Simplify Your Decision-Making Process With This…

My wife is a pastry chef. She concocts irresistible desserts. When people taste her desserts, they ask for more.

Recently, my wife baked delicious mini chocolate cupcakes and sent me with a batch of about 10 of these delicacies to deliver to people she knows at my workplace.

As I was distributing the treats, putting smiles on the lips of this group of sugar-hungry coworkers, one of them—a usual—declined the sugar fix, to my amazement. She resisted the irresistible.

Puzzled, I asked her why the change of heart since my last dessert delivery.

She explained that sweets are her kryptonite (her weakness) and that, to change her ways, she had established a simple rule for herself: no treats. She emphasized that she isn’t making any exceptions, otherwise, unable to resist, she would fight with herself every time someone offers her a treat.

By establishing this rule, she simplified her whole decision-making process related to sweets. It took her 5 seconds to hear my offer and 1 second to say, “No, thank you”. 6 seconds in total. Done. Without that rule, she would have debated with herself, asked me all sorts of questions about the desert, and would have either guiltily swallowed it or end up declining the offer after 6 minutes of deliberation.

To simplify your decision-making process—at least partially as it relates to an area of your life—establish simple rules for yourself. Once established, these rules make future decisions far simpler. For example, if you establish the rule that you don’t eat out on weekdays, then it makes it easy for you to decline invitations to eat out on weekdays.

An easy way for you to begin establishing rules for yourself is to think about your values and your vision.

Rules Based on Your Values

Your values are what you stand for. When you establish clear values and commit to them, you implicitly establish rules for yourself that simplify your decision-making process.

For example, if you have made the decision (the rule) that you’re going to be totally honest, no matter what, then when presented with a dubious opportunity, you don’t waste time thinking about how you can make it work; you decline it immediately.

Rules Based on Your Vision

Your vision is where you are taking your life. It’s the direction you’ve established for an area of your life.

For example, if your vision is that you live with a vibrant health for many years, then you might do like my coworker and establish the “No-treats” rule (or a variation of it) for yourself. This rule makes future decisions easy.

By establishing rules for yourself, you simplify your decision-making process because you eliminate (or significantly reduce) the time you spend deliberating with yourself (or with the person making you the offer).

Of course, because you change, your rules can change over time. It’s possible that in 6 months, my coworker comes and asks me if I have any treats from my wife stuffed in one of my drawers. Who knows?