By: Daniel Billinkoff

I’ve been planning to write this article for a while, but finally got an accidental kick in the butt from my sister Mira last night. We’re getting into the thick of the Spring Leaning Challenge – where you’re basically planning meals, cooking food or doing dishes 24/7 – and I texted her a pic of our disastrous kitchen.

It was 8:30pm and I still had to make the kids’ lunches, do the dishes from a cooking spree we did earlier, empty the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. Her response to my text was, “lol could be worse!”

Honestly, I think that’s the understatement of the year. A messy kitchen and kids lunches is a pretty good problem to have.

Whenever I’m stressed by the daily grind, I try to think back to Ben Bergeron‘s idea of  turning every “have-to” into a “get-to”. Here’s his quote:

You don’t have to go to work. You don’t have to go grocery shopping. You don’t have to pick up the kids from soccer practice. You GET TO do those things.

It’s been a long, slow shift for me to change my diet and habits, and I’ve definitely noticed a few common ‘have-tos’ in terms of healthy eating:

  1. It’s a LOT of work
  2. You need to eat a lot of veggies (sometimes ones you don’t like)
  3. You have to say no to things you want but shouldn’t have

If you’re finding yourself struggling with these or other ‘have-tos’ in the Spring Leaning Challenge, here is one main thing to keep in mind:

There are billions of people around the world who would give anything for nutritious food and fresh water.

Always remember that you are in the global minority that gets to eat nutritious food. That you have a home to cook in and the physical well-being to prepare your food.

And while a snappy quote won’t do the dishes for you, I have found that this change in mindset helps immensely. The next time you’re buried in dishes, whining about saying no to a treat or need to do a late-night meal prep after soccer practice, just remember that there are much worse problems to have.

Smile, put on some music and get to work. Be grateful.