This year the theme of my life is about Making Better Choices. I spent the last two months thinking about my life and what I want my life to look like. I realised that every result in my life is the result … of whatever came before that result … and the one before that.
I started seeing the choices of my life as the causes of the results in my life.
For example, why did I put on weight over the Christmas and holiday period?
The answer is a combination of small choices. For example, I (chose to) ate too many high calorie mince pies (188 calories for a small one). I ate too may roast potatoes, I ate a lot of chocolate, I over ate, my portion sizes were larger. I had seconds.
I slept in … late … and stopped my four times a week work out.
I stopped drinking 6-8 glasses of water and drank more tea and alcohol. And ate more biscuits and fruit cake.
I stopped recording entries into my MyFitnessPal food diary.
All choices. All small choices.
Importantly, a linear sequence of small step-by-step choices.
For fun … or morbid curiosity … I reverse engineered a Christmas lunch social and how I ended up in the dining room buffet with a plate of food I don’t normally eat. Step by step.
- Walk into dining room.
- Look at buffet.
- Look at my friends enjoying queuing with plates at the buffet (social proof)
- Walk across room.
- Scope the buffet for foods I like (roast lamb and pork, roast potatoes, cheese … )
- Get a plate.
- Get in line. Chat.
- Get a bread roll ( I don’t eat a lot of bread because I KNOW that just piles on the weight.) Nibble bread roll.
- Justify bread roll choice (It’s Christmas. It’s there.)
- Cut a slice of lamb. (Go onnnn … do another. And a small bit more. C’mon its Christmas).
- Serve two potatoes (and two to go).
- Eat one of the potatoes while I’m waiting for the vegetables. (Its OK).
- Replace the potatoes I ate.
- Add a bread roll. (Hey didn’t I already have one on my plate? No I ate that while waiting for the meat).
- Add vegetables.
- Add gravy.
- Add a potato.
- Get a red wine.
- Find a seat.
- Look at food still on the buffet table while you’re eating. Think about seconds.
- Sit at the buffet table …
This is a system for delivering calories. Every step IS a choice.
I have been teaching documenting recurring linear business systems this last two weeks and using this story to demonstrate that every systems has subsystems and steps. Every step has a purpose and a rationalisation.
The above system delivers Christmas cheer but it is not a system to maintain healthy choices. It is a right here right now reactive system and it is recurring. I was like this LAST year, too.
What’s missing is how this systems links to my Primary Aim which is to maintain a healthy weight. Having seen the error of my ways, I plan to be better … next Christmas.
By the way, Im running a twelve session programme on documenting business systems. If that’s of interest register your interest and I’ll send you a report.