Any major change can be overwhelming, and especially if you try to incorporate it all at once. I have already told you how I made the switch to Primal Eating, but for any change to be lasting, you have to also change your daily habits. Today I want to tell you how I am making sure that Primal Eating becomes a permanent way of life for me.
This is an introduction to the Step-By-Step Plan you will find in this blog. It's based on a Japanese system of constant improvement called KAIZEN that I read about a long time ago. The basic premise of this method is that change is easier to incorporate if it is done in very small increments. Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare?
The hare was faster and quicker and seemed to far outperform the tortoise to begin with. But where the hare was inconsistent in his progress, the tortoise, though slow, was constantly making small steps in the right direction. And eventually the tortoise was the one who won. Kaizen is about being the tortoise and making those small consistent steps in the direction you want to go, until you also are a winner.
Making changes can be difficult, and some things can seem completely impossible. But if you do it slowly, one change at a time, each new victory builds on the one before, and suddenly it starts to look very doable.
We are going to use this process to turn ourselves into successful Paleo cooks. No longer will "cooking from scratch" seem so intimidating, because we will have mastered the habits that make it easy.
The difference between people who are great at anything and those who struggle is one thing - habits. Successful people do a lot of things automatically.
Remember when you first learned to drive a car? It was very stressful because you had to concentrate all the time, and you were sure you would never be able to remember everything that needed to be remembered, but now it's easy. What happened? Simple. You just did it over and over again until now you do most of what needs to be done automatically.
And it's going to be exactly the same with Paleo cooking. Once you train yourself in the right habits everything will seem just as easy as driving your car.
And remember, with Kaizen, unlike with learning to drive, you don't do it all at once. You concentrate on just one Habit. Just one.
You don't think about the whole list you need to work through. You just do that one thing over and over again until you do it automatically. It's one small simple thing, so you won't find it stressful to add it to your day.
And soon there will come a day when you look back at the last week and realize that you were doing your habit most of the time without thinking about it. That's when you know you've nailed it, and it's time to move on to the next habit.
So how does this plan work?
Below you will find the 10 easy steps you want to incorporate into your daily and weekly routine. Some of you will already be doing some of them and that's great. You can just skip over them and move to the next. Others will need to work at all of them and that's okay as well. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to complete all the steps. The only thing that matters is that you start and keep eating at that elephant.
If you want to know how long it's likely to take you to go through all of these, the average time it takes most people to incorporate a new habit is 3 weeks. So even if you need to learn all of these - and most people already do at least one or two - with a minimum of time and effort in 30 weeks (or just over half a year) you will be done.
However I don't think you should try to make yourself keep to a schedule. Don't put that pressure on yourself. You're going to finish in your own good time. And also remember, you are likely to find some of these a lot easier than others so the time you need to spend on them is likely to be much less than the average. Again all that matters is that you start and keep going .... at whatever pace works for you.
Then once you have these habits ingrained I suggest you still review them once a year because it's easy to slip and start forgetting to do them. What I do is mark one habit at the top of each calendar month, leaving out August which tends to be my vacation month and December which is usually very busy. During the month when I am checking my appointments I see that habit reminder and it helps me to concentrate on not forgetting it.
Getting back to learning your habits, until your new habit is ingrained you will need to remind yourself in some way each day to remember to do it. Sticky notes work well for a lot of people. Others set up reminders in their planners (paper or tech). It doesn't matter which method you choose, but do choose one and remind yourself once a day. Even if it's something you do once a week, a daily reminder will remind you this is your focus.
With saying that, please don't go overboard. You're trying to simplify your life not create more work for yourself. One reminder a day in the form you prefer is enough.
All of these habits are small things that don't take long. The key is to remember to do them so you are doing them consistently. Also remember, you can take as long as you need on any one habit. There is no deadline and nobody is judging you or keeping track. You do what works for YOU.
Ready? Let's begin .....
Below you will find the Paleo habits listed in the order I will be presenting them. Each link will take you to a more detailed description of that particular habit, and you will also find many suggestions to help you quickly and easily make it a part of your life.
Every time I present a new Habit I will also give you a checklist so you can make sure you haven't forgotten any along the way.
This is just a bit of fun. Remember the old Camel cigarette ad? For some of you it's definitely before your time. This is how the cigarette industry was trying to jump on the women's liberation bandwagon in the seventies. Of course nobody would use an ad like this today, but the general message is still valid, so I think it's will be kind of neat to use these for a positive reason.
No matter what sex you are, or what age for that matter, by working on these Paleo habits you really ARE doing something good for yourself, as well as something that will end up being very liberating.
Once you make these ten habits your own you will truly be a Carefree Paleo Low Carb Cook. You will be able to quickly and easily prepare delicious meals with a minimum of thought and effort. You will have incorporated healthy Paleo eating into your life, you will be reaping all the benefits, and there will be every reason to say .....