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One of the first habits you will develop in the Eat Well program is the habit of setting out your dinner ingredients each morning.

This habit comes from something I learned in high school. My dad was addicted to renting VHS tapes from the library, so I have watched an inordinate amount of 90’s educational programming. One of the six-tape courses I watched in high school was “Where There is a Will, there is an A.” Any teenager who chooses to watch a six-tape educational course is already of course getting A’s already, but I digress.

The principle that stands out in my mind from this course is actually my earliest introduction to habit-training versus goal-setting. The habit for grades was this:

You are more likely to do your homework if you simply pull your books out of your backpack when you get home, and lay them out on the kitchen table at the correct page number with a sheet of paper and a pencil, ready to go.  You can feel the energetic difference between the two. Scene one: your homework is in your backpack and you think of it every few minutes with dread but do nothing.  Scene two: your homework is already out, your supplies are ready to go, and as soon as you saunter over to the table you will probably sit down and start working.

The same thing applies to cooking. You are more likely to cook if you have already gotten out the ingredients. Scene one: you come home from work exhausted and don’t feel like cooking. But there are all of your ingredients layed out in a pretty bowl with the recipe next to you, just waiting. You read the first instruction. Scene two: you come home from work exhausted and don’t feel like cooking. You don’t want to think about what to cook or if you have the ingredients, so you pull a pizza out of the freezer and heat up the oven.

Here is your habit: every morning, set out your ingredients in a bowl on your counter with your recipe next to them.

If you want more habits, find an entire year of habit-building in our Eat Well program.

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