I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading around willpower, what it is, and how it affects us.
It turns out, we generally only have a very limited supply of it, and each day, we can potentially exhaust our daily supply of willpower.

We have ‘reserves’ of willpower, that we can build up over time, but once it’s all used up, then we have to either strengthen our willpower muscle, or use it in a more deliberate and conscious manner.

Most people don’t realise it, but making a decision requires effort. So much effort, that when you have to make a consecutive number of decisions, one after the other, it can really take a toll on your wellbeing. Decision fatigue, is the inevitable consequence of living in a society with multiple choices. Where everyone wants to provide you with the personalised, customised experience, but wants you to tell them what it should be, what your preferences are, and which choices you want to make.

Chatting recently with Hamlesh, it became clearer that actually, the fundamental challenge, or problem I face, is decision overload. I have so few consistent, daily habits and rituals that I live my life by, that everyday, I’m being forced to make decisions, and choices, at every step of the way. As I use up all my energy and my reserves on making mundane decisions, that genuinely don’t contribute or add anything of significant value to my day, I end up having some really fundamentally ‘down’ days. Days when there isn’t much happening in terms of forward progress. Days when I don’t feel the strength, or resilience to keep driving myself forward.

As I look back across my days, I realise that there are many many daily decisions that are really not at all important to me, and that I really don’t have to make, but that I end up making, through poor planning, lack of structure, and by not having daily consistent, recognisable habits and behaviours.
The daily rituals of my life, are at present unstructured, and undefined. I end up passing through a day falling into and out of habits more by chance, and circumstance, than through deliberate behaviour, and action.

It’s not for lack of trying. Believe me, I’ve been trying to re-establish structured behaviours, habits and routines for a while now. However, as I discovered during my recent Advanced Level 1 course with the IAC, Focus, and Prioritisation are my key challenges. I need to get better at choosing the activities, and prioritise what’s important, and which order I need to do things in, as I get that more automated, and habitual, I’ll be able to do more with less. I know that it’s just a matter of getting a few simple regular, structured habits/behaviours in place, and they’ll provide the framework, or scaffolding upon which I can build the rest of my life upon. All I need to do now, is discover and cultivate the most critical daily habits, that will form the foundation, or bedrock, of my daily life.

Once those are in place, the rest of my life will be able to be built on top of those foundations, being fully supported, and completely solid and deep in it’s roots. Just determining which habit I begin with, is the real challenge. Perhaps like so much else in life, we have to keep trying, and learning, until we figure out what works for us.

On that note, I’m going to prioritise my sleep now, get this blog post published, and then call it a night.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about what you have done to reduce the number of decisions you make each day? How have you simplified, or cut back in your life? What’s the results or consequences that you experience, of having discipline or leading a decision-less life?

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