We all dread the idea of adding more complexity to our lives than what we already have. Why should we make our lunch hour decisions more complex than it needs to be? We are working adults though and don’t want to just have a PB&J sandwich, with pudding cup thrown into a brown bag. Some days that is just easy though, right? We are grown up’s though and want to appear that way, but we also don’t want to make lunch complicated. Here are some suggestions for you to start building habits to getting into packed lunch.
Identify the goals – Why do you want to pack lunch?
All successful habits start with identifying what your reason for wanting to create the habit is. By remembering why you started the goal, it will make it easier to maintain the practice. Common reasons for beginning this goal of packing lunch are:
- Save money
- Eat Healthier
- Save time
- Change of pace
Plan the night before – Be prepared
This first idea of planning lunch the night before is a concept that Boy Scout’s can appreciate “Be Prepared.” You will save yourself the additional stress of planning your lunch menu options if you prepare them out the night before. It also gives you the opportunity to run out and get something special that you may be craving but do not have on hand. That’s always a win when you can meet your desires!
Planning the night before also ensures that you are creating a good habit of packing a lunch for work. It’s easy to get behind in the mornings and then say “oh forget it, I don’t have time to pack a lunch” and then run out the door. We all have been there before, haven’t we?
Start simple – K.I.S.S method
When starting this life change of packing a lunch, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. You can change things up as you see the benefits. Don’t go out and buy several fancy lunch bags, the most elaborate and newest gadgets to hold your sandwich or last night’s leftovers. Use the tried and trued method of KEEP IT SIMPLE SILLY. As you build the habit, you can get more creative in your packing and meals. There is nothing wrong with starting with a brown bag and the Ziploc baggies. It’s a low cost startup, and if your first efforts fail in building the habit, then you are not stuck with clutter and unused items in your cupboards.
Have a Schedule – Create a cheat day!
Let’s be honest packing a lunch no matter how much work we put towards it, how creative we get in mixing up the options it will still be boring at times. To overcome that boredom have a built-in cheat day. I decided to pack lunch Monday through Thursday, with Friday being my cheat day. Why Friday it’s a day that I plan for fish fry lunch, it’s a favorite thing here in Wisconsin, so it’s not only a cheat day, but it lets me participate in a local favorite. This cheat day also allows me to mingle with friends.
Everyone is going to have their reason for the Track your goals – Measure your success!cheat day, maybe you are a huge taco fan and your cheat day is taco Tuesday! Only you can decide what is going to be unique to you for your cheat day. Whatever that reason is to make it special for you, isn’t that what lunch hour is supposed to be about.
Measure your goals – is packing lunch worth it?
If you recall the first pointer provided in this article was to identify your goals. Now as you defined your goals and had been applying this change of packing lunch. Measure your success in a way that you can see how things are improving for you.
So if your goal was to be healthier, track your weight loss along the way. If your goal was to save money, follow how much money you have saved. Reward yourself with your goals. Maybe a new outfit as you are losing weight if you are saving money find something to do with your newly founded extra funds. Whatever it is reward yourself for your efforts, you deserve it right!
Good luck with your lunchbox!
As you can see these few pointers are not overly complicated and rather easy to do. As with all changes to things, it’s a matter of holding yourself accountable to them. These are easy changes to make, and once you get into the habit, you will wonder why didn’t I do this packing lunch thing sooner.