A Quick Decision-Making Trick for Smart Lifestyle Choices

by Skye Dawson
A Quick Decision-Making Trick for Smart Lifestyle Choices

You’re totally convinced that you need to do X. You want X. You’re committed to X completely. Then why, when faced with the possibility of Y and Z, do you forget all about your goals and make the decision to do something you later regret?

The trouble with most decisions is that you don’t feel their consequences until later. Sometimes much later. In the moment, choosing to slack off instead of doing the workout you promised yourself you’d do seems like a fine idea. You get an immediate reward and the effects of that choice are only felt later on, if at all.

The best way to make good choices, right there in the moment when your mind is tuned onto instant gratification, is to remember the consequences of a choice.

Sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done.

Because so many people choose the action but don’t choose the result of that action, they live weird split lives. They keep behaving one way, but hating the consequences of those behaviors.

They eat things that please them momentarily but make them hate themselves in the long run. They find themselves repeating the same mistakes over and over.

The next time you have a decision to make, don’t choose the immediate decision itself, but choose the result. Fast forward to what your life looks like after you’ve made a particular decision. Is it better? Is it what you really want?

Here’s an example. You’ve decided to cut back on refined carbs for a while, but there’s a slice of leftover cake in the fridge. Is eating that cake in the moment better than not? Sure. You’ll only lose if you try to argue otherwise.

But fast forward. Maybe you binge on that piece of cake and start a sugar bender that only ends 3 days later. Maybe you feel bad and decide to ditch your goals because you’re upset about being such a failure.

When the end point looks like this, do you still want it?

The other option is to just forget about the cake. The result is you keep going. You have a longer good streak, you feel healthier and more resolved with your goals. The cake disappears and all is well.

When you put it this way, it’s much, much easier to choose the more difficult option. Try it next time you feel lazy or like cheating; try to appreciate the bigger picture and see if it changes the way you make decisions.

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