It's time to take a stand...on everything.
How many times have you found yourself considering something, weighing your options, and spending lots of time going back and forth on a decision? It doesn't have to be one of life's big decisions either, we do this even for small things like which home project to do on the weekend or whether to subscribe to an online workout program versus putting on your sneakers and going for a run.
It. Is. Exhausting.
Throw in real decisions like which school is best to enroll your child in, and it's no wonder most of us feel completely spent at the end of the day.
Why does this happen?
Chalk it up to decision fatigue.
It's the notion that we have a finite amount of good decisions we're able to make each day. And it's exactly why willpower doesn't work. Because after a long day of working and tending to the kiddos' endless requests, you're fresh out of capacity to make the good decision to eat a healthy dinner. Instead you say, "Screw it!" and order pizza. We reach a tipping point and there's no going back until our minds have a chance to rest and recuperate.
Why not save your brainpower and quickly decide (either yes or no) and just move on.
There's something really powerful about saying you've made a decision, regardless of how big or small it was. Kind of like drawing a line in the sand or making a declaration. When done correctly, you only need to decide once and then use that decision to propel your actions forward.
Here's an example:
Choose yes, you're going to take back control of your sleep, regardless of the snoring human lying next to you.
Or choose no, you're not interested in sleeping well and improving your relationship at this time.
No more sitting on the fence. No more maybe.
Regardless of where you land, it's important to be OK with your decision. Look deep within yourself and listen to what your gut says about it, and you'll be surprised by how simple it can be.
The whole point of making a decision and sticking with it is that you've chosen to go on a certain path based on what's best for you right now. You chose once, now move forward and take whatever actions are needed to carry it out.
Sure there might be other decisions along the way, but those too can be considered and decided on at the time. When you hmmm and hawww back and forth, you're just giving a lot of time and energy to a problem that could've been solved in an instant. This approach works really well when a choice up front will save you from having to consider that thing each day.
Using the example of someone wanting to lose 10lbs, here's how it might look:
New Year's Resolution (the goal): I'm going to lose 10lbs
Decision: I've decided to work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.
On those days: There's no negotiation or even asking yourself "should I work out or take the day off?". No thinking required.
Now, I'm definitely not saying you should make snap decisions about life-altering things, like buying a house. But to be honest, there are actually no snap decisions involved with this method AT ALL!
When you find yourself at a decision point, give your mind a few moments to reflect on the past few weeks or months and see what evidence you can gather. In the house example, maybe the place you're renting won't renew your lease, you recently got a promotion, and your savings are quite impressive lately. Plus, the house prices in your favourite neighbourhood have gone down significantly. This, my friend, is a no brainer. But so many of us offer up the most crippling response when faced with a yes or no:
"I don't know."
"I don't know" will get you nowhere. It is about the least constructive and least helpful statement we can ever utter. It reeks of non-commitment and inability to take a stand for something. My suggestion to you is to eliminate it from your vocabulary starting right now.
Staying in "I don't know" keeps you in a special kind of hellish limbo where you continually think about the different options. Picture your mind on a hamster wheel, chasing absolutely nothing.
What are some decisions you've been putting off lately? Have they been keeping you up at night and weighing on you?
Why not put your mind at ease and save your brainpower for when it's really needed?
Bonus points if you make that choice NOW.