How to Make Better Decisions to Change Habits
Why do you need to make Better Decisions to Change Habits?
Did you know that according to data from statistical studies we make more than 200 daily decisions related to food?
Are you surprised that we choose so poorly about what to eat?
Researcher and Social psychologist Roy Baumeister tells us that the fact of making one or the other decision decreases our brain’s ability to do it well. We experience what is known as “decisional fatigue” with little awareness of it.
Our brain works in the following way: 95% of the time it makes decisions automatically, out of habit or reactive to external demands. And…
How could we make better decisions in a world full of options?
The answer lies in “self-awareness“, something similar to the mindfulness trend so fashionable today.
The first challenge is how to resist being reactive.
Many of the worst decisions we make are because we are pushed by an external trigger that generates negative emotional states. We react instinctively driven by stress hormones, in a state of flight or fight.
This is fine when a lion is chasing you, but not practical in everyday life. If we react without intention, by mere reaction, it is possible that later it will cost more to solve that problem.
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3 better decisions to change Habits:
Here are three keys that can help you make truly good decisions:
Step No. 1:
The first key thing is not to make bad decisions and it all begins with awareness. For this, it is necessary to pay attention to the signals in your body that may be warning of a certain attack or danger. Signs such as a stiff neck or other parts of the body, changes in your breathing, emotions such as fear, stress, anger.
On the contrary, the mere fact of feeling an intense emotion does not mean that you have to do something. You can take a couple of very deep breaths, focusing your attention on the weight of your body on your feet, something that helps you returns to your reality.
These guidelines will save you time, as once your physiology calms down, you can think more clearly and reflect on what the best response would be.
Step No. 2:
The next key thing would be the game of perspectives. The primitive parts of our brain are unprepared to consider the future and tend to seek the most immediate source of gratification that involves the least pain and discomfort.
Too often we use our prefrontal cortex to rationalize our decisions instead of anticipating future consequences. It is usual to make excuses like, “I will have this dessert, this morning I went to the gym …”, and although it may be the first time you went to the gym in a month. Or, we convince ourselves to postpone a difficult task and instead we check the “urgent” emails draining our energy to be able to resume the important work, later.
What do you think of the solution?
Every time you have to make a difficult decision, ask yourself this simple question:
What option is going to add more value to my life and happiness in the future?
There will be cases in which you prioritize the urgent, but it is also easy to tell yourself that you always have urgent demands and not leave time for things that may be more difficult to do, but that would really add a lot of value to your life. One idea is to start with the most important thing first in the day, which is when you have the most energy. To do so, you need to create a list of all the tasks you want to accomplish that day, break them into small pieces and choose the most important and urgent at the start of the day.
Step No. 3:
The biggest challenge: how to do the right thing! Especially when we don’t need it to be done immediately…
To overcome this block, it is necessary to work on our values, principles and convictions, because choosing only on the basis of “the right thing” can imply sacrifice and discomfort.
It’s the difference between doing what makes you feel good. Maybe you could do it with a couple of beers or doing what makes you feel good about yourself.
Would you put aside your convictions even if the sale of your product was at stake?
If you believe in kindness and service to others, would you help a friend in need even when you feel tired or overworked?
To get your decision right, you can start by asking yourself:
What decision would I make if I decided from my “best self”? Who do I really want to be?
Embodying our values in our daily behavior requires courage to be able to override the most primitive impulses.
Think for a moment of someone who generated a lot of negative emotions in you recently.
How did you react to?
Did your behavior help you get what you really wanted?
Were you consistent with the person you wanted to be?
We always have the possibility to choose our behavior, especially if we have the challenge of raising our “level of play” every day to feel more satisfied, better and healthier people.
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