Day 11: The Potato Chip Problem

The Potato Chip Problem

One day, I watched the potato chip episode of the History Channel show “The Foods That Built America”. The show itself was interesting but it made me want a good old fashioned bag of potato chips.

I kept trying to put the craving out of my mind. However at the end of the show it didn’t subside. I caved.

"Alexa, put potato chips on my shopping list."

The next time I was at the store, I bought three bags of potato chips - BBQ, Sour Cream and Onion, and a bag of Broad Ripple potato chips - an Indianapolis favorite.

All three bags disappeared - each in its own blaze of glory.

I once again pronounced that I was not permitted to have chips in the house. More importantly, my personal operating procedure is that I can ONLY get pretzels or Tostitos from the chip aisle. No greasy goodness of an old-fashioned American potato chip ever for this gal.

If it never enters the house, I can't eat it.

Willpower is not helpful in preventing many poor choices. To help yourself make the best choices, change the environment - not you.

Hack your environment to hack yourself.

According to Jeff Haden in The Motivation Myth goals are achieved through process or personal operating procedures, not motivation. Take a large goal, break it down into smaller pieces, execute those tiny pieces, and you'll achieve the goal. Or as Sonke Ahrens says in How to Take Smart Notes, "Having a meaningful and well-defined task beats willpower every time. Not having willpower but not having to use willpower indicates that you set yourself up for success."

Where do you need to reconsider your personal operating procedures and set yourself up for success?


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