Module 2.

The Importance of Environment

 

It’s easy to overlook the importance of environment when we’re thinking about making a change in our lives. We are driven far more by our environment that we like to admit.
For example, I’ve been eating a purely plant-based diet for over four years now. And I love it! During this time, I’ve become more and more aware of how easy or hard it is to stick to my diet depending on the environment that I’m in. ts.

A Tango Tale

For example, I love to dance Argentine Tango. My wife and I have been dancing for more than 8 years. We like to leave Tenerife and travel to tango events that are being held in other parts of the world. A couple of years ago we were in the Spanish town of Antequera in the south of Spain.

Altogether there were 200 dancers at the event. The organizer had asked us if we’d like to take part in the meal and get-together that would be taking place on the second evening. We explained that we were vegetarian and asked whether there would be anything for us to eat. He got back to us and explained that the event was taking place in a top four-star hotel and that they had assured him that catering for us would be no problem.

The evening arrived and my wife and I were seated at a large round table with 10 others. The organizer came over and placed a green piece of paper between our cutlery so the waiters would know to serve us with the plant-based option. My wife and I had been in similar situations in the past so we were skeptical.

The starter arrived for everyone else. It was a salad with prawns on top. A few minutes later, ours arrived and it was the same salad with the prawns removed. We laughed, even though we felt disappointed.

Then it was time for the main meal. As is so typical in Spain the main dish consisted of a piece of meat on top of a small serving of mashed potato and a few other vegetables. When ours arrived, our hope of getting something tasty instantly disappeared as we realized that we were getting the same as everyone else with, yes, that’s right, the meat removed.

The others at our table felt so sorry for us. My wife and I felt a little angry because we’d try to avoid this situation by speaking to the organizer before the event and all in all as you can imagine, we didn’t enjoy the experience.

I wanted to tell this story because both my wife and I felt a certain amount of pressure to just give up on our principles and eat what everyone else was eating. To fit in with our environment.

We’ve also experienced the complete opposite. At another event that we go to in Belgium, the organizer gives everyone the choice of vegetarian or meat. Even though the vast majority of dancers at the event are meat eaters, when given the choice nearly half of them choose the healthy vegetarian option. This is partly to do with circumstances and environment.

Using the Power of Environment to Our Advantage

It’s said that over 90 percent of our sensory system is dedicated to sight. Sight is hugely important to us as human beings. This means, then, that we should use this to our advantage when changing our habits.

Fruit and vegetables are delicious, especially when in season. So instead of buying fruit and putting in the fridge or pantry, we want to make sure that it has a prominent place where we can’t miss it. Remember, we can’t eat too much healthy food.

It’s not like chocolate or ice cream. The more fruit and vegetables we eat, the better. They are full of vitamins, fibre and health goodness, so we should be placing them in a prominent position in our homes. We want to make sure that our home is full of healthy options and the most healthy and delicious should be in the most prominent places.

Where It Happens & Other Cues 

The environment really is a powerful thing. Over the years, I’ve noticed that when my friends come to visit and we go out for a meal, they are far more likely to order something plant-based when we go to restaurants that have a large choice. So, I always make sure we go to Indian, Chinese or Asian restaurants if we can’t find a vegan one nearby.

If we’ve been eating breakfast in the same café for years, we can change the café for one with more plant-based options. We can even make changes to our home environments to make it easier for us to adopt new behaviours. For instance, If we always sit to the table in the same spot, we can change our position and move to the other side. We could even think about rearranging our table and chairs to signal the arrival of our new healthy lifestyle!

We could also change our breakfast bowl and mugs for new ones. Other tips that we could deploy is rearranging our fridge. Making the shelves larger and smaller to, again, signal that we are making a change in our life. These are one-time alterations that are simple to make, yet when we see them we’ll remember that we’re now someone who eats a healthy plant-based diet and act accordingly.

The environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behaviour. It’s worth thinking about what we could change in our environment to make moving from our old diets to our new diets as easy and simple as possible. So what could you change to mark the arrival of the new you?

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.

