As I have been seeking to set ground rules for myself, I read a fantastic blog post from Gretchen Rubin of "The Happiness Project," this post detailed the legal jargon of a bright-line rule as "a clearly defined rule or standard that eliminates any need for interpretation or decision-making; for example...never buying bottled water." More than this concept of bright line rules, however, was the more pithy statement she made in the next paragraph that:
"HABITS ELIMINATE DECISION MAKING."
I knew this to be true, I'd written about it before, only without this sense of clarity or brevity. So often we forget, we break the good habits and maintain the bad, out of a sense of being in a comfort zone perhaps, or not wanting to leave it? I know I have many bad habits and too few good, but with this old and new revelation...
I turn over another leaf.
I HATE MAKING DECISIONS! I am terrible at it, I dither, I dawdle and I try to get others to make decisions for me. In an effort to avoid so many decisions, I can now seek instead to build good habits, and break the bad ones while I'm about it.
On a lighter note, in the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," the character Sheldon, tries a form of decision-avoidance to free up his thinking by rolling dice to make his menu choices etc. Needless to say this one-size-fits-all approach backfired somewhat, as he wished for hamburgers and soda not what the dice decreed, but the concept is valid.
As an aside, I did once read of someone who made the "bright-line rule" that they would order whatever was listed second on the menu (so long as it was something they could eat, or else they would continue to the next appropriate meal). Extreme, perhaps, but if menu options left you in a tizzy each and every time, then making this once-and-for-all choice could be construed as extremely liberating.
What decisions could you simplify with a bright-line rule? What habits could you add to your life to eliminate a decision or two? What are your bright-line rules?