Your mission… should you choose to accept it… is to eliminate decision fatigue from your days and weeks! But first, let me explain how we did exactly that…
First, I will need to go back to August 2015. August 2015 was a pivotal time in my life. It not only brought an end to one chapter in my life, but it also brought an incredible opportunity for me to decide. ...to decide how I would proceed with the rest of my life. How to proceed in my body - now that my body was finally my own after nearly a 6 year stretch of time of being pregnant or breastfeeding, or both. Those six years were a God-given blessing because they gave us two absolutely beautiful, amazing, healthy, smart, awesome children. We realize the magnitude of this blessing and gift. Even more so because of a miscarriage in the beginning of those 6 years. Yet… at the same time those years were so incredible and sacred, they were also what I’ll call a 6 year darkness. It’s so fascinating how it can be both at the same time. What I’m discovering in life, though, are these dichotomies - how things can and are two ‘things’ at the same time. I will speak more about this 6 year darkness and maybe even about the beauty of dichotomies, in future posts; but for today’s post, I will leave it at this…. that August 2015 was a pivotal point in my life.
Because I’m wired the way I’m wired, I got busy right away! Why in the world would I waste another minute?! I shot out of the gate with goals, ambitions and things to accomplish and change.
Since I’m a teacher, August is a unique time of year for me anyway. With each new school year comes a new routine. The creation of that year’s new routine was especially fun! Also, since I was done breastfeeding, this meant normalized hormones and that my body was finally my own… it came time to FINALLY schedule in workouts for myself. However, with us both commuting and wanting to eat healthier, we knew it would be a Herculean task to get it all in. AND to make it all a consistent, do-able, habit. The goal was to consistently juggle all of those balls in the air at once… week after week… without getting stressed about it. Or letting one fall. And still being able to have time to spare - for fun, and for schedule changes like parent-teacher conferences at school or kids’ sports and activities. We basically wanted it all ;) Don’t we all?
At the previous pace/way we were going, we wouldn’t have had the time to let me squeeze in any workouts. Heck, this fact (along with the toll of breastfeeding) was the very reason working out had been at the bottom of our priority list for most of those 6 years. So we had to get creative. We needed to find areas we could streamline in our lives so that we could then put energy into other things/decisions.
We decided a good place to start would be to take the thinking out of “What’s for supper?” and “What should we have for lunch?” and also out of our weekly grocery shopping. We created a meal plan. Over time our weekly meal plan has become even simpler and simpler, to the current tune of 5-7 basic supper options and that we each eat the same lunch 6 out of 7 days of our week. STAY TUNED for a post and an EBook about our streamlined chicken lunches! **Sign up for my email newsletter by clicking the Newsletter tab, above, and maybe you will be one of 5 lucky winners to receive the EBook for FREE before it’s released!**
So, now I’ve told you a little bit about the theory and thinking behind why and what we do in our lives in terms of meal plans, grocery shopping, workout schedules, etc. WE HAVE TO… otherwise there wouldn’t be enough of our energy, or our time, or our “daily-decision-allowance” left over to spend the way we’d like to spend it. Which leads me to explain...
Around the time we began implementing our meal plan and we structured our weekly schedule, I listened to an incredibly helpful podcast, The Vital Way, by Logan Christopher His guest that day was Tyler Bramlett and their topic was “Habit Change.” We were led to Logan Christopher by Eric Fiorillo’s podcast, Motivation and Muscle. Logan is a regular guest on Eric’s show. I’m sure you’ve heard me discuss Eric and his podcast in previous posts :)
A little background on Logan Christopher…
Born without genetic gifts, a weak and scrawny Logan Christopher sought out the best training information in his pursuit of super strength, mind power and radiant health. Nowadays, he’s known for his famous feats of pulling an 8,800 lb. firetruck by his hair, juggling flaming kettlebells, supporting half a ton in the wrestler’s bridge and more. He is the author of many books, a coach and a public speaker. Discover how you too can become super strong, both mentally and physically, at www.LegendaryStrength.com and find the superior herbs to support all aspects of your performance at www.LostEmpireHerbs.com.
His guest that day, Tyler Bramlett, is known as the Garage Warrior. He describes himself as a fat kid turned personal trainer and boot camp owner. He is now an online fitness expert.
The entire hour-long podcast is very helpful. I highly recommend you listen to it. Minutes 37:42 → 42:16 were especially helpful to us and really stood out as something to implement in our lives as we moved forward in making changes. I took the time to write down what Logan and Tyler said in this portion of the podcast so that you, too, can benefit from their insight. Read on. I hope it helps you understand why we do what we do and also sparks something in you that will help you to eliminate decision fatigue in your life as well!
