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Why focusing on "a little a day" might be the best way to make cooking a habit

If 2022 is going to be the year you start cooking regularly, taking an “a little a day" approach might be the best way to start, according to science. 

In a study run back in 2009, researchers at University College London found that, on average, building habits takes around 66 days before the behavior change becomes automatic. However, the choice of habit was a major part of how long it actually took (between 18 and 254 days). After all, some habits are harder or easier to form than others. But we want to stay focused on how doing a little something cooking related each day can make cooking a habit (and how Swich can help). 

Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” says that at the core of every lasting habit is a psychological pattern called the ‘habit loop.’ The habit loop includes a four-step pattern that all habits proceed through. The four stages are always the same and in the same order: 

1. Cue/trigger:

Your mind constantly analyzes your environment for hints of where rewards are located. The cue is the first sign that you’re close to a reward, like making a meal from start to finish that you have never done before. This step triggers your brain to start a behaviour.

2. Craving:

Cravings are the motivational force behind every habit. They give you a reason to act. You crave a hearty soup because of the comfort it brings on a cold day. In the end, cravings stem from a desire to change your internal state.

3. Response:

The response is the habit you perform. It can take the form of a thought or an action, such as consciously incorporating cooking into your daily routine, even if it’s just making a healthy snack. 

4. The goal of every habit is the reward.

The cue notices the reward, the craving wants the reward, and the response obtains the reward. For instance, let’s say you’re walking around town, and you come across a fresh produce stand. The cue would be noticing the produce stand. The craving would be wanting something from that produce stand. And the response would be going inside and purchasing something from that produce stand. We chase rewards for two reasons: they satisfy our cravings, and they teach us which actions we should remember in the future. 

This is what we want to highlight here — through little steps each day, those habits will become more established and achievable. 

3 ways Swich can help

Swich online cooking community 1. Support.

Remember that you're not alone in this journey. In fact, with your Swich membership, you have access to a community of other at-home cooks from around the globe, who are also embracing whole foods for better health, and experiencing the same challenges that come with  incorporating new healthy habits into their daily lives. 

2. Learn anytime, anywhere.

Swich is 100% online, so no matter how busy your schedule is, we can meet you where you are. Log in and do one of our learning exercises whenever you have a moment to spare. Many of them can be done in 20 minutes or less.

3. We’ll do the heavy lifting.

Personalization is what makes Swich different from other cooking schools. Your learning experience is completely customized to your flavor preferences, health goals, and cooking skill level. 

Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? No problem. We’ll recommend recipes and learning exercises based on your actions within the platform. You don’t have to do anything but learn and enjoy delicious, nutritious home-cooked meals! 

Find out more about how we can help you learn to cook, in these posts:

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