Tuesday, November 30, 2021

How to Make Good Decisions

James Clear is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur who focuses his work on habits, decision making, and personal growth. He has a bachelor's in Biomechanics from Denison University ad an MBA from Ohio State University. An article written by him provides interesting insight into human willpower and how to avoid making bad decisions.

James shares that “your willpower is like a muscle” and “can get fatigued when you use it over and over again.”  During a regular day, people make hundreds of decisions, and every decision we make is like doing one more squat on leg day. Throughout the day, our willpower becomes tired just as our legs would. This is often referred to as decision fatigue.

In a sense, there is a limited number of decisions that your brain can make each day before it becomes tired. This phenomenon explains why people are more likely to make impulse decisions at night. As your energy fades, you have less ability to make good decisions, so we make easy decisions instead.

In relation to our finances, this includes our ability to stick to our budget and avoid impulse purchases or decisions. If you go grocery shopping at night, you are more likely to buy things you don’t need. If you spend time on social media at night, you are likely to waste more time than you meant to on these apps. One way to help with these decisions is to decide in advance what you will do. For grocery shopping, this means sticking to a list, and for social media, it could mean setting a personal time limit. Here's a little side tip about that too - If you struggle with social media binging, many phones now offer a setting to help you limit your screen time. You set your own daily limit and your phone will remind you when this limit is reached.

If you notice yourself experiencing a lack of willpower or decision fatigue there are ways to overcome it. James suggests 5 habits (listed below) and goes into detail with each.

  1. Plan daily decisions the night before
  2. Do the most important thing first
  3. Stop making decisions. Start making commitments
  4. If you have to make good decisions later in the day, then eat something first.
  5. Simplify.

For more information on decision fatigue and how to make good decisions, refer to the full article here. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want help getting started on your goals.

Here to help,

Your Financially Fit Team

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