Module 2.

The Importance of Environment

 

It’s easy to overlook the importance of environment when we’re thinking about making a change in our lives. We are driven far more by our environment that we like to admit.
For example, I’ve been eating a purely plant-based diet for over four years now. And I love it! During this time, I’ve become more and more aware of how easy or hard it is to stick to my diet depending on the environment that I’m in. ts.

A Tango Tale

For example, I love to dance Argentine Tango. My wife and I have been dancing for more than 8 years. We like to leave Tenerife and travel to tango events that are being held in other parts of the world. A couple of years ago we were in the Spanish town of Antequera in the south of Spain.

Altogether there were 200 dancers at the event. The organizer had asked us if we’d like to take part in the meal and get-together that would be taking place on the second evening. We explained that we were vegetarian and asked whether there would be anything for us to eat. He got back to us and explained that the event was taking place in a top four-star hotel and that they had assured him that catering for us would be no problem.

The evening arrived and my wife and I were seated at a large round table with 10 others. The organizer came over and placed a green piece of paper between our cutlery so the waiters would know to serve us with the plant-based option. My wife and I had been in similar situations in the past so we were skeptical.

The starter arrived for everyone else. It was a salad with prawns on top. A few minutes later, ours arrived and it was the same salad with the prawns removed. We laughed, even though we felt disappointed.

Then it was time for the main meal. As is so typical in Spain the main dish consisted of a piece of meat on top of a small serving of mashed potato and a few other vegetables. When ours arrived, our hope of getting something tasty instantly disappeared as we realized that we were getting the same as everyone else with, yes, that’s right, the meat removed.

The others at our table felt so sorry for us. My wife and I felt a little angry because we’d try to avoid this situation by speaking to the organizer before the event and all in all as you can imagine, we didn’t enjoy the experience.

I wanted to tell this story because both my wife and I felt a certain amount of pressure to just give up on our principles and eat what everyone else was eating. To fit in with our environment.

We’ve also experienced the complete opposite. At another event that we go to in Belgium, the organizer gives everyone the choice of vegetarian or meat. Even though the vast majority of dancers at the event are meat eaters, when given the choice nearly half of them choose the healthy vegetarian option. This is partly to do with circumstances and environment.

Using the Power of Environment to Our Advantage

It’s said that over 90 percent of our sensory system is dedicated to sight. Sight is hugely important to us as human beings. This means, then, that we should use this to our advantage when changing our habits.

Fruit and vegetables are delicious, especially when in season. So instead of buying fruit and putting in the fridge or pantry, we want to make sure that it has a prominent place where we can’t miss it. Remember, we can’t eat too much healthy food.

It’s not like chocolate or ice cream. The more fruit and vegetables we eat, the better. They are full of vitamins, fibre and health goodness, so we should be placing them in a prominent position in our homes. We want to make sure that our home is full of healthy options and the most healthy and delicious should be in the most prominent places.

Where It Happens & Other Cues 

The environment really is a powerful thing. Over the years, I’ve noticed that when my friends come to visit and we go out for a meal, they are far more likely to order something plant-based when we go to restaurants that have a large choice. So, I always make sure we go to Indian, Chinese or Asian restaurants if we can’t find a vegan one nearby.

If we’ve been eating breakfast in the same café for years, we can change the café for one with more plant-based options. We can even make changes to our home environments to make it easier for us to adopt new behaviours. For instance, If we always sit to the table in the same spot, we can change our position and move to the other side. We could even think about rearranging our table and chairs to signal the arrival of our new healthy lifestyle!

We could also change our breakfast bowl and mugs for new ones. Other tips that we could deploy is rearranging our fridge. Making the shelves larger and smaller to, again, signal that we are making a change in our life. These are one-time alterations that are simple to make, yet when we see them we’ll remember that we’re now someone who eats a healthy plant-based diet and act accordingly.

The environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behaviour. It’s worth thinking about what we could change in our environment to make moving from our old diets to our new diets as easy and simple as possible. So what could you change to mark the arrival of the new you?

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.