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Foundational habits for 2017 - #1 eating healthy

Certain habits are especially important. They are the ones that create the foundation for other habits. The same principle applies for everyday habits as well as professional habits. There are some foundational habits that underlay success in different contexts.

I'm going to draft some foundational habits that I'm considering for the year 2017 for myself. I start with the foundational habits that deal with health, well-being and work-life balance. I also plan the set of cues that remind me of those habits. In the best scenario, the habits become so automated that the habits kick in subconsciously when I get exposed to these cues. 

I hope that these examples inspire you to draft your own foundational habits for 2017! By the way, if you come up with your own foundational habits, please share them with NANOHABIT -enthusiasts via the Facebook group.   

Foundational habit #1: Eating healthy

I consider healthy eating a foundational habit since being healthy and energetic is a precondition for almost everything else I do on a daily basis. I need to come up with a few good nano-actions that help me stick to the habit each day. Nano-actions are the small yet incredibly impactful behaviors that are carefully designed to be repeated day after day. Each small nano-action may mean relatively little on its own but over time they sum up to have extensive impact on our life.  I want to keep these small actions as simple as possible to be able to anchor them into my everyday life. 

Nano-action #1: Vegetables first

I love food so eating too big portions and too many carbs is a continuous challenge for me. The nano-action I plan to utilize is "the vegetables first". It means that before any other portion of food, I always eat a serving of vegetables. One of the logics behind "the vegetables first" is that the brain doesn't immediately register that the stomach is full. It can take as long as 20 minutes for the body and brain to register feelings of fullness.  During this time, receptors inform the brain that your body is receiving nutrients by sending hormone signals. In addition to providing me with nutrients, "the vegetables first" -tactic gives me time to understand that I'm actually full. 

Nano-action #2: Tracking caloric intake

My second nano-action related to healthy eating is tracking my caloric intake. I use the app called MyFintessPal for tracking. There are a plethora of similar apps but I'm fond of  MyFintenessPal since it allows me to scan the barcodes of different food packages and get the nutrition information easily. The app identifies the Finnish food products as well, which I find quite amazing.  I have learned from experience, that the mere act of tracking changes my behavior towards healthier eating. Since tracking requires some work, I have decided to do it every other day. I mark the tracked days in my Harvest Calendar. 

Cue: Harvest Calendar in the kitchen (visual cue) 

I'm planning to use a visual cue that reminds me to follow my planned nano-actions. I got an inspiring Harvest Calendar as a Christmas gift. I have decided to put it on display in our kitchen where I see it each time I'm preparing food. 

In the next post I will detail my second foundational habit.
Meanwhile, I am wishing everyone a good start for the year 2017!

 This is what my "vegetables first" nano-action looks like. I cut some carrots and cucumbers into pieces and make sure that I eat them before any other dish. Simple as that.

This is what my "vegetables first" nano-action looks like. I cut some carrots and cucumbers into pieces and make sure that I eat them before any other dish. Simple as that.

 The harvest calendar as a simple visual cue. I plan to locate it to the kitchen wall where I can see it each time I'm preparing food. I think that I don't have to track my calorie intake for the whole year since my shopping habits  (what I get from the store) , "vegetables first" etc. will become quite strong after  2-3 months. But let's see what happens.  

The harvest calendar as a simple visual cue. I plan to locate it to the kitchen wall where I can see it each time I'm preparing food. I think that I don't have to track my calorie intake for the whole year since my shopping habits (what I get from the store), "vegetables first" etc. will become quite strong after  2-3 months. But let's see what happens.