“An easy or obvious conclusion, decision, solution, task, etc.; something requiring little or no thought.” (according to Webster’s)
If it’s hot outside and you have been working hard in the heat, you’re probably thirsty, right? (Right.) If someone, a good friend or your significant other, offers you an ice-cold bottle of water, will you accept it? 100% yes, without really thinking about it.
That same person asks if you want to go out to dinner tonight. Before answering, you think about your new low carb lifestyle, if you have anything to wear, the fact that money is tight, and you’ll need to get a sitter or ask your significant other to watch the baby, and suddenly you are frozen. You also don’t want to upset this person, because, after all, they did bring you a frosty bottle of water. You’re now in the midst of a complicated bout of anxiety, brought on by a simple fucking question. Sound familiar? I know it’s a dumb example, but our brains will spin out over something so simple as a good friend or your sweetie asking you to go out to dinner with them, which usually turns out to be fun.
We make a million and 4 decisions a day. Some of them require no thought at all, and some actually require careful consideration, and some really don’t require MUCH consideration, but we complicate the fuck out of them until we either decide to do whatever it is, or think ourselves out of it. If it’s something that doesn’t make us uncomfortable at all, it’s usually pretty easy. Something as innocuous as swigging on a bottle of ice-cold water on a hot day.
I am currently trying to create structure in my life. Working from home, growing a business, and managing another, direct selling business I have had for over 5 years. It takes focus, structure and consistency. I am also focused on my health, as I am no spring chicken anymore. Getting up and moving for at least hour is crucial to my mental and physical health, as is planning meals and drinking ample water. I also have small kids, their schedules, their activities, and their social life. There are a lot of balls in the air at times, but I have 16 hours of awake time in a day, and if I am focused and have a structured schedule, I can get most of it covered, as well as down time, and time to just gaze lovingly into Trey’s blue eyes.
I work for myself. I set my schedule as far as my workday goes. Each of those components requires a decision. Alarm goes off. Do I hit the snooze? I have an hour before I need to get the kids up for school, so if I do get up, I can meditate, get started on some writing, prepare for any appointments I have, make some coffee, take a shower, and be fresh, awake, and have a sense of calm by the time I wake up the kids for school. Sounds like a great plan. A “no brainer” of a plan. Pretty certain if I stick to this no brainer of a plan, I’ll have a good day, or at least have a fighting change of one.
But here come those distractions, those old habits, the phone, social media, the snooze button, my warm Sleep Number bed, just 10 more minutes. Suddenly “Amy’s no brainer awesome day plan” is not so important anymore. Hell, drive the kids to school in my pajamas. I can come back home and do all the things. I start making bargains with myself. “It’s okay, you’re tired, you should just chill today.” See where I’m going with this? A “no brainer “doesn’t take a lot of thought at all. You just do it. But bad habits like procrastinating, overthinking, and plain old “I don’t wanna” can sabotage any “no brainer” plan. Why do we procrastinate? Why do we hit the snooze? Why do we talk ourselves out of doing things that will improve our lives? Because it’s UNCOMFORTABLE to get out of bed early, go to the gym when it’s cold outside (or too hot), it’s hard to write when you don’t feel it. It takes effort. It takes discipline.
And then there are the big, life changing decisions, like for instance, starting a coaching business. People have told me that I am a great writer, that I am inspiring, that they value my input, that they have been helped by my open sharing about my experiences.
And there is the gut feeling that I was put on this earth to be a messenger. I have walked through and recovered from some traumatic shit, and I am not only surviving, I am thriving. The thought of helping someone else through similar obstacles is what gets me up in the morning. NO BRAINER, right? I could have easily said, “I don’t know how to build a website, who am I to become a coach? No one will hire me, I can’t go back to school, I’m too old.
But I didn’t do those things. I treated this decision like a “NO BRAINER”! I went for it! Enrolled in a certification program which is HARD and expensive, especially for someone who hasn’t been in school since 1987, we created our website, blog, have created content consistently (even when I’m not feeling it, or have total writer’s block) We get discouraged that it isn’t an overnight sensation, but we have been consistent, and that has been a huge deal for me. My word for 2019 was Consistency. I didn’t know in January just what that would look like. WOW!
So how do you start treating decisions like a “no brainer”? Noticing your thoughts is the first step. You have a though about something you’d like to try, you’re genuinely excited about the idea. Then what happens? Do you start dissecting the idea? Designing scenarios of what might possibly happen? Notice where your thoughts go.
STOP!! Tell yourself “This is a no brainer, so brain, fuck off, you’re not needed, take a coffee break!”
ACTION. Deciding to get up with that alarm at 6 is a decision. Make it a no brainer, meaning don’t even think about it. There is no choice in the matter. You just get up and do the next thing, turn on the shower. Like a freakin’ robot. Next? Get dressed and go have a coffee and sit down and write. Next thing? Do it. Next thing? Do it. Notice your day. Move forward. It may be uncomfortable and take a little extra focus, but if you just do it, and do it, and do it again, you have created a new habit.
Do you have dreams, and your gut tells you it’s what you should be doing? Then that second thought slides in and causes you to hesitate? Do you squash the idea with doubt, or fear of the consequences? Or do you just decide it’s too hard to get started?
How about this one. You’ve tried stuff before only to fizzle out after a little while? Huh? Sound familiar? I used to do that too. You get all excited about something, start, and then get bored or it gets hard, and before you know it. Your fantastic idea is no longer a priority. You then tell yourself it was a stupid idea anyway. It could have been amazing, but you’ll never know now, because your brain talked you right out of it. Try treating any decision that could positively impact your life as a “no brainer.” Take immediate action, and every day when you are faced with the decision to do the things, or blow it off, say, “This is a no brainer! Keep going? Shut up, brain!” I know it sounds kind of corny but try it! And watch your life transform.