Making Habits Stick

The story you tell yourself about your habit matters more than most people realize.

So the key is to shape the story, become your own habit storyteller, and create a story that will make you more likely to stick to the habit.

Telling a Good Story

The truth is that none of these stories is actually true. They’re just narratives we have made up, in our minds, about what’s going on. The reality is what’s happening right now, and in an “ideal” world we would just drop the stories and be present with the moment, experiencing reality as it is.

If you want to create a new exercise habit (for example), you might tell yourself something like this:

“This is going to be amazing, I’m going to get fit and look incredible and be super healthy!”

This is a story you’re telling yourself. It’s not real, but it has tremendous power to affect your feelings about your habit, and to change your action. You have a positive story about the habit, and it motivates you to take action.

But perhaps the exercise you did one day was really tough, and you didn’t enjoy it. Your story might change, to something like, “Wow, that was super hard. It sucked!”

Now your story about the habit is not so good, and you’ll be less enthusiastic about doing the habit from now on.

Maybe you also missed a couple of days of exercise because you got busy. Your story changes to, “Damn, I screwed up, I’m not as good at this habit as I thought, why am I not disciplined?”

The story isn’t so good. Now you might actually try not think about the habit, and you are much more likely to skip the habit from now on.

The story you tell yourself about your habit matters more than most people realize.

So the key is to shape the story, become your own habit storyteller, and create a story that will make you more likely to stick to the habit.

Try this:

Ask yourself how you feel about the habit you’re creating. Are you psyched about it? Are you discouraged? Looking forward to it or dreading it? Feel strong about it or feel like you’re doing lousy? Is it a wonderful experience for you or are you ploughing through the suckiness? This is all an indicator of what story you’re telling yourself.
Start creating a better story by focusing on the things you love about the habit. You could focus on how much you hate the habit, or you could focus on what you love. It’s your choice. Find things to appreciate about the habit. Look at your successes and think, “Man, that’s awesome that I’ve done those things.”
This is not to say that you should only think positive thoughts, or that you should ignore the negative. But if your story is on the balance more positive than negative, you’ll be more resilient. You’ll be able to handle the negative stuff with grace, because you have a positive feeling about the habit.

If you resent doing the habit, or see it as a sacrifice, you’re more likely to blow the negative aspects up when they happen. But people with a strongly positive story will be likely to weather the storm of negative aspects of the habit.

The Positive Story Exercise

Try to think about some of the following thoughts when you’re working on your habit:

This makes me feel strong/healthy/empowered (or some other positive trait).
I am proud of doing this habit.
I have had some great successes with this.
I’m learning a lot with this habit.
I’ve had good experiences with this habit.
There are some exciting things about this that I’d like to share with people.
I can appreciate the little things about this habit.
There are things I genuinely love about this habit.
This can sometimes be a struggle but it’s definitely worth it.
This habit is improving my life an multiple ways.
I’m lucky to be able to do this habit.
There are things about this habit that I look forward to.
I’ve missed doing this habit sometimes, but over the long run it doesn’t matter.
Doing this habit makes me more resilient.
When I’ve done this habit, I feel accomplished and satisfied.
I feel like a better person when I do this habit.
Just think about one of these each time you do the habit, or just after. And then try another one on the next time you do the habit.

Slowly, with thoughts like these and others you might think of, you’ll start to have a more positive story about the habit.

And that will make all the difference — not only will you want to stay with it longer, you’ll enjoy it more each time you do it.

Source:  ZenHabits.net

 

 

Quick and Easy Columbian Vegetable Soup (Ajiaco Negro)

Recipes | June 20, 2016 | By

This quick and easy dairy-free, fat-free Colombian vegetable soup comes out creamy and comforting thanks to the natural thickening power of potatoes. No added cream, milk, or butter means that the soup shines with vegetable flavor from peas, fava beans, and carrots. The stovetop version takes about 45 minutes of hands-off work while the pressure cooker can cut that time down to under half an hour.

Quick and Easy Columbian Vegetable Soup (Ajiaco Negro)
Serves 4
This quick and easy dairy-free, fat-free Colombian vegetable soup comes out creamy and comforting thanks to the natural thickening power of potatoes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
423 calories
84 g
0 g
2 g
22 g
0 g
682 g
1484 g
12 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
682g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 423
Calories from Fat 14
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1484mg
62%
Total Carbohydrates 84g
28%
Dietary Fiber 20g
79%
Sugars 12g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
75%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
10%
Iron
34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  2. 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into medium dice (about 5 ounces)
  3. 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, divided
  4. 1 1/2 cups cooked dried or canned fava beans (see note above), or 1 1/2 cups raw fresh fava beans, divided
  5. 1 large ear yellow corn, shucked and cut into 6 pieces crosswise
  6. 1 1/2 quarts homemade vegetable stock or an equivalent amount made with store bought vegetable stock.
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. 1.
  2. Combine potatoes, carrots, half of peas, half of favas, corn, and vegetable stock (or water with stock base) in a pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Release pressure by running a stovetop pressure cooker under cold tap water or by using the quick steam release on an electric pressure cooker.
  3. 2.
  4. Bring soup to a simmer. Using a potato masher or a stick whisk, mash vegetables until broth is thickened but some large pieces still remain. Add remaining fresh peas and fava beans and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, making sure to include one piece of corn in each bowl (along with a fork to pick it up), and sprinkline each serving with cilantro.
Notes
  1. To cook without a pressure cooker, combine ingredients in step 1 in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop. Cover and simmer until vegetables are completely tender, about 30 minutes. Proceed with recipe as instructed.
beta
calories
423
fat
2g
protein
22g
carbs
84g
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