Workout of the Day

The Simplest Way to Making a Better Decision


I’m going to let you in on a little trick to help you make better decisions. But before I give it all away, let’s talk about how our brains work.

Have you ever noticed how at the grocery store, even after you’ve made good decisions for the whole shopping trip and resisted the chips and cookies and opted for fruits and vegetables, you find it hard to resist the tempting candies and sweet drinks stocked by the cash register? Or how, after a long day at work, you seem to have no energy or willpower to decide what to cook for dinner, and decide to stop for fast food despite your fridge at home being well-stocked? Or how, in a day filled with important financial decisions or big life choices, you find the smallest decisions troubling and arduous?

There’s a very real human phenomenon called “decision fatigue” that affects our ability to make hard decisions, our happiness with our choices, and how willing we are to make a choice at all after we’ve already made numerous or challenging decisions. Studies have found that people’s ability to self-regulate and their capacity for self-control diminishes with decision fatigue. Evidence has discovered poorer decision-making later in the day for business executives, gradually higher incidences of negative rulings in judges as they get further from their last break (and an immediate return to fewer negative rulings after a break), and lowered inhibition to resist temptation or impulse decisions after many decisions have already been made.

Simply put, our days and weeks are filled with choices, small and large, significant and insignificant, and the trend is that the deeper we get into our day/week, the lower the quality of our decisions. Our problem is rarely that don’t know the best choice, it’s that we find ways not to make it.

Now for our little bit of strategy. Make your hard decisions early. Make them before you’ve had the chance to be burdened with 100,000 other choices, before you’re tired and you feel like your willpower has been spent (this conception of limited willpower is another story for another post), before you give your brain the time to talk yourself out of doing the hard thing -- making the better decision -- and giving in to the resistance of decision fatigue.

Make your hardest decisions and do your most challenging tasks first thing when you get to work. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and stretch first thing in the morning. Decide when you’re at the store not to even buy that bag of cookies to put in your pantry so you won’t have to make the decision not to have one or seven cookies every day when you get home from work. Decide on Sunday evening what days and times you are going to set aside for training that week and stick to it. Do the hardest thing in your week on Monday and set yourself up for momentum and success in the rest of your week. The decision to go to the gym on Thursday evening when you're tired from a long day it work is much easier to make when you’ve already made that decision earlier in the week. Commit early and commit fully, and you won’t leave yourself space to defer to avoidance behavior when you face the hard decision in the moment.

Hard decisions that are put off until later are hard decisions that rarely ever get made (or made well). Make a better decision, and make it early.

- PS


  • Parallel box squat - 3,3,3,3


  • 8 min AMRAP

    • 20 single arm DB shoulder to overhead (10/arm) (AHAP)

    • 20 KB swings (70/53)