Ep 156 Decision Filters

 In Podcast

Today I want to talk to you about decision filters. When you are looking to reach your greatest desire you need tools in place to make it as easy as possible in order to set yourself up for success. Today I am talking about intention implementation questions and “if-then” filters which help you create new habits and accomplish your top goals.

In This Episode:

  • Deciding self care
  • Dr. Benjamin Hardy
  • Atomic Habits – James Clear
  • Intention implementation
  • Decision filter questions
  • Creating new habits
  • Achieving your greatest desire

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Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach and career mentor Michelle Arnold Burke, and today’s episode I’m discussing decision filters. Welcome to the richer time podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast friends. How are you doing today? I’m feeling good. And I have to tell you, there were a couple of days last week that I just felt exhausted, free. So often that happens to me, and you know what, I now actually pay attention to it. So I took some days off from working out in order to rest a little in the morning. And now I am feeling much better. Oh, trust me, my brain was still trying to tell me that I was being lazy, that I should just get downstairs and do something. But I told that negative Nelly and my head to just Pipe down. We are working on some self care here, right friends. And I am in charge of deciding what my body needs on those days. And it was exactly what the doctor ordered Dr. Burke in this case, right. And you all have the permission as well, to take some time for you make that decision. And do not bring along the guilt. Take care of you own it, don’t beat yourself up about it. You don’t always have to do it all. All of the time. A little reset can do the body good. Not to mention allows you to decompress a little so that you don’t lose it on the ones that you love. Right. Okay, speaking of decisions, today, I want to talk to you about decision filters. And I’m going to tackle it from a couple of different angles, because I think both are super fun to consider. Now, we are always making decisions, some are automatic, we just automatically decide to pull our hand away from the hot stove, for example, our subconscious takes over for us. And we might automatically throw out a curse word when we get cut off in the road. There are a lot of decisions that happen without much consideration, which is actually a good thing, for the most part because it keeps our brain efficient. Remember, our brain is designed to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and be as efficient as possible. But there are some decisions that might take a lot longer, which could be good or bad. Because sometimes we just love torturing ourselves by not making a decision at all. And I laugh because sometimes we think we aren’t making a decision. But by not deciding something, we are deciding something else. So don’t fool yourself. You know, I always say everything in life is a choice, even if it doesn’t feel like it. And I think a great example of this is me, and the ice cream aisle, I get so overwhelmed with all the options. And I remember not that long ago, I just told myself, I couldn’t decide. And so I left. But that was a decision. And I’ll tell you a little caveat here. I in general, try to minimize some decision overload in my life on things that aren’t super important, just in order to save some brainpower so that I can do more things like this, right? Being able to help for example, and sometimes I have opportunities to have dinner meetings at some pretty amazing restaurants for work. And Mark always laughs because he will ask what I’m getting for dinner, and he already knows the answer. Caesar salad, I might get a little crazy and decide between adding grilled shrimp or grilled chicken. But that’s about the extent of it. I don’t want to have to look at all of the options and decide, just keep it simple. I like to think of my Caesar salad, maybe as the equivalent of Steve Jobs black t shirt, except minor difference. Our bank accounts are not quite the same, but you get the idea right? So where in life might you be able to first take away some stress and overwhelm by minimizing decisions and increasing constraint in your life just by making the decision to simplify now A tool that might be helpful for you and doing this is what is called implementation intentions. And it’s basically a plan that you make beforehand. So I know before I go to any dinner, what I’m getting, it can be a question you ask yourself as you work towards a goal, perhaps it can also be an if then set up when starting a new habit. And we’re going to talk about both of these here. So let me give you some additional examples. I was recently listening to Dr. Benjamin Hardy, and he was talking about this British rowing team, and how they won the gold. And it was with one question, they asked themselves, so this was their decision filter. And it’s the filter by which they made every decision. And the question was, will this make the boat roll faster? So if they were offered a doughnut? Will this make the boat go faster? They considered staying out late with friends? Will this make the boat go faster? I love this idea. for work, it could even be will this get me to my number? Because face it, we do a lot of stuff. That is busy work. But is it all necessary? I’ll give you a hint. Not Usually, we like to have a sense of urgency for everything, I get it. But when everything is urgent, nothing is really urgent. And all of the emails that we raise to answer those emails are all other people’s agendas. It’s what they quote unquote, need. But does this get me to my number is a question you can ask in that instant. And I’m working on some financial goals. So I’m going to start asking myself, does this help me get the beach house? How fun is that to consider versus in the past, having thoughts of dread, doing finances thinking, I have to pay off this debt? That’s just scarcity mindset thinking, does this help us get the beach house? What is the question for you? First, what is your goal? Second, what can be your decision filter