My Cooking Challenge - Exploring the Art of Motivation
This month I set myself a challenge. To cook 10 tasty meals and take an instagram photo of each meal and showcase the story on my blog. Sounds simple but let’s give you some context…
Over the past 6 months I had fallen into the cooking abyss. Loads of eating out, microwave soups, microwave ravioli packs with tuna and pesto, microwave rice, basically it wasn’t pretty. I had convinced myself that I didn’t have time to cook. I just needed to get fuelled up and back out onto the race track.
Recently, certain life and work events have forced me to slow down and ask some tough questions. One of those questions was… what is so important that I can’t put in a few extra minutes of thought and effort to make my meal taste wonderful instead of just plain weird?
And that’s when I came up with this idea / challenge. I imagined writing this blog post about the art of motivation and how I have rediscovered by cooking mojo. I also imagined how great it would be to host a dinner party and treat a (lucky) date or girlfriend to a romantic home cooked meal. Future challenges perhaps…
Anyways… that idea was enough to make me commit to the challenge. Cooking suddenly had a greater purpose… to test my assumptions about human motivation and how we break habits and build new ones. So after clarifying and visualising the end goal I asked myself… what first step can I take to get started?
My answer -> Look up some recipes online and in old family cookbooks. Then write out some basic core ingredients and cycle to Waitrose in Holloway buy them (herbs, spices, sun dried tomatoes, pasatta sauce, vegetable stock, crab meat, garlic, frozen peas, parmesan cheese, onions, pesto, pasta, risotto rice, etc).
I also defined a cooking methodology to follow
- pick 1 main vegetable
- pick 2/3 side vegetables
- pick a colour (usually green or red which then dictates the sauces and spices you use)
- pick your carb (rice, pasta, couscous, ravioli)
- chop some salad / leaves / tomatoes to go on the base or the side
The great thing about this methodology is that I don’t have to stress about following a recipe. I have a vague idea about what goes well together. I make sure I add spices and herbs and little touches to give flavour. And then I stop thinking about it too much. I am not a person who likes following rules and instructions so this is an approach that works for me.
So what can this teach us about the art of motivation? Well… it’s personal. You need to design and own the solution yourself. You need to be self-aware about what works for you and what doesn’t.
I knew that in order for me to stay motivated I need to be motivated by a bigger vision and story behind it. I’m a future orientated person. If I fool myself into thinking I am innovating in some way my motivation goes up. I am rarely driven by a negative (don’t do that). I need to have a positive aspiration that captures my imagination.
I can now apply this to everything I do. My plan is to continue filling my life with many more of these small challenges and adventures.
Thanks for reading.
If you have a similar story I’d love to hear it… email me at firstname.lastname@example.org