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  • Writer's pictureJack

Set yourself up to win: reduce friction

If you feel like you’re constantly having to choose between “being good” and hitting snooze or indulging your cravings, then you might need to change either your environment and/or your mindset.

Ultimately, “being good” like “being healthy” is a phrase I associate mostly with people my mum’s age, who’ve only had two slices of cake this week.

If you want to be good in a meaningful way, why not give the original video a like and me a follow on Instagram.

For many of us, on top of work, on top of family commitments, on top of life admin, making decisions can be stressful. Reducing the number of decisions you have to make, then, can reduce these feelings of stress.

If you struggle to get up in the morning but want to start going to the gym, laying your clothes out, having your pre-workout meal mostly prepped and putting your alarm on the other side of the room before you go to sleep removes decisions with energy and stress costs on the morning of and thus can make it easier to get up and go. You don’t have to think, you just do.

Similarly, when hunger inevitably hits, you’ll more often reach for the nearest or easiest thing. If you can make this fruit, or a batch-cooked meal that you love to eat that tastes delicious rather than something less calibrated to your goals, then, suddenly you’re not making a decision, you’re resolving your hunger by eating something you like that you know is good for you.

No guilt, no stress, no thoughts of falling off track, you’re simply doing what’s easiest. You don’t choose between being good and falling off track, instead, you simply reduce the number of decisions you might have to make ahead of time. And future you will thank you for it.

Psychologists call this aspect of habit formation "reducing friction" - the easier you make it to adopt a habit, the quicker that habit can stick (good or bad). And, from experience, my being good, like my being healthy - as my mum and her friends sometimes describe it - is more about being organised and solving problems before they occur than it is a matter of willpower or discipline.

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