Nourishing Resolutions: Give Yourself Time to Change

OK, let’s have it … how many of you have stuck to your New Year’s resolutions so far this year? If you’re grimacing right now, you’re not alone. Statistics show that somewhere between 78% and 88% of people give up on (or forget) their resolutions before the days on the calendar hit double digits.

My theory is that people get frustrated when their lives don’t do an about-face after seven days of good intentions. I know I used to. Then one year, about eight years ago, I gave myself an entire year to lose the 20 pounds I’d been trying to lose and everything changed. I changed.

In the years since, as I learned about behavioral change, it became clear that time was a major key to my success. It makes sense if you think about it; a habit is something we’ve done so consistently for so long that we do it without thinking. The cool thing, though, is that we can use the same process to develop new, healthier habits.

How we form habits

There is a proven progression in learning:

1.     from unconscious incompetence (not knowing that you don’t know)

2.     to conscious incompetence (knowing that you don’t know)

3.     to conscious competence (you know what you want to do, but you still have to think about what you’re doing)

4.     to unconscious competence (you automatically do what you want to do).

It’s the shift from conscious competence (the “I should”) to unconscious competence (the “I want to”) that creates sustainable change. You get to the place, in fact, where it feels uncomfortable to go back to your old ways. I hear this voiced all the time with My Nourish Mentor participants near the end of the program. They say, “I look back on how I used to eat and I wouldn't even choose to do that any more.” Not only have their behaviors shifted, but positive emotions and experiences have reinforced those new behaviors and cemented them into place.

Getting there takes time, though. One 2009 study found this long-term shift takes an average of 66 days (incidentally, My Nourish Mentor takes 90 days … I like the extra padding for peaks and valleys).

Reforming habits in real life

Let me give you an example of how this worked in my own life. For years and years and years, I was frustrated with myself because I couldn’t lose the weight I wanted to. I tried diet after diet, but still couldn’t get the dang pounds to stay off. At that point, I was at the first stage of unconscious incompetence; I had no idea what I really needed to do to make sustainable change in the way I ate.

When I finally walked away from silver bullets and diets of the month and dug into learning sound nutritional truths, I knew what I needed to do to lose the weight for good—eat more vegetables and whole grains, and less calorie-dense meat and refined foods—but I didn’t know how to get there without feeling like I was giving up all I enjoyed (sound familiar?). I had gotten to the second stage of conscience incompetence.

I decided to tackle one area at a time. To start, I set out to double the amount of vegetables I ate each day. Sounds easy, sure, but when you’re not used to consuming vegetables in large quantities, there are a lot of hurdles. Like refrigerator space, for instance—I had no idea how much space a pound of kale could take up! And then there was repertoire. Most of my go-to’s at the time centered on refined grains and meat—sandwiches made with deli meats for lunch, pasta with meat or sausage and a bit of veggies for dinner. I was in this third stage of conscious competence for quite some time, working at how to get more vegetables on my plate in a way that got me excited about—not dreading—eating them.

But I did get there over time, and I eventually reached the fourth stage of unconscious competence. Now if I don’t get enough vegetables during the course of the day, I feel a bit off kilter and will crave them for dinner; eating an abundance of veggies has become my norm.

So if you’re struggling with the resolutions you made earlier this month, I urge you to give it time. Set your sights on something you want to change and, over the next two months, experiment, work out the kinks, mess up and try again. Most important, though, consistently practice the way you want to be.

Share The Love!

NOURISH-EVOLUTION-recipe-download-img

Lorem ipsum dolor

Consectetur Adipiscing Elit, Sed Do Eiusmod Tempor Incididunt Ut Labore Et Dolore Magna Aliqua.

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

Nourish Evolution video

Watch the video and download the customized action plan to take the first step on your nourish evolution now.

Watch the video and download my customized action plan to take the first step on your nourish evolution now.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Rustic Crispy Chicken Cutlets

These cutlets are a simplified version of chicken Milanese, using a flavorful schmear of Dijon mustard instead of an egg and dredging the chicken in one coating of bread crumbs.

Read More

Sticky-Sweet Sugar Snap Peas

This simple side dish adds Asian flair to any meal. These sugar snaps are delicious hot out of the pan or at room temperature for lunch the next day. Mirin is a sweet wine made from glutinous rice that’s a staple of Japanese cooking.

Read More

Radish and Feta Flatbread

This is based on a bar snack Alison spotted while, well, sitting at the counter at a local wine bar watching the bartender turn out quick pizza-like snacks with lavash (a type of Armenian flatbread), a variety of toppings and a toaster oven.

Read More

Privacy Policy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin vel ullamcorper nisl. Praesent tincidunt nibh sit amet sagittis porttitor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Maecenas euismod ullamcorper libero, quis sollicitudin metus ullamcorper et. Curabitur elementum tincidunt fringilla. Vestibulum a ligula vitae dui rutrum consectetur non nec quam. Aliquam gravida ornare erat, sit amet lobortis massa sagittis pellentesque. Sed dapibus sed est nec blandit. Curabitur tellus felis, porttitor et odio nec, elementum aliquam sem. Nam ut dui enim. Nullam ac ornare odio. Nullam pulvinar purus porttitor dolor gravida lobortis.

Ut pulvinar pulvinar neque ut euismod. In tempor placerat risus, ut tempus eros congue vel. Ut venenatis ultricies magna, porta hendrerit dolor posuere ut. In sit amet tempor ante, eget lacinia ipsum. Nunc in condimentum ex. Sed sit amet urna ultrices, euismod urna vitae, sollicitudin orci. Quisque non justo convallis, scelerisque nulla sit amet, tincidunt augue.