What I Learned: Food is Culture and Setting Myself Up to Win


Food is Culture

We tried some new foods while we were in Peru.  It reminded of our visit to Mexico three years ago when my husband coined the phrase, “Food is culture”

We have eat tamales at our church every year at Easter.  It’s become a tradition.  Church culture, organizational culture, even family culture is shaped by culinary traditions.

I like the thought that we can intentionally shape our cultures.  Centuries of tradition, ritual and culture are handed down to us.  We can accept or reject what we’ve been given.  Food can be a tool in shaping the culture that we pass on.

More about Food is Culture here.

subtle shift

An insight into my psyche

Something strange happened to me on our trip to Peru.  It took days to figure it out.  But, I think I finally got a handle on it.  Read more about it here.


Setting myself up to win

I’m a sucker for self-improvement.  If I’m not implementing a new system, then I’m depressed, discouraged and too disheartened to try again.  When we got back from Peru my routines were shot. Staying up till midnight talking to our hosts (some nights we didn’t eat supper till 10) and sleeping till 7 or 8 meant the habit of getting up at 5:30 had to be re-implemented. I evaluated how to get back on track without losing the ground I’d gained in the past year.

First of all, a little tidbit from Michael Hyatt influenced my thinking.  He said that it’s a myth that it only takes 21 days to establish a new habit. (I knew that– it’s 28.)  He said it’s more like 66 days. What?!  At that rate, it was going to take 6-9 months to re-establish the habits I already had in place.  That’s no good.

So, I decided to “batch” my habits and focus on accomplishing three every morning for 66 days: getting up at 5:30, thank you note to Pete and devotions.  My reward would be 20 minutes of  reading for fun after those three things were accomplished.  (The idea of rewarding a good habit comes from Power of Habit.)  That meant exercise time would be hit and miss, as would blogging.  But, you have to start again somewhere.  This was doable.

One another little tweak that set me up to win.  In the past, I wrote the numbers 1-28 on the big calendar in my kitchen when starting a new habit and crossed them off when I succeeded for the day.  This time I’m writing in 1-66 on each day I succeed. What difference does it make?  If, for some reason, I don’t make it one day, there will be a blank space rather than a number not crossed off.  Maybe it’s subtle.  Maybe it won’t make any difference.  But, it feels less like a “fail” to me.

So, that’s where I am.  Starting over.  Setting myself up for a win.

What have you learned this month?

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