Can one new habit change the way you eat in just 2,5 weeks? The experience of Evgeniya, who participated in the “Habits Bootcamp” says “Yes!”. She was learning how to build new habits including the habit of planning her meals for the next day. And that’s her story!
Evgeniya: I am foodie and sometimes it’s really difficult to confront chocolate bar, bread or other food that I’d like to stay away from. In the beginning of the Habits Bootcamp we were encouraged to choose 3 habits to practice on. So, I’ve chosen the habit from ‘nutrition area’. I thought that planning my meals in advance will help to avoid impulsive food decisions, eat more regularly and avoid junk food. And looks like, it worked 😊
How that habit was designed?
Step 1. First, we defined the optimal moment in my day for writing a meal plan. We considered few options and picked the one that appeared to be the best for that habit. In my case that was the time after I finish working on clients’ orders in the evening.
Step 2. Then we clarified how exactly my habit should look like. I decided to write a 5 meals menu for the next day on the chalkboard in the kitchen including those meals that are already in the fridge and those that should be cooked tomorrow. If any ingredients are missing, I’m adding those items into the shopping list in my phone right away.
Step 3. What surprised me was when Ekaterina advised that I should pay myself a compliment each time after I complete the new habit. Simple thing, but after saying to myself “I am a superhero! Yes!”, I feel a genuine positive feeling that got associated with my new habit, making the whole experience sort of fun 😊
After we came up with the “habit design” I started practicing my new habits (meal planning, and 2 other habits I’ve chosen). Every day I was sharing my report on the habit progress with Ekaterina and together we checked what worked and what had to be fixed.
After two weeks of those observations and adjustment I realized that I’m not only writing the menu every day how I planned, but I also managed to stick to it (which was the hardest part). Thanks to the menu planning, I no longer find myself hungry with no healthy options at hand, ready to swallow chocolate bar or a sandwich.
On top to that, there was a part of Habits Bootcamp when we were encouraged to analyze our home environment through the lens of the habits we want to build. As a result, I got rid of chocolate bars, cookies, crackers and stocked up with healthier snacks alternatives, like fruits or cottage cheese. I’m trying to include those sweet but healthy options in my daily menu, as I’m a sweet-tooth.
If one of the meals happens outside of home, I’m also trying to plan what I’m going to order in advance, to avoid last minute impulsive decisions. All that helps a lot in maintaining the planned diet.
My key achievements after 3 weeks of learning how to build habits:
-I started eating healthier
-My menu for the week is much more diverse and balanced
-I no longer feel guilty for eating chocolate bars in the evening (because I no longer eat those)
And that’s only one of the habits I’m working on now! 😊 But most importantly, now I have much better understanding of how I can effectively build new habits in different areas of my life. That’s a great skill to have in your armory!
If you’d like to learn how to build new useful habits, you can also register for the coming Habits Bootcamp via the link.