The Behavior/Outcome Hierarchy… what exactly does that mean and how can we use it? Not every decision you make or action you invest in carries the same amount of return for the time, effort, and mental energy spent. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t occasionally plant the lower yielding crops, but only that you consider the cost before you decide where to spend time planting. We see this principle in scripture.
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:23
When you are trying to determine where to invest, I think it’s helpful to know that how far along in your journey you are matters. Early on in your journey, focusing on the big rocks and big dial movers is much more important. Once you have those habits in place and have built a solid foundation, you can continue to streamline in additional ways. Eventually, the foundational pieces are easy to maintain and you can use automation to your advantage. The ability to navigate in autopilot mode is a MAJOR buffer against decision fatigue and draining your willpower. At that point, it might be worth addressing some of the smaller rocks and fine-tuning details for very incremental gains. Think of it this way: it’s not effective trying to stack larger rocks on smaller ones; it won’t stay balanced.
Keep in mind that the “big rocks” doesn’t mean they are large and overwhelming or require a lot of self-discipline. They are simply seeds of habits and actions that produce fruit well worth the investment of time, effort, and mental energy spent. Something might seem small, but be easy to implement. In that case, a small win that you can do consistently is actually a big rock. Others might require slightly more effort, but produce a harvest 100 fold. That’s how you know they’re worth it. This is why you want to check for the trade-off. Also, it needs to be producing fruit that YOU find valuable, not what others say is important.
Examples: Instead of investing in a supplement for better energy or a rigid diet to improve health, try implementing a nighttime routine that will improve your quality of sleep. Better sleep in itself will yield you all kinds of fruit… increased energy, less cravings, improved health markers, better mood, good decisions about nutrition, more motivation to workout, etc. It might be a behavior that requires major investment, but the outcome is worth it. On the flip side, an easy breakfast meal prep like overnight oats or a making a batch of protein muffins isn’t that much of an investment. Though it might not seem like much to only prep for breakfast, it’s something you can do consistently and will yield results with time. With breakfast taken care of, you’ve solved 7/21 meals for the week. That’s one third of your weekly nutrition puzzle!
🚨 TL/DR: Actions produce a harvest of variable return for the time, effort, and mental energy spent. Choose actions that yield the most fruit.
▶️ Time, effort, and mental energy are precious; don’t waste them on things that of minimal return and instead focus on the big rocks / dial movers.
▶️ Decision fatigue is real; automate as much as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed.
▶️ Your willpower battery is finite; count the cost and return of your efforts up front so that you don’t needlessly drain mental energy for things that don’t effectively move you toward your goals.
▶️ Once the big rocks are in place, you can begin fine tuning.
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P.S. If you are interested in getting a custom set of macros, you can find out more here. If you want something more in-depth which will help you learn nutrition strategies like #DessertEveryDay and how to eat in a way you love and still get results, you can get 1:1 coaching via my Meal Mastery Mentorship. You can head to this link to find out more.
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If you are interested in working on a specific habit and need someone to help you troubleshoot, keep you motivated, and hold you accountable, I offer coaching a variety of ways, which you can learn more about here.
My specialty is habit change and my approach is to work on mindset alongside the habit, so that it is healthy and sustainable, and this is best done via 1:1 Coaching which you can learn about here. Whether it involves your health, finances, nutrition, exercise, relationships, or personal growth, habits are the key to success. We are the outcome of what we repeatedly do. Without addressing that, there can be no change. Learn more here!
P.P.S. I will be increasing my 1:1 coaching prices after I have this new certification. Current clients will be grandfathered in at their current rate as long as they don’t lapse, but for those who are wanting to enroll as a new client, I would do so now if you are on the fence!