People make bad choices all the time. Some times, people make the same bad choice again and again. Some of the same bad choices are made by a lot of people.
There isn't "one weird trick" to stop making bad choices or to avoid them altogether. You can't life hack your way out of having to make a decision about how you're going to behave.
You can, however, train and prepare yourself to make the right choices at the right times.
Think back to some of the worst decisions you've ever made. I know it sucks, but in order to do better, we have to evaluate our failures. Those bad choices you made, could you have anticipated that you would find yourself in the situation where you had to make that choice? Did the stars align in such a way as to have made it impossible to have predicted that your choices and actions would land you in a spot where you had to choose between the wrong thing and the right thing?
When we find ourselves unprepared and in a position where we have to make a choice about what to do or how to handle a situation, we're often reactive and short-sighted. These perspectives doesn't usually align with our long-term goals and plans for our lives and we end up choosing the short-term pleasure over the long-term joy.
So what can you do about it? How can you train yourself to make better choices?
There are a lot of tools you can use to do better and make better choices, but the one I want to focus on in this article is pre-decision making.
Just one more...
Try to imagine yourself in a situation where you have to make a choice. For example, imagine it's 11:30pm and you've got work tomorrow, but your buddies want to get one more round. It's easy to go with the flow and take one more drink, but you don't want to be the guy that's hung-over at work the next day.
If you walk into this situation without already having made a decision about what you're going to do, you'll probably end up taking that extra drink and maybe another. Maybe just one more for the road.
If, instead, you've already decided that you're going to punch out at 11:30, then you've got that much more strength to resist the teases from your friends when you tell them that you've got to go so you can get up early for work.
Or what about when you have to work late with your attractive co-worker? That's not an unreasonable or uncommon situation. People work late all the time.
That's right. People do have to work late all the time. Choose now whether you're going to flirt or flirt back with that cutie so that when you end up in that situation, you'll make the right choice. Better yet, take steps to make sure you don't end up in the position where you have to make this choice at all!
If your kids are like mine, there's those things that I have to continuously remind them to do or to not do. It's infuriating. It happens ALL THE TIME and it pisses me off!
Yup, all the time. It happens so often that it's predictable. That means that I can decide now how I'm going to respond to it so when it happens again I can act the way I want to instead of the way I feel. Deciding now means that when I trip on their shoes in the doorway I'm not trying to figure out what to do about it while I'm angry and hurting.