The Sneaky Habit That's Draining You
Spring is officially on its way, and it’s the time when I really start thinking about the next chapter in my life and business. It’s the perfect time to declutter, ditch what’s not working, and dig in to move forward. One massive change I’ve made this year is in my diet.
Last month I missed out on this incredible business retreat, because I came down with the flu just a few days before. It was the first big investment I’d made in myself and my biz, so the disappointment hit me hard. Fortunately, once I was ready to move past the pity party, it inspired me to make a big change. I decided to meet with a functional medicine doctor (after watching this interview), because I was tired of always getting sick. The first change she recommended was trying a 3-week elimination diet. I cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, corn, peanuts, and shellfish to give my immune system a chance to get back to health.
What I didn’t expect was the diet having an impact on my work and business! Once I cut out the garbage in my diet, I had more energy, but it was more than that. I realized just how much mental energy food had been taking from me. I was always feeling like I should be eating healthier or obsessing about whether or not I was going to “splurge” at a party or over the weekend. Once I made the decision that I was not going to eat certain foods, the mental drama stopped right there. There was nothing to over-analyze, because the decision was already made. That freed up a lot of brain space for creativity.
We Only Have So Much Mental Energy
Studies show that we wake up in the morning with a finite amount of willpower and mental energy. As we use it up during the day, there isn’t much left by the time you get home from work - this phenomenon is called decision fatigue. That means that if your brain is constantly making small decisions like what to wear, if you should eat that cupcake, which route to take, you’re not going to have much left to do things like commit to a workout or work on your side hustle at the end of the day.
Even though most decisions we make throughout the day are small and don’t seem like a big deal, they add up. There is a reason why Steve Jobs wore the same thing everyday and Tim Ferris has eaten the same breakfast for years.
Now you don’t need to rock a black turtleneck for the rest of your life to save your mental energy, but start brainstorming what you could do. Maybe you could set out your clothes every night, so you start each morning fresh. Or commit to getting serious about your health. Here are a few steps to get you started.
Don’t Look Back
Once you make a decision that you feel good about, stick to it. Oftentimes it’s the constant back and forth that drains us. The word decide actually comes from latin words that mean to cut off. Make the decision, and cut off any other possibilities.
Start brainstorming some systems and processes that you could start incorporating into your daily routine. The more habits you can create, the more your brain will be able to operate on autopilot with the little stuff, reserving valuable energy for the rest of the day.
Some systems could include a morning routine, evening routine, setting out your clothes, meal prepping every Sunday, house cleaning schedule, etc.
Get Honest with Yourself
If we want to feel more energized, we have to get really honest about what drains us. I usually spend much more time thinking about working out and feeling like I don’t have time, than actually stepping on the treadmill. I also had to admit that sugar left me feeling pretty beat up.
You don’t have to make all the changes at once, but be compassionately honest with yourself, and start with one thing.
Have you noticed decision fatigue coming up in your own life? What is one strategy you’re going to implement TODAY to get back to your vibrant self? Come share your answers in the Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas!