One: Simplify with a Plan. Commit to a strategy and do not negotiate after your commitment. For example: ahead of a meal, think about what to eat, how much you want to eat or drop from your menu a food altogether. Decide how much you want to spend before you go shopping. While a lot of people think that planning and sticking to a plan is too restrictive, it does, in fact, relieve one of having to make new decisions over and over.
Two: Prioritize. Do not restrict yourself on too many levels all at once. Vohs recommends to not put every decision you want to make in category “urgent,” but to choose your decisions wisely. If you have to run a marathon, do not also train for a new job and go on a diet.
Three: Implement a Routine. Instead of making decisions over minor things, just have a simple routine you follow. For example, shop where you always shop instead of trying out new, expensive online stores. Avoid certain settings routinely, such as bars and bakeries if you want to avoid alcohol or calories.
Four: Outsource. If you can and if it makes sense for a healthy life, have other people make a decision in your behalf.
Five: Satisfice. This weird word simply means to be content with and accept things when they are “good enough” instead of perfect. For more information, please read my article “Seeking Perfection? There is Better Way.”
Six: Replenish the Source. If you have exhausted yourself with too much self-control and decision making, go for a walk in nature, relax in bubble bath, meditate.3
Seven. Go sideways. Sometimes it is better to eat a little piece of chocolate or have a sip of a lemonade before you overly self-control. Don’t let yourself become too keen on a thing. Vohs recommends: give yourself a little and accept going sideways–sometimes. While this does not work for me when it comes to sugar, it works for me with shopping and other things. Have some mercy! Know thyself and be kind to yourself, alright?