Making a decision uses up our willpower, mental energy, and physical energy. The more decisions we have to make in a short time, the faster our energy and willpower stores are reduced.
Sure, we can replenish those stores by resting and eating, but it’s better to be smart in our use of that energy in the first place. Why reduce our stores of energy and willpower, which results in bad decisions that we could be working to correct for a long time into the future, when we can pre-decide things that don’t matter?
Want to get fitter? Decide when you’re going to workout and what you’re going to do.
Want to lose weight? Decide what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to eat treats (or not), and decide when you’ll eat.
Saving money? Decide on a budget (that’s really not a dirty word) and what you’re going to spend your money on and when.
Then it’s simply a case of telling yourself “I’ve already decided……”
- “To go for a run straight after my morning coffee.”
- “To eat dessert/cake/chips/ice cream only on the weekend.”
- “To put that $100 into savings.”
Having decided that I’m going to workout every morning straight after my morning coffee, I plan what I’m doing a week ahead and write it in my diary (actually, it’s a Bullet Journal). Before doing this, I would faff around all day, telling myself “I’ll go for a run later”. Later would arrive, and I’d tell myself “It’s too late to run, I’ll do a strength workout at home”. Then I’d be caught up in daily routine, the phone would ring, I’d remember an urgent email….. And at the end of the day I’d have done no workout, and I’d feel that I’d expended as much energy thinking about it as I would have if I’d done the workout. Without the increased fitness benefit.
Now, having decided beforehand, I tell myself “I’ve already decided. I’m going to…” and that’s that. I have already decided, there’s no thinking about what I could do, should do, no wondering when would be best.
Before deciding in advance, continuing with the fitness and workout example, my regime tended to be rather eclectic. I’d do some running, some strength, some flexibility, with no real structure or process. Now that I’m pre-deciding, there’s a structure and holistic approach to my workouts.
Pre-deciding brings consistency and structure to any goal that we’re working towards, or routine that we use.
Make better decisions
“I’ve already decided” is a great phrase and technique that reduces stress, brings organisation and structure with it, and enables you to save your willpower and energy for the decisions that can’t be made in advance, that require you to be at your best.
Your pre-made decisions stop you making a bad decision on a whim, or based on how you feel that day or even that minute.
Pre-making routine decisions conserves your mental and physical energy for the decisions that matter, that you can’t anticipate. Decisions at work, decisions for your business, decisions for your family. They deserve your best attention and energy, so don’t waste it on less important decisions.
Where can you begin to say “I’ve already decided…”?