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How to Eliminate Decision Fatigue (And Why it will Change Your Life)

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Have you ever walked into the kitchen so hungry, tired and worn out that you open the cupboards and fridge and… ...nothing. You just stare. You’re unable to figure out what to make. You’re too impatient to order in. But you’re incapable of drawing up the will to cook something yourself?

You may have experienced what's known as decision fatigue. Eliminating it from your day will improve your work and home life. You’ll crush your fitness goals. And you’ll have more energy all day long. Download my Easy Life Cheat Sheet, so you will:

  • Learn how to plan ahead for success

  • Have consistent energy all day long

  • Feel in control of your life

So what exactly is decision fatigue?

From Wikipedia: "In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making."

Which brings us to India, of all places. I went to India for almost two months on my own back in 2015. My first big trip alone, I didn't really know what I had gotten myself into until 7 hours into a 14 hour flight. That’s when the panic attack came in.

I didn't sleep through the first 30 hours of my journey. I had no appetite for airplane food. I drained 100% of my mental energy going over in my head how I was going to get myself out of this mess.

When I made it to Mumbai International, my second-to-last connection, I couldn’t think of anything to do except find a plug.A plug of all things! What I needed was a hot meal, rest, and to get into fresh clothes, but I wasted hours on such a silly need as staying connected to the world I left behind.

After a few more hours of travel, everything worked out and I made it to my destination.I ended up finding one of my favorite places in the world.

This experience made me take a hard look at how much energy is consumed when faced with the need to make big decisions, especially with a lack of sleep, little food, and an anxious mind. But this problem isn’t just for major life-changing moments. it happens on a daily basis fopr many people.

My 33 year-old client Karen always came to every single training session, and gave me a great effort every time. She was getting stronger. But her body fat remained unchanged for weeks. After some discussion we figured out why.

Even though Karen starts her day with a great workout session, by the time she gets home in the evening from her job as a supervisor, she doesn’t know what to make for dinner. She would literally stand in the kitchen clueless, tired and stressed, until she caved in and ordered take-out food.

So here was the plan I put Karen on to get her diet on track: 1. Take a few hours on a weekend day and make a rough plan of what the week ahead looks like.

2. List all meals needed, and from that create a grocery list.

3. Grocery shop and meal prep that same evening, having everything ready for meals as far in advance as possible. Pre-washing and cut fruits and veggies as needed, bundle together ingredients for meals, and make everything as effortless as possible. That way, no matter how the day went, Karen had no trouble preparing quick, easy, and healthy meals for herself.

This happens to us daily, often more subtly, with each decision we make. From the moment we wake, one of two things happen: 1. We make decisions on things that guide us through the day...clothes, food, chores, errands.


2. We unconsciously execute habits that have been developed over months to years of repetition to streamline our actions.

Think: how many times you drive to work without realizing you just drove to work...or do you consciously think about how to tie your shoe or how to brew a pot of coffee?

The best way to avoid being out of decisions to make is to develop habits that compliment the life you want to live. Repeating certain behaviors, over and over and over...eventually (some say 30 days of repetition) become unconscious habits...just like brewing a pot of coffee.

Understanding this idea that you only have so many decisions in a day can help set you up to keep with your fitness goals, and really have a more stable and enjoyable life.

Want more ideas to reduce the amount of decisions you have to make in a day? Download my Easy Life Cheat Sheet, so you will:

  • Learn how to plan ahead for success

  • Have consistent energy all day long

  • Feel in control of your life

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