It's interesting to see how quickly I can turn something completely new and different into a habit.
Take last night's dinner for example. It was one of my home-alone concoctions that involved a toaster oven (for roasting sweet potatoes), a small pot (for making quinoa), a larger pot with a strainer on top (for steaming kale), a can opener and strainer (for the black beans), a package of goat cheese and some olive oil and soy sauce.
Each items takes a different amount of time to cook and this must be carefully timed so everything is hot at the same time. All dishes must be washed, dried and put away before eating dinner because I hate washing and drying the dishes alone. When Doug is home, we do them together after we eat and it's easy and fun. When I'm alone, I want to linger over dinner while sipping wine and reading something - I don't want have to worry about clean-up.
So all dishes must be washed, dried and put away before eating.
When I make the meal I made last night, it also makes several lunches. That means that I need various sized plastic containers for each ingredient to store them in the fridge. Plus I need to make sure I have a large enough container left over so I can use it to create the yummy mix of ingredients that becomes my lunch.
I've only made this dinner a handful of times. I made it up after eating at Fresh in Toronto with my little sis and loving a dish I had ordered.
The first time I made it was a bit of a shot in the dark. It worked out beautifully and was delicious. A cooking and eating adventure.
By the second time I had it all figured out and now it's an easy routine.
Just like rolling out of bed before 5am and getting myself to the pool. Every step from waking up to arriving home is worked out - well except for the workout which is always a surprise. Turning early morning workouts into habits prevents me from forgetting something essential like my goggles or my underwear and also ensures that I have my towel, shampoo and soap for after my swim. I've seen people wake up before dawn, drive all the way to the pool only to discover they have forgotten something critical and be unable to swim.
No thank you! Not after getting up at that hour.
Changing my infusion site for my pump?
The first time is so confusing with all the buttons and warnings and packages to open. The second time is hesitant but better and within two weeks I could change my infusion site, separate all the waste into garbage and recycling and still be done in under five minutes.
Don't even get me started about testing my blood sugar.
Some things become habits because they need to be. Diabetes management is like that. I can't afford not to be on top of things so making things a habit ensures that I don't forget the important stuff. Like testing my blood sugar before bed. Or before exercise. Or making sure I have carbs with me when I go swimming, cycling or running.
Other things become habits because I love them and do them so much that I've figured out the best way to enjoy the entire process. Like making my dinner last night. While things were happily roasting, simmering and steaming, I was perched at the kitchen counter writing about how much I love making this dinner.