4 easy tips to make cooking a habit

January 01, 2024

Tips & Tricks

Big resolutions for 2024? How about a more attainable yet impactful goal: Get in the habit of cooking? Hear me out! IT.IS.DOABLE!
Creating a habit is no easy feat and creating a habit of cooking can be challenging. So here are 4 easy hacks that could help you get in the habit of cooking making it appealing, satisfying, and easy to adopt inspired by principles from Atomic Habits by James Clear.

The Habit Loop, image source: https://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change

Make it Obvious (Cue)

Set up clear triggers for your cooking habit, it could be environmental cues, visual reminders, these cues integrate the idea of cooking into your daily life, making it a more obvious choice.

  • Design Your Environment: Have a fruit bowl on the counter, display your spices in a spice rack and keep cooking tools accessible. Place a whiteboard on your refrigerator to write down daily or weekly meal plans or keep a cookbook on your dining table.
  • Smartphone Reminders: Set reminders for meal prep times to get you cooking.

Kitchen essentials out: fruit, spices, tools. Meal plan on fridge or cookbook nearby. Phone alerts for cooking time.

Make it Attractive (Craving)

The more attractive the process and outcome, the stronger your craving will be to engage in the habit.

  • Create a Motivation Ritual: Begin your cooking session with something enjoyable, light a scented candle, sip a glass of wine or sample a small treat.
  • Habit Stacking: Pair cooking with an existing daily activity or an activity you enjoy. Listen to your favorite music, an audiobook or a podcast or start prepping dinner right after your evening coffee or plan your dinner menu, while waiting for your morning coffee to brew.
  • Theme Nights: Create theme nights like “Mexican Monday” or “Italian Thursday” to add an element of fun and variety to your cooking routine.
  • Cook with Friends or Family: Turn cooking into a social event. Plan a weekly cook-along with friends or family members, either virtually or in person.

Make it Easy (Response)

The easier it is to do, the more likely you are to do it.

  • Simplified Recipes: Start with simple recipes that don't require complex skills or rare ingredients. Use Flavorish to generate these easy-to-follow recipes.
  • Prep ahead: Have all your cooking ingredients prepped and ready to go. Pre-chop vegetables, marinate proteins, and portion out spices.
  • Meal Prep Containers: Invest in quality meal prep containers for storing pre-chopped ingredients, making it easier to start cooking.
  • Prime Your Environment: Organize your kitchen to have utensils and appliances within easy reach. Organize your pantry with frequently used items at eye level.
  • Clean as you go: Tidy up while you cook—wash knives, chopping boards immediately after use and wipe surfaces during cooking.

Make it Satisfying (Reward)

Enjoy the meal you've cooked, and perhaps share it with others.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Create a ritual of sharing pictures of your cooked meals on social media or with friends to receive positive feedback. Positive feedback, like compliments from family or friends, can be a powerful reward.
  • Bounce back with ease: If you skip cooking one day, plan a favorite, easy-to-make meal for the next day to ensure you get back on track.
  • Reward Yourself: After a week of cooking, reward yourself with take out or a non-food treat, like a movie night or a relaxing bath.

Setting the Stage for Success

Find Your Why: Determine why you cook—whether for health, cost-savings, or enjoyment—to keep inspired, especially during challenging days.

Small Steps, Big Impact: Focus on small daily improvements, like a new knife skill or using a novel spice, to gradually enhance your culinary skills. Aim to get just 1% better every day.

Your Kitchen, Your System: Build a supportive system for your cooking. Schedule meal prep times, organize your kitchen, and plan meals in advance. Remember, it's the system, not just the goal, that leads to success.

Cooking as Reflection of You: Align your cooking habits with your identity. Whether you value health, creativity, or family bonding, let your cooking reflect these aspects of yourself.

Easy kitchen habits = happy cooking! Start small, build a routine, and enjoy the delicious journey.

Easy as one. two. Cook!

Two phones, each showing a recipe on the Flavorish app.