Yet Another post on willpower.
Having good defaults is to me the most important way to self-improvement. While there are new things I would add to my life, let us be honest most of the time I am doing things I have done before, maybe not the exact same thing but similar things. Trying to improve your life in any way means change, and when time and willpower are low you are defaulting back to what you know works.
Did you ever wanted to cook something healthy but then ate a frozen pizza? That is what I am talking about.
Having to choose, and having to choose against your first instinct - something that worked in the past - is depleting your willpower. One way of bringing yourself to the new normal you want is eliminating choices.
As an example:
So if my goal is to eat healthier and drink water instead of soda I could do the following to reduce the willpower needed:
- walk instead of drive to the store: you likely will not buy large quantities of soda as you will have to carry them.
- start shopping with a fruit/vegetables only store, if you already bought lots of them you are less likely to buy junk
- have healthier things in plain view or at eye level in the fridge
- on the road? keep water with you
- No frozen pizza in the freezer, find better options
While these seem might silly, in a pinch when you just want something to drink or something to eat it will help you avoid making bad choices. In case you are picky you have the willpower to pick what you indented to.
These defaults are what advertisers try to change. When I first started living alone and had to buy everyday items like toilet paper, dishwashing soap and toothpaste what I ended up buying could be put into two categories: 1 the things my mother bought for the family, 2 brands that looked familiar.