question? Now, let’s move on to the next version of this idea of implementation in the IF THEN format. So when we’re working on creating a new habit, and let’s get started on this this week, right? Like, don’t be waiting around till January 1, get a head start on it. I know you’re all high achievers. So let’s start before we’re ready to make these resolutions. And James clear talks about this in his book, atomic habits, which I highly, highly recommend for anyone looking for a new book. In fact, I have a podcast it’s titled, atomic habits. I believe it’s the top downloaded podcast right now. Such a good book, and he presents the research around exercise in a great britain study from 2001. So let’s first start by mentioning, oftentimes people think they need motivation to make a decision for change. But this study actually proved that is not the case. But there is one thing that seemed to differentiate all of the groups. So researchers began working with 248 people to build better exercise habits over the course of two weeks, and the subjects were divided into three groups. Now the first group was the control group, they were simply asked to track how often they exercised. The second group was the quote unquote, motivation group. They were asked not only to track their workouts, but also to read some material on the benefits of exercise. The researchers also explained to the group how exercise could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and improve heart health. And then finally, the third group. The subjects received the same presentation as the second group, which ensured that they had that same level of motivation. But they were also asked to formulate a plan for when and where they would exercise over the following week. Specifically, each member of the third group completed the following sentence. During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on fill in the day at filling the time in fill in the place. And then after receiving the instructions, all three groups left. Now, the results you may ask, well allow me to share them with you. And the first and second groups 35 to 38% of people exercised at least once per week. Seems reasonable, right. And interestingly, the motivational presentation that was given to the second group actually seemed to have no meaningful impact on the behavior. But listen to this 91% of the third group exercise At least once per week, more than double the normal rate. So groups one and two, it was only 35 to 38% of people who exercise group 390 1%. The difference is simply by writing down a plan that says exactly when and where they intended to exercise. And the participants in group three, were much more likely to actually follow through. So 91% of people who plan their intention to exercise by writing down when and where they would exercise, by deciding ahead of time, deciding with intention each week, actually ended up following through. Meanwhile, people who read motivational material about exercise but did not plan when and where they would exercise showed no increase compared to control group. And this is what I tell you hear all the time, folks, listening is great. And I so appreciate you being here. But you have to start implementing the tools in order to see the changes in your life. And that’s what we’re here for right changes in your life. And as the researchers put in motivation, had no significant effects on exercise behavior. We talk a lot about motivation and change and willpower. But it all starts with a decision, you have to first know the desire, make the decision to change, and then find the filter by which you make all other decisions around it. And another part of this tool that you can use when using if then, let’s say something falls through with your original plan, then you have a backup if then plan. So if I eat fried food at lunch, then I have a salad for dinner. We are in control of making all of the filters, what is the desire that you are looking for, make the decision, make the filter based around accomplishing that, and have a plan to accomplish it. It’s not your motivation that is important. Remember that it’s your intention, implementation. It’s the decisions you make on a daily basis and on purpose that make all of the difference. And broadly speaking, the format for creating an implementation intention is when situation x arises, I will perform response Why? we tell ourselves things like I’m going to get healthier, or I’m going to do better with my finances, or I’m going to meditate more. What does that mean? We never say when and where these habits are going to happen. We just think they’re going to happen. And then we wonder why they don’t right. But the implementation intention transforms your goals into actual plans. Friends, we don’t lack motivation. We lack clarity. And a lot of times we think we need to wait for the perfect time. Here’s the perfect time today. Start today, don’t wait to be inspired. There is no confusion here. Just decide. And when the moment of action occurs, you already know the plan because you filtered the decision ahead of time. So again, I will insert the behavior at insert the time in insert the location. So for example, I will meditate one minute at 6am in the kitchen as I wait for coffee, or I will pay bills for 30 minutes every Saturday at 9am in my office, or I will exercise for 30 minutes at 7am in my basement. Just make it obvious make it easy. We don’t want any extra decisions in the moment right? And if you can stack it on another habit that you already have. So for example, I will work out after I drink coffee when you can stack it that is gold because it just makes it so much easier for you. Okay friends, what are you needing to decide today? Let’s do it. Use these ideas and let’s get going on making some changes. And if you need help with this, you know I am always available. One on one coaching is open and you can just DM me on the socials at Michelle Burt coaching or send off a quick email contact at Michelle Bourque coaching comm to let me know you’re interested in learning more. That’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now stay safe and make it a great day. Take care


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