Life is full of choices. Should I go to the gym or sleep in? Should I eat healthy? Should I buy this product or that one? We all make dozens, if not hundreds of choices every single day. But most of us don’t spend too much time thinking our choices through. The problem with this is we end up making decisions based off of our emotions instead of our logic.
Let me give you a real life example to help illustrate my point. When I’m hungry, where or what I want to eat is usually based off of what I am craving at that moment. And if I’m not craving anything in particular, I’ll want the food that is the easiest to get but also tastes good. Based off of this, what do you think I’d want to choose: a home made salad or a cheeseburger from my favorite fast food joint? Stumped? Its the latter =).
But that’s not how I make my decisions. Well, at least I try not to make my decisions like this anymore. Instead, I’ve been making it a habit to actually use my brain (weird, I know). So when faced with the choice of “what to eat?” I’ll ask myself: What are my priorities? And by this I mean, what do I really want out of my choice? When it comes to my eating habits, my priorities are that my food is:
- and tasty
Ironically, if I don’t keep my priorities in mind, I make my decision based off the same things but in the opposite order. But emotions aside, my first priority for my food is that it be healthy. After all, the only reason we really NEED to eat is nutrition. My second priority is not spending too much money on any single meal. Saving money always helps. My third priority is to be able to eat as soon as I’m hungry. Nobody likes waiting! And the last AND the least important priority is how good the food tastes.
By looking at my list of priorities, it was obvious to me that a majority of my meals should be home cooked. Why? When you make your meals yourself you can substitute certain ingredients in a recipe with healthier ones (e.g whole grain pasta, ezekiel bread, etc). And because you are the one who cooks the meal, you save money by paying only for the food and not for the service of preparing/serving it.
But you DON’T save time cooking your own meals (and its the hard thing to do), and even though you can make some great tasting food that is healthy, its just not the same as a greasy cheeseburger. So while eating healthy home cooked meals doesn’t satisfy my last two priorities as much as I’d like, it is still the the best choice for me. This is because the things that I am giving up were last on my list of priorities, while the things I am getting were first. Plain and simple: I want to be healthy and to save money MORE than I want instant gratification and great taste.
Having my priorities straight not only has helped me with my food choices, but in every other area of my life I have applied it to as well. And it can do the same for you. Every time you make a decision, ask yourself if that decision is in line with your priorities. If not, then make the decision that is. But remember, you may have to be willing to give up some of the things you want for the things you want even MORE. And if you’re not willing to give up something for what you want, then you really don’t want it that bad to begin with. But the choice is yours.