We all have pieces of ourselves we want to change. I have a long list- and I often find myself analyzing what’s holding me back from making certain changes.
Here’s the problem: It’s so damn hard to find the time and space for change in our day-to-day lives. We’re busy. On top of that, the tasks and appointments and obligations responsible for our busyness often feel like they’re beyond our control. Sometimes, all we can do is swing at the pitches life is throwing at us.
I feel that way all the time, but I’ve been challenging myself to regain control of my routine. And I want to challenge you too. We have the power, although it doesn’t always feel like it, to design our days and weeks and years to turn our desired changes into effortless habits.
Our everyday routines are created whenever we do something often enough that our autopilot takes over. Think about brushing your teeth or driving your car home from work. You’ve done it so many times… at some point it became effortless. It’s really easy (and common) to let the wrong things become effortless routines. What if we used our autopilot to help us out instead?
One of the areas where routine can be most helpful is in the acts of cooking and eating. Kayli and I have prioritized healthy eating and our routines (usually!) reflect that. Here’s some tips from my guru:
Put one meal on autopilot
As we finish the dishes each night, one of us throws together our breakfast for the next morning – our Four Ingredient Overnight Oats. It’s a tiny bit of extra work at night that takes quite a bit of weight off of the next morning. And while we might change up the fruit every now and then – the recipe never changes. It’s on autopilot. No wasting precious time or brain power deciding what to have for breakfast, and definitely no drive-thru on the way to work.
Find the time to cook ahead
When I’m on top of my routine, I’ll make a week’s worth of lunches and snacks in as little as two hours. I put it on my calendar. I prioritize it because I know it will save me time later and prevent any bad decisions around lunch time. Need help? Check out our salad blueprint or the sandwich blueprint – both are great for making ahead.
Build rewards into your routine
St. Louis is home to many, many delicious restaurants. For two food lovers, going out could easily be the default for every meal, but we limit it to once per week in the name of our budget and our health. This makes each week’s date night a special occasion – it’s a treat to look forward to. It’s also a built-in reward for putting in the work in the kitchen all week.