travels far." - Tolkien
I, personally, am so guilty of this and needed the reminder myself. I get all fired up, plan and prep all the things and then get so exhausted by all the checklists in my head and beating myself up for every miss. Reminds me of a quote a friend shared, "You cannot be the master of everything until you master one thing."
However, since I definitely don't have all the answers or even that many, I have this one that has helped a few, myself included! When you are trying to start healthy habits with respect to diet and meal planning, write down a list of healthy meals that you LIKE! Don't just start pulling all your pleasures and replacing them all with foods that feel torturous! Choose something simple, no crazy complex Pinterest recipes! Think Roasted Veggies and Grilled or Rotisserie Chicken, Omelets for Dinner, Naked Turkey Burgers, Slowcooker Chicken Chili. Pull together a "bar" offering of prepped ahead salad toppings that can double up for your omelets! One of the easiest meal preps is to Chop a ton of Veggies (or buy them pre-chopped) that can all be roasted, sautéed, steamed, used in salads or omelets, packed for snacks paired with Hummus, Tuna or Better Beans and either Grill, Slowcook or Pressure Cook a few Chicken Breasts! These 2 actions will create limitless options for the week ahead!
For me I know that my guilty pleasure is the Sonoma Chicken Salad Wrap at Whole Foods, so I am making homemade healthy Chicken Salad to have with Greens, Sliced Veggies for an Omelette Bar (you can pack a lot of goodness into a pan of egg whites in minutes), a Pan of Roasted Veggies and and a Crockpot of Turkey Chili. This way I know we have warm cozy things for cold days and cold things for quick meals that don't require much work. And, I definitely keep my Protein Shakes at the ready for filling in as well; they literally SAVE my LIFE on weekday mornings!
Planning a simple menu with things that remind you that you do Love healthy food just as much as the not as healthy options, will help the staying power while creating healthier habits! Not to mention, just a little bit of prep work will make it easier on you to make good choices! When you take away the uncomfortable aspect of creating a new habit and make it an enjoyable reminder, those steps will come easier, the excuses will be less and the reasons will be easier to come by! Think about it, negative habits are created because we reap some kind of pleasure from the action! Creating positive habits is much more difficult, so make sure you put the pleasure in the positive too! Cheers to a successful week ahead!