Did you know that people in the supermarket are more likely to buy items that are placed on eye level height? One reason for that is that we see it immediately. It’s basically the “default-decision”.
Your surroundings are very important for your life because they largely determine how your life plays out. Whether you’re healthy or sick, whether your stress or relaxed, etc.
I first read about this concept on the blog from James Clear and it does make so much sense.
In his own words:
“If you optimize the default decisions in your life, rather than accepting whatever is handed to you, then it will be easier to live a better life.”
That’s really powerful. But what are default decisions?
You can imagine those like the items at the eye level in the supermarket. It’s the things you do without thinking because your environment is built they way to make these decisions your default decisions.
Let me give you a few negative examples.
- If you’re keeping junk food all over your kitchen it is likely that you will indulge in it.
- If you’re keeping your gym clothes somewhere deep in your closet it is less likely that you are going to exercise.
- If you want to read more, but keep your phone instead of books on your nightstand it’s more likely that you rather check Facebook than books.
Of course, there are also positive ways to make default decisions:
- Keeping a bowl of nuts instead of chips nearby will make it less likely that you are going for unhealthy snacks.
- If you let your electronics in another room before going to bed, it is more likely that your sleep won’t be disrupted by them.
- If you keep your jogging shoes by the door it is more likely that you put them on and go out for a run.
In order to make the best out of your life, you should upgrade your default decisions.
There are several things you can do to create better default decisions.
- Simplify: Turn down the noise around you. If you want to read a book, turn off your phone and PC. If you want to read an article, close the browser tabs.
- Visualize the thing you want to accomplish. If it’s a habit you want to take up use the “Don’t break the chain or Seinfeld method. It goes like this. Get a big wall calendar and mark each day when you are doing your thing. After a couple of days, you will create a chain of marks. You only goal is to never break the chain.
- Change your environment: Instead of your phone put books on your nightstand. Instead of a TV put a yoga mat in your living room.
There is always some little thing you can do for your health. Don’t let others decide how your life has to be, but create it for yourself.