I read these tips from The Levo League on how to decrease decision fatigue, including one I am going to adopt: have the same thing for breakfast. To peer into the refrigerator trying to decide what I am going to eat can be exhausting, especially so early in the morning.
I recently finished The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (Add me on Goodreads and see what I’m reading here!). For the brain to think about every single decision we are making is energy-consuming. By forming these routine neural pathways we take mental shortcuts to make our actions automatic, which can be good and bad. The book also gives suggestions to create or change new habits- my favorite part! First step to changing a habit is to identify the cue, the routine, and the reward.
For this summer, I wanted to build some healthy habits. Mainly waking up earlier and working out in the mornings. Especially since it is getting hotter, I find that if I don’t go to the gym when it is cool outside, I definitely will not make it there when it starts heating up.
First week of summer has ended and I’m pretty happy with my “progress”. I’ve been napping every day, writing a lot of emails, and reading a lot. You’ll see Living History has been on my “Currently reading” list for a long time… I’m now halfway through it, and the timing is perfect because Madame President is happening.
Like eating vegetarian was rough at first. I didn’t know what to eat! I was eating PB&J sandwiches, pretzels, and oatmeal half the time. I was pretty stressed out figuring out vegetarian eating during crazy-busy dental school this was another stress in itself. Now grocery shopping and menu planning comes naturally. The initial phase was rough but now it’s automatic.
It’s so much easier to do things on the list that don’t matter. Sometimes I think the point of making a to do list is so I can organize things into categories: things I must do to be happy and things I will do to procrastinate making myself happy.
What you really need to know is that you will ruin your life if you don’t do the most important thing on your list every day. We get self-esteem from getting things done that matter. Not everything on our list matters to us. There is stuff that is there because it should be there, like things that involve making money, and there is stuff there because it fills our soul. You have to do the stuff that makes you feel good about yourself. Do it first. I put it off for a week, and it ruined my week.
Doing that first thing takes extra focus because the thing that matters most is the thing that’s hardest to do – it’s easier to do something when there’s nothing at stake.
I was making my to-do list at volunteering yesterday and another volunteer asked me, “Are you writing in your diary?” That’s how long my to-do list was. I get too much fulfillment out of crossing things out until the last one left is the most important one I’ve been putting off. So touche, Penelope.
Go do your #1 item on your to-do list right now! And… what’s your favorite vegetarian dish?