She was squeezing up behind me so she could grab her chocolate treat topped with a single pretzel and other gooey decorations.
The platter of cupcakes held a prominent space on the table with other dessert options. I wasn’t going to skip dessert – that fresh fruit salad had my full attention.
“It was a decision I made over 4 years ago – to go 30 days without eating foods with added sugar,” I told her. After those 30 days I found it so simple to not get hung up on the micro decisions that appear every single day.”
And in that moment, there at the party with an excellent band playing out on the deck, it became clear to me that micro decisions – those quick-fire choices we make hundreds of times each day – define who we are, and the quality of our life.
Some are a matter of life or death:
- Looking both ways before walking into the street
- Doing anything that starts with, “Watch this… hold my beer!”
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Others have a slow, compounding effect on us.
- Choosing to not drink enough water
- Laying in the sun without protection
- Skip dessert or grab a dessert with with 42g of sugar late at night when you’re already full.
I told my friend that I knew everything there was to know about eating that cupcake.
- What it felt like going into my mouth
- What it would taste like
- How it would feel to swallow it
- The anticipation for that next bite
- The texture of the cake and frosting
- The grittiness on my teeth
- The clump that had to be washed down from too big a bite
- The sadness of it ending
- The debate with myself about having another one
- The increased heartbeat
- The bloating from the sugar rush
- The fidgeting
- The shortness of attention
- The overall haze that shows up a few minutes after it’s gone.
No surprises. Nothing new. And certainly not in alignment with what I really want in my life.
A Tool to Skip Dessert – and Making Other Micro Decisions
Making good choices is a matter of slowing down and considering:
- What’s the big picture of what I really want in my life?
- A body that functions properly and easily
- Will the decision I make move me closer to, or further from what I want?
- Long term
- Message to myself
Look for opportunities to make micro decisions that support that big picture version of the life you want.
- Weight loss
- More restful sleep
- Clearer skin
- Less anxieties
- deeper connections
- lower blood pressure
- healthier heart
What’s a big picture decision you can make about your life? What micro-decisions will support you in achieving it?