Friday, August 22, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I recently read a short abstract of a book called "Nudge: Improving Decisons About Health, Wealth, and Happiness". It's a business book aimed at helping corporations and organizations better understand how to frame and provide choices for people for greater satisfaction.

The main premise is that groups should "nudge" individuals toward good decisions. It goes on to say the default choice should be a beneficial one, like automatic enrollment in the company's retirement plan, so that if the person does nothing, in the end, he or she will still benefit.

There's a lot in this material for personal consideration and use level. Things like:
  • Types of choices: Auto-pilot vs. reflective.
  • Choices are always made within the influence of context.
  • What kinds of things influence choices
This paragraph really struck me:
"People need assistance in making decisions when the stakes are high (health-care choices), when the situation is complex and rare (buying a house), or when human nature would lead them astray (saving money versus gambling)."
Bingo!

It goes on to say:
"If the benefit is immediate (ice cream tastes good), but the risks or costs are delayed (your arteries will clog and you’ll get fat), receiving guidance about healthful choices can help. Some think that the best choices come from having totally free options in a free market, but that’s not the case. People make faulty decisions if they believe wrong data, lack key facts or fall under the influence of someone who misleads them for selfish financial interest."
Isn't that something to think about as we consider electing the next president of the United States?

So having a sense of urgency and information one can trust are important.

My urgency is increasing regarding weight loss and the need to get healthy. 50 isn't that far away and it gets harder and harder to make significant progress each year.

I want to have an Oprah-moment for my 50th birthday. Remember a few years back when she lost all that weight, looked fabulous, and gave herself a year-long celebration, including singing with Tina Turner? That's my plan.

The weight loss, not the singing.

Then, there's the less selfish motivation that I want to live a long life for my children. I'll be retirement age when Littlest One graduates from high school. That's a pretty humbling thought. I'd like to be healthy enough to guide my children into adulthood and see them prosper. I want to travel with my husband to visit our children and grandchildren.

I need to remind myself of these things when I am knowingly indulging in behavior that is counter to my goal, like eating handfuls of Cheetos in the evening after eating really well throughout the day.

It's all about goals, choices, and decisions. My goals are good ones. My choices are obvious. I've got to work on the decision-making in the moment.

God, thank you for giving me a mind to be healthy and for providing the breadth of information necessary to get there. Grant me the presence of mind to make good decisions when faced with choices, decisions that move me toward my goals. Help me to develop a greater sense of being in the moment so that I don't mindlessly make bad decisions and wonder why later. Most of all, draw me closer to you, the source of my joy and strength.

Peace & Blessings,
Patricia

2 comments:

Chicki said...

Great goals! I'm praying for your success. Please do the same for me.

Patricia W. said...

You know I am! We're kindred souls. How's that walking desk working out?