Be Content with Small Steps

fat man eating hamburger seated on armchair

I don’t know where to begin with this guy. From the dusty old CRT TV, the vintage dial radio, the nipple ring, and living in a half finished basement – this guy has officially given up. He may as well drape himself in velvet for his next job interview.

Hopefully you’ve made some better choices than my friend above.

But let me ask you, have you ever found yourself drained at the end of your work day? If like me, you’ve answered yes – we may not be too far off from this context.

Imagine this scenario, you have a new goal this week to eat healthy, spend more time with the family, and to exercise more regularly.

You get off to a great start. From breakfast through lunch, been extremely busy, but overall you still made some great choices. You even bypassed the vending machine during your 3pm jaunt to the water cooler. By the time 5 pm hits, it’s time to go home. You have every intention to eat a healthy dinner, do some cardio, help your kids with homework, and get some QT with your significant other.

But before you get home you realize how famished you are! You feel like you haven’t eaten in 48 hours. You swing by the nearest fast-food joint and inhale the #2 value meal. (Thought process: you’ve eaten healthy all day, what’s a #2 value meal going to hurt now?)

By the time you get home, you know you still have to help the kids, but all you want to do is veg out in front of the TV and take a nap (Thought process: you’ve worked hard today to finish your projects, you deserve some R&R).

Goodbye healthy eating, no workout, no homework, and no quality family time.

You have succumbed to what researchers have deemed “decision fatigue.”

Have you heard of decision fatigue?

According to Wikipedia: “Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.”

Making hard decisions during the day will impair your ability to make good decisions in the evening.

In order to reduce the risk of decision fatigue, commit to implementing change in small and incremental ways first. You’re not going to go from couch to marathon in a week. You’re not going to go from an all-you-can-eat fast food binge to a hipster-patchouli-wearing-vegan diet in a day.

No one goes from all-you-can-eat-chocolate-covered-burgers to hipster-patchouli-vegan diet in a day. Click To Tweet

Start small with change.

If you are trying to change too much and too drastically in one setting, you will find your brain over-fatigued and unable to make rational decisions.

If you want to stick to a new change, make sure it’s small and manageable, where you don’t even have to think about it. It’s just a part of your life.

Don’t be afraid of small changes.

Small changes ensure you’ll stick with it longer.

“You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance.” ~ Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken



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