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Continuing with the “Tiny Habits” theme, Prep Dish founder Allison Schaaf talks about the Ability element of behavior today. Based on BJ Fogg’s book, Tiny Habits, “ability” refers to how easy/convenient versus difficult/inconvenient a behavior is. Allison walks you through questions to ask yourself to determine what is making a new habit difficult. She also goes through 3 strategies to make a new behavior easier.
Why is a habit, such as meal prep, difficult?
Think about these five questions, or the “Ability Chain,” in terms of meal prep:
- Do you have enough time?
- Is money standing in the way?
- Is physical ability / kitchen skill level getting in the way?
- Is mental energy getting in the way?
- Does it fit into your current routine?
If you’re having trouble sticking to a habit, think through where in the “ability chain” you’re getting stuck. Which part is blocking you? Do you need a better knife? Do you need to be more realistic and plan a shorter prep session?
Fogg suggests three ways to make a behavior easier:
1. Increasing Skills – take a cooking class or a knife skills class (or even watch my YouTube series on how to chop different fruits / veggies)
2. Tools and Resources – Are there any tools that could make the behavior easier? This could be a good chef’s knife, pre-chopped veggies or made-for-you meal plans.
3. Make the behavior tiny – Try a starter step. For example, set out your knife every Sunday when you get home from the park. The idea is that you’ll add to that behavior over time. A different starter step could be printing out your meal plan and leaving it on the counter.
Another way to make a behavior tiny is to scale back, make the behavior more manageable. You might try only chopping veggies or only baking sweet potatoes and making rice for your weekly meal prep to make it more realistic.
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
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3 Ingredient Marinades (Many double as a salad dressing!):