Tyler Bramlett: I think everybody, for the most part, needs to take little baby steps, consistently, over a long period of time, until those things become a part of your life.
Logan Christopher: Right, I think that’s the important part when we’re talking about habits, right? I mean, …anyone who does that for awhile is going to have a perceptive shift. They’re going to see benefits that come from it. At that point, I’d say most people are going to continue doing it and really the whole point of something becoming a habit, something that you habitually do - it’s where you do it automatically. You don’t need to consciously think. …You don’t need willpower to do it anymore. Because you’ve sort of verified those benefits to yourself. You’ve gotten the value out of it. And it’s no longer an issue … it’s a thing for you to do. It just becomes automatic. And when you get to that point , I mean, that’s where the benefits [are]. Because according to a lot of the willpower research out there… it’s a finite kind of resource that we have, that replenishes each day with sleep, but we can only do so much. So that’s the whole purpose of getting these health routines as habits. Something we do automatically. So that we don’t need to spend our willpower on that. Then we can move on to the next big thing. You know, we can spend our willpower on whatever else we’re working on at that time. This other stuff is taken care of automatically.
TB: I love how you brought that up - the finite amount of willpower; because a lot of people don’t know this, right? That in your day, you have a certain amount of decisions you can make effectively. … Everybody here has probably felt mentally fatigued - hard day at work, stressful day, whatever. Something happened in your life; you’re super-stressed. And you know, someone says “What do you want to eat for dinner?” And you can’t make that decision. You’re just like, “I have no idea. I’m just so _____. I’m not there. I can’t make that decision.” That’s decision fatigue. And that happens to every single one of us and each one of us has a different number of decisions we can make effectively throughout the day. But what you need to do is minimize the decisions that are not as important as you might think. ... So if you look at some of the most successful people in the world - they don’t wake up and … pick out their outfits. They don’t think about breakfast and lunch and dinner. They have somebody bring them breakfast, they have somebody press their outfit, and lay it out for them; they have somebody bring them dinner, right? They’re basically creating a lifestyle around them that’s systematic so that they can focus on the big decisions they can make. So they can have their laser-like precision when something like that happens. Now, I’m not suggesting you have to hire … a personal assistant to press your clothes and cook meals for you or what not, but if you have a routine that you can do consistently… I’ll give you a simple example; the way I typically do my weeks. Let’s just go on nutrition… Monday through Thursday I generally fast, most of the day. I just usually have dinner and eat whatever my wife’s cooking… and that just comes down to her choosing to cook healthy, which she does. So it’s usually meat, vegetables, starch. Really simple. And then Friday/Saturday we’ll… eat out or eat at home. And make something a little bitmore flavorful, like some gluten-free pasta or something like that. ...Then on Sunday we usually go over to her parent’s… house for dinner and we typically have …a meat, vegetable, starch kind of thing over there, too. ...Saturday/Sunday I tend to eat breakfast or something like that as well, so I don’t do fasting every single day. ...That’s become so habitual… it’s just so easy for me to go from day to day and just kinda do that. That I don’t really even have to think about it anymore. And then I don’t have to make as many decisions… Maybe on Friday I’ll make a decision about what I really want to enjoy eating. But for the rest of the week it’s not that hard. You know? And the less decisions you have to make in your life - the easier it will be to make good ones when the time comes. Because, ultimately, the reason why you’re going to Taco Bell and you’re eating desserts and you’re drinking too much booze at night is because your day is over and you’ve had to make thousands of tiny decisions and you’re just done. You’re done making decisions. And so your brain can not make a good decision. It will just make whatever decision sound most pleasurable at the time. And that’s usually, you know, get a little tipsy,
LC: Get some sugar.
TB: Watch TV too late, and ya, eat sugar, and sit on the couch instead of go to the gym. You know, like all these different poor decisions… Ya, decision fatigue is a huge one. Try not to be the person who has to make every decision all the time - ALL THE TIME - in your life. You know, if you’re married, assign decisions to each one of you that you’re responsible for to keep you guys in these health habits. And then allow the freedom to have debates about things you want to do in addition to that.
Brilliant! Now, go! Eliminate Decision Fatigue from your days and weeks!
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I am a wife, mom to two and teacher. I have a lot of things I'd like to go after in this lifetime!