The Key to Making Habits Easy (New Habits Pt. 2)

The Key to Making Habits Easy (New Habits Pt. 2)

Let’s say these are 3 of the golden behaviors I identified for helping me eat healthier:

  1. Create a weekly meal plan
  2. Delete meal delivery apps from phone
  3. Prep ingredients the night before

We’ll take each one and figure out what the tiniest version of it is to help us both increase our motivation to do it (because it’s so simple and easy), and also increase our ability to do it (because again, it’s so easy!).

These tiny steps might seem so small that they won’t make an impact at all, but it’s actually less about the content of the step and more about the fact that it’s forward motion. You see, when the step is small enough that it feels so doable — that you would even feel foolish not to do it — the act of doing it will eventually prime you to do more.

So, let’s tiny-fy…

1. Create a weekly meal plan

Creating an entire weekly meal plan, especially if you’ve never done it before and have no process in place, is a lot of work (believe me, I know from lots of experience). So, instead of creating an entire weekly meal plan, here are what some tinier, more doable variations can be:

  • Open up my calendar.
  • Open up a cookbook.*
  • Write down 1 vegetable you want to cook the next week.

Along the same lines, we also encourage our newest and most novice Cook Smarts members to pick only 1 meal from our weekly menu when they start. If you’re new to home cooking, feeling like you need to cook all 4 of the meals we offer on our weekly menu can feel too daunting, and it’s actually the #1 reason we see people cancel. However, starting with 1 meal is totally doable and a great place to build up from. 

2. Delete meal delivery apps from phone

Even though this is a one-time action that’s pretty easy to do, we can still tiny-fy it into a recurring action that will help you make progress towards your aspiration. If your prior habit was to always open your meal delivery app at dinnertime, then you’ll still feel that urge when you get hungry.

However, you can decide that every time you feel that urge to open Postmates (which remember, is no longer on your phone!), you can do one of these tiny behaviors instead:

  • Set out your cutting board and knife.*
  • Eat a baby carrot.
  • Open a bag of salad mix.

3. Prep ingredients the night before

I truly believe that meal prep is one of the most important habits to healthy eating, but I know getting the motivation to do it is hard. So, instead of spending hours chopping vegetables, let’s try these tiny actions instead:

  • Write out 1 thing you can do to make dinner easier tomorrow night.
  • Set out your cutting board and knife.*
  • Get out your salad spinner.*

Now your turn to tiny-fy a few of your golden behaviors. You can use our download here or just use any blank sheet of paper you have lying around.

Eventually you will build on these starter steps — and you may even find yourself doing that right away because the first starter step was all the momentum you needed to get yourself in the mode to act. And if you want some extra credit, you can also figure out what the next step to these tiny steps would be (what Fogg calls “scale back”).

For example, the tiny step of opening up your calendar becomes “schedule 1 meal”; setting out your cutting board and knife becomes “chop 1 vegetable”; write out 1 thing you can do to make dinner easier tomorrow night becomes “write out a list of all the ingredients you need to prep”.

So that’s going to do it for today’s lesson. I know that finding your Golden Behaviors and tiny-fying them is going to help you make habits easy in 2021 so you can reach your goals. Come back tomorrow and I will teach you to create recipes for real-life action out of your list of tiny habits!

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