Life is life the ocean, it will never calm down, you just need to learn how to swim.
– Thomas Gomes
This quote is SO true! There’s never a good time to start a new habit or quit a bad one. We simply have to make the decision to “dive in”, “learn how to swim” and bring it into the rhythm of our lives. The same is true for turning healthy meal planning into a continual, long-lasting routine that becomes a reliable tool in our food lives.
When we start something new, at first, it feels challenging, exciting, and fun! But when the new car smell wears off, keeping up the activity can feel like a drudge, tiresome, and a chore. This shift from exciting to dull is often what can occur with meal planning.
This is what I experienced when I first started healthy meal planning. I began the process more out of necessity rather than fun. I found that when I planned the meals for the week, it gave me a very precise list to take to the grocery store. This helped me tremendously because my budget was impossibly small. With a meal plan and precise shopping list I was able to make the budget! I am convinced that without it, it would have been impossible to feed my family.
Once the budget became larger, and my shopping habits were able to change, I found I didn’t want to top! The habit was established and I came to rely on the meal planning process. Through it I was able to consult my family on my meal choices and make changes based on the feedback. Also, there is such a satisfying feeling when everything purchased is consumed. I no longer feel guilty for throwing food away because it is all used!
The main obstacle I had to overcome was going through the uncomfortable process of developing a new habit. It was just like learning to swim. When we learn how to swim it takes effort and is tiresome, but once we know how, it becomes second nature. That’s what happened for me with meal planning — it’s now a regular part of the rhythm of my life and I would be lost without it today. It has become a necessity that I depend on for staying on budget and maintaining a healthy whole foods lifestyle for me and my family.
This can happen for you as well! The key to getting there is making the choice to do it, even if it doesn’t feel fun and exciting, and push through the uncomfortable feelings of developing a new habit. After a couple months of creating healthy whole foods meal plans, it will naturally just be a part of your life rhythm and become like second nature!
Want to “dive into” healthy meal planning? Start the journey with this free 7-day meal plan!