We make them, we break them. They serve us and work against us. Habits are so ingrained in our daily lives, and shape who we are inside and out. The question is, how do we form lasting healthy habits—AND keep them? Eliza Savage, one of Splendid Spoon’s Registered Dietitians, tackles habit formation.
Historically defined as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance,” habits are considered to play a fundamental role in our lives and well-being, particularly in regard to health and lifestyle-related choices. More recently, researchers have identified a habit as an active and continuous process (rather than a pattern) that generates behavior. How long does this process take? If you ask Google, approximately 21 days. If you look deeper at the research, one study showed that behavior change can take anywhere from 18-254 days. This is a huge variation! The good news is that the same study showed that if you miss a day, or an opportunity to perform the behavior, the whole habit formation process is not derailed. The truth is, habits are hard to alter, and it can take a while for them to stick, but developing good habits are worth the struggle, especially when you reap great results!
If you’re looking to make healthy eating a habit, or implement a more plant-based lifestyle, Splendid Spoon is the perfect solution. With smoothies, soups, and bowls delivered right to your doorstep, Splendid Spoon makes clean eating incredibly easy. No prep work, no cooking, just spooning (or sipping). Now that’s a habit that we can all commit to! You’ll eat well and feel even better.
So, you’ve got your Splendid Spoon order set, but want to learn how to make other healthy habits stick? Here are 5 tips to get started:
Start small and be specific.
- Want to eat more vegetables? Start by adding a vegetable to every lunch.
- Want to run a 5k? Start by running for 2 minutes, walking for 2 minutes.
- Want to drink more water? Finish a glass before each meal or snack.
If the habit is truly important to you, make time for it on your schedule. Whether that’s scheduling time to hit the farmer’s market, batch cook on the weekend, or even meditate for a few minutes in the morning. Put it on the calendar and honor it as you would a meeting.
Try “habit stacking.”
Link the habit you are trying to make to an existing behavior. For example, “After/Before [existing habit], I will [new habit]." If you frequently buy veggies at the market but they go bad before you can eat them, perhaps you habit stack. “After I buy my fresh veggies, I will wash, cut and store them in easy-to-grab Tupperware.”
Tell your friends, family, social media followers, coworkers... really anyone about your habit and ask for encouragement! It’s likely that they will want to cheer you on, or even better, join you!
Set yourself up for success.
Decrease the activation energy of your desired habit and increase the activation energy of the undesired habit. Want to eat more fruit and less cookies? Make it easier to achieve (decrease activation energy) by putting a fruit bowl on your counter, and (increase activation energy) put the cookies in an out of sight cabinet (or throw them out)!
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