1 Easy Habit to Help You Make Better Decisions (and stop ordering ice cream on Doordash)

It's simple but impactful. It only works with a ton of practice.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
—Mark Twain


Losing weight is hard. But we can make it easier.

Right now, I’m about 15 pounds over where I’d like to be. Thanks a lot pandemic.

It’s frustrating but not so frustrating that I’m beating myself up over it.

Later on, I’ll tell you about one simple habit you can get started. After all, new habits are how we change our behavior.

But first, it’s helpful to know why I need this new habit.

Does life feel extra crazy for everyone or is just me?

I’m stressed about growing my business, the Delta variant is here to stay, climate change is rapidly altering the landscape here in the Pacific Northwest United States, I want a dog, and the holiday season is around the corner.

😰

To make matters worse, I've realized that I’m a terrible decision-maker. But I’m determined to improve.

So yesterday, I went to the library and rented out a room with a giant whiteboard in it. I started sketching, scribbling, and taking notes like a madman. I had one question in mind …

How can I start making better decisions?

I left the room and gathered a few books about decision-making, executive management, and even poker.

I wanted to get in the mindset of a great decision maker by borrowing the knowledge from the best decision-makers.

Monkey read, monkey be—or something like that.

Then, I found it … something useful!

In Michael Mauboussin’s book Think Twice, he says that decision-making is like any other skill; it requires a ton of practice.

That’s a helpful reframe but how can I practice?

Here’s what I found:

You can keep a Decision-Making Journal. Smarter people have talked about this before, too.

Take Farnam Street for example:

A decision journal helps you learn from past decisions, think through current decisions, and avoid problems before they happen. —fs.blog

What does this look like in practice?

A decision-making journal might have prevented me from gaining 15 unwanted pounds during a global pandemic. This again? Yes. This again.

Here’s what an entry might’ve looked like 6 months ago …


Decision: order ice cream on DoorDash
How I came to it: I want ice cream real bad
Expectation: I’ll enjoy my ice cream and be happy with my choice. I deserve it
What happened: I woke up in the middle of the night with regret and stomach pain


Like a root canal, tracking your decisions and reflecting on them is uncomfortable but impactful. Over time, we can change our behaviors and take on new ones that we admire.

Like going to the gym or cooking the food we bought for the week. Or maybe I’ll stop buying industrial sized bags of spinach at Costco.

Decision-making is a muscle

From here on out, I’m committed to making better decisions. Like a muscle, I need to train. I need deliberately practice my decision-making.

Along the way, I’d love to share what I’m learning and help you make better decisions.

If this resonated with you and you’d like more content about decision-making, hit the like button below.

Until tomorrow,
Jake