We are almost one week into 2022! How do you feel?
As we take on the challenge that is recovering from 2021 and moving towards a brighter, more hopeful 2022, it is our level of consistency in making good decisions that will move the needle.
Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy.
We must be prepared to control what we can influence and learn to mitigate the challenges (i.e. let go) of the things we cannot determine. Part of this process is the ability to make good decisions consistently.
What Does That Mean?
It means making the tough decisions in a good headspace, before the chaos, rather than wait until we’re tired, fatigued, and worn out to muster up some willpower. It means choosing discipline over procrastination. And it means clearing space so that we can effectively prioritize what we need to do, when, in order to make progress.
What does this apply to?
Everything, from your food choices to how you approach workouts to managing your boundaries at work to the way we choose to have arguments with our significant others.
This is developing sound “choice architecture” (i.e. architecting your choices in a decision tree to help you succeed). It is creating better “default” decisions that align your actions with your goals. For example, if you are trying to lose weight (or get more steps in the day), you might say, “Everytime I come to a set of stairs and an elevator/escalator, I will take the stairs.” This might take some conscious willpower the first few times, but over time it will be committed to your subconscious memory; you just do it without even stopping to consider which is better.
You’ve already decided which option is better (the stairs) and you do it automatically.
Take some time to run through your goals for 2022 and see where you can introduce better automatic decision-making. Can you remove yourself (i.e. emotion) from the process?
Your parting piece of advice is this: “Make the best decision available.” This is your catch-all; when in doubt, make the best decision available. If you find yourself without a default choice, what’s the best you can do under the circumstance? If you know it’s not perfect, clear space later and re-evaluate.