Make Healthy Decisions Easier

Dan DeFigioBehavior and Mindfulness

making healthy decisions easy

There are many ways to make healthy decisions easier, but here’s a big one.

Many of my readers report that they put off making nutrition and lifestyle improvements because making changes seems like a big, hairy, overwhelming monster. They’re afraid to “get started.”

Here’s one big reason why changes seem so scary:

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably fallen victim to the “I’ll start doing better when ____” intentions.

“I’ll start my ‘diet’ on Monday.”

“I’ll start exercising when things calm down at work.”

“I quit sugar — starting tomorrow.”

These are good intentions, but in reality they are just versions of the dreaded All-Or-Nothing thinking!

This kind of thinking is basically saying “I abdicate decisions until a future date, but after that date I resolve to make ALL my decisions perfect.”

No wonder healthy improvements seem overwhelming! You’re telling yourself “I’ll do nothing until ___, but after that I expect to change everything.”

What are you waiting for? Your next decision is minutes away!
If you want to make different decisions, do it at the very next decision point — not one next week.

Here’s a harsh reality check to consider:

If you tell yourself “I’ll start my diet on Monday,” what you’re also implying is that you’ll make zero effort towards healthy food choices until then. All or nothing.

If you tell yourself “I’ll start exercising when things calm down at work,” what you’re also implying is that you’ll schedule zero time for physical activity until sometime in the future when you somehow feel more peaceful and in control. All or nothing.

If you promise to “quit sugar tomorrow,” that probably means that you’re giving yourself permission to eat your weight in desserts for the next 12 hours. All or nothing.

Healthy choices or unhealthy choices. Exercising or not exercising. Planning your food or grabbing whatever you can find. These are all decisions that come your way multiple times each day.

making healthy decisions river

These ongoing decisions are like a river of choices. One goes by and the next one comes right after it. Some choices you’ll be proud of, others you’ll wish you would have done differently.

But they’re coming, one after the other, like it or not.

Don’t ignore them all until some arbitrary future time, after which you expect yourself to do everything perfectly.

Just choose at the next decision the way you want to.

Then get the one after that.

When you regret one, don’t beat yourself up. You haven’t “ruined everything.” You don’t have to “start all over.” Just get the next decision right.

I say this all the time but it bears repeating:

“Gaining or losing weight is nothing but a series of ongoing decisions. You’ll get the results from whatever you do most of the time.”

Don’t wait until __(insert arbitrary time here)____ to start making better decisions. Making your next decision doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just take them one at a time (that’s your only option, by the way).


Get help with healthy decisions, meal planning, accountability, and staying on track: Contact Dan DeFigio for options.