I’m actually not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. Well, let me rephrase: I’m not a huge fan of the traditional way of doing a New Year’s resolution where we randomly declare something major we’re going to change about ourselves, and leave it at that. Only to be disappointed two weeks later when nothing has changed. What I am hugely into is making small tweaks and building new habits in a slow and reasonable (and therefore achievable) way.
I am a pretty big James Clear fan though, and you’ll understand if you’ve read his book, Atomic Habits. It’s all about how to build more healthy habits (or habits that serve you) and break the habits that don’t serve you. Since you’re likely reading this for health reasons, I’ll keep it on that theme.
Let’s say you want to eat healthier. That’s a big goal, so in today’s blog post I break it down into bite-size pieces and, of course, it will be different for everyone, but here are some ways I can think of doing this:
Using his principles, how could we make it easier to do this? I’ve summarized a few examples here:
Rather than try to do a new habit all on its own, try pairing it with an existing habit you have. For example, you want to eat more home-cooked food and more vegetables. When I _____ (watch TV at night), I will ______ (chop some vegetables for tomorrow’s dinner). This also pairs a “rewarding” activity like TV with a less rewarding activity of chopping veggies.
Another one I LOVE using with clients is when you make dinner, make extra for lunch the next day. BAM! There’s your meal made for the next day instead of grabbing lunch out.
Next, you have to make this new habit easy. Maybe you don’t love the healthy recipes you’ve tried in the past and you need recipe inspiration. A way to make the recipe sourcing easier is to have a professional send you a meal plan. See what I did there? ;) But seriously, let us save you effort and plan your grocery list and recipes for the week.
Let’s say you want to eat less sugar. You have to make it HARD to eat sugar then. Remove it from your home, or put it somewhere out of sight. You are much more likely to grab cookies (mindlessly) that are on your counter in front of you vs. at the back of the pantry, where a stool is needed to reach them, or better yet when they’re out of the house.
These small tweaks to your daily routine don’t seem like much on their own, but as you master them day in and day out, you will be making significant improvements. If you get 1% better every day for one year, you’ll actually end up being 37x better after a year. Woah! Of course, at first, there’s almost no difference between doing something that makes a 1% improvement, but the real magic is sticking with it as these improvements compound over time.
If you’d like to take advantage of our meal planning service, we have both standard meal plans and custom meal plans created for specific health goals and food likes/dislikes. You can shop both options here.