I posted the below on the Women Carnivore Tribe Facebook group last night, and overnight, it has blown up!
Embraced my inner five year old and gave myself a gold star for every carnivore meal so far on my 30-day challenge. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
It makes me so happy to see it’s inspired other people to try it, too!
Here’s why I think this works, and why it’s so appealing to our brains, even as adults.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear says that in order to encourage a habit, we need to make its reward immediate.
But, the rewards of a carnivore challenge are by nature not immediate: they come days, weeks, or even months down the line.
When you’re doing the hard work and not yet experiencing results, it can feel like drudgery.
I knew I needed to trick myself into liking it, otherwise I wouldn’t stick with it. Ha.
I had to engineer some sort of system that would make my heart do a little jump and sing “YAY!” whenever I ate a carnivore meal.
Then, the idea of giving myself a gold star popped into my head.
I went out and bought stickers right away, so I would actually do it. Because I know myself. (Speaking of: Gold Star Stickers on Amazon, if you so desire. 😉)
I keep them right on the counter next to the calendar so I see them when I’m leaving the kitchen after eating.
The sticker method leverages the cue-craving-habit-reward loop that establishes a habit.
I do a sticker RIGHT after each meal, rather than one each day I ate carnivore, because I want the reward to be as immediate as possible to reinforce that habit loop.
Here was my old habit loop:
Cue (boredom, seeing cookie) → Craving (desire for cookie) → habit (SNARF THE COOKIE) → reward (sugar rush + dopamine)
And here’s the new one:
Cue (hunger) → Craving (desire to eat) → habit (eat a carnivore meal) → reward (PRETTY GOLD STAR! + dopamine)
It’s so satisfying to put a gold star down every time you have a carnivore meal and to see the calendar fill up. And then you don’t want to break the chain, so it keeps you going, too!
Isn’t it so funny how our brains work? 🤓
PS. If you’re new to carnivore and not sure how to shop, I have a free carnivore shopping list for Costco for ya. 😘