Growing Bulletproof habits — part 1

There are many theories about growing a habit and many studies on the subject. Which of those are truly successful?

I personally went through the ups and downs of growing various habits. I’ll tell you what went wrong with the ones that didn’t decide to stay with me, and what contributed to a lasting relationship with others (or the same ones previously ditched by an unsuccessful version of me).

So here comes my story. If you don’t have time to follow it completely just jump straight to the summary.

Episode 1
Veggies lover

I wanted to eat more veggies. Who doesn’t?
At first, second, third, and all the other numerous attempts I went through:
- buying different veggies at every shopping opportunity
- buying books with recipes
- searching for even more recipes online
- telling myself it’s healthy and confirming it with different books and articles
- trying out different recipes and squeezing cooking time into an already tight schedule

At times I was successful, at (much longer) times — not.

At the final attempt, I nailed it. I’m a veggie committed fan now — not a vegan and not even a vegetarian, but I may eat more veggies than some representatives of these groups.

Why I succeded:
Unsuccessful me enthusiastically jumped into a fight for better health, mood, and life in general. At that time I focused on what I want and strived to get it. Successful me prepared herself and the surrounding for the battle by analyzing all possible obstacles and planning how to circumvent them.

I analyzed factors from my weak spot area which contributed to getting out of the desired route. For me it was:

Time — by which I mean not only the time required for cooking but also the availability of correct meals at the time when hunger comes.
I prepare meals upfront — mostly in the evening before or just start in the evening before and finish in the morning. In this way, when hunger comes, I have the right solution handy to feed the monster.
The meals I prepare cannot be time-consuming, unless I know I have time for it. You will find my favorite quick recipes in the section Quality food. When I’m extremely short on time I reach to express meals. The list gets extended with time — small modifications by adding or changing one ingredient and give a new amazing meal.
The good news is — I really love to play with it since the successful me bet on the right horse — that is on quick and easy cooking routines. Another good news is — the small amount of time I invest in cooking pays off in immense reserves of energy I won from it.

Environment, babe. As the old saying goes: the occasion makes the thief or something like that. As long as you have unhealthy food at home, ready to grab any time you have a binge or fast-food spots wait for you as you pass them on your way home, you may not have enough willpower to reject such tasty and tempting opportunities. I eliminated all the sweets, white flour, cow dairy, and unhealthy snacks that I could from my surrounding. The ones that stayed (kids and husband could not be eliminated) are scarce and really not my favorites. You see — I made sure I’m not tempted, and once I am I have an alternative not really lower on the deliciousness scale.

Episode 2
Peaceful mornings.

How we start often determines how we finish. Each day is our new micro-scale starting point which contributes either to success or to a failure of our macro-scale plans — our life plans. I didn’t like my mornings. I woke up already with a feeling of pressure and lack of time pushing on my brain and stomach. Also this time I went on a quest to a better me living a blissful morning life.

Again I had periods marked with success in this area. Still, every time success landed in a sad every-day-life ditch soiled with no-time-for-that muddy excuses.

What helped? Prioritizing.
Once you set your heart on making the desired thing to come true, you need to grant it the highest priority. I mean, really the Mount Everest high one. However, next to it, be sure it’s something that you really want with your whole being craving for it, and not something that you feel you should have or you want to have because others already have it and a small child inside you want a candy too. In the latter option, sooner or later you’ll be tempted by another candy, and then another one, and so on. Before you know, your life is a chase for a carrot hanging on a stick in front of you. Guess what the stick is attached to. I bet you got it.

So yes, I decided what is truly important in my life — health, productivity, and following my passion. Health is both physical and emotional balance, and for emotional balance, I need time for myself and my family. Morning is first for me and then for my family to give them a good start. Productivity can be sky high only when our bodies are rested, exercised, and well-nourished, and we know our goals instead of jumping from one activity onto another without a clear purpose. Following my passion means continuous improvement in what I love to do and for that, I need to book time and energy to learn every day a bit to deepen my expertise and to exercise what I’ve learned.

After painting the above picture for myself, which comes not from a fad or a well-being magazine, but from my deepest desire to become a better version of myself every coming day, I put together four puzzle elements of my perfect morning:
One: Exercise at least for 10 minutes (for me it’s yoga or fast walk)
Two: Write a journal with the vision part, planning part, and gratitude part — around 10 minutes. More on journaling in the Quality Living section
Three: at least 10 minutes for my passion — doing it (in my case QUALITYonEARTH project) or deepening knowledge about it — exploring life coaching subjects, spirituality, and well-being to help you find your path but before that equip you in a proper vehicle to follow it effortlessly.
Four: Prepare food (or finish preparations from the evening before) for myself and my family. Worth noting — I used to treat this part as a loss of time and an obligation put on me by social norms. Now I treat it as a magic-kind-of activity when I don’t just cook — I create an energy load for the whole day.

Normally the prioritizing part needs to start already at the preceding night so I can wake up a bit earlier without losing vital sleep. However, I don’t miss the things I cut out to achieve it. On the contrary, I have a clear head and a clear view on what I really want to do in life and the energy to do it.

For my bulletproof habits recipe go to the summary here.

With love, clarity, and purpose
-AG-

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