Designing Your Environment to Make Good Decisions Obvious

We often think – ‘Why did I make that choice?’ which even seconds after felt wrong. Habits are reinforced pathways between neurons that need time to level up with other unwalked territory. What this means is that by the time you can make a ‘real’ decision in that the decision is minimally influenced by previous action you need to make your choices obvious.

Do you want to replace unhealthy snacks with fruits? Don’t buy snacks in the first place or if you do buy them – give them away or simply bin them. Are sugary drinks a challenge for you? Make water the obvious choice. You want to reduce the time you spend on your phone? Put the phone away from your visual field and silence it.

These are not superhuman techniques, but they do give us a superhuman power: the power to trade repetitive unhealthy but comfortable decisions by making one decision that prevents questioning later down the line. When the positive choice is obvious we won’t go out of our way for a negative option.

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On a journey to overcome self-imposed limitations